Bar in the Gulf

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Mark Hoyle, who is now a partner at King & Wood Mallesons SJB in Dubai, organised a dinner for Barristers in the Gulf, on 28 May 2014.

There was an excellent selection of people, mostly from Dubai but also a one day tripper from Qatar.


Mark served on the Bar Council’s International Committee from 2004 until he left for Dubai in 2009, and he was the first Chair of the Middle East Interest Group.

“Bar in the Gulf” is a group of likeminded Barristers (or members of an Inn if they have transferred to be a solicitor), who live and work in the Gulf. Many appear in the DIFC Court, whose judges are very often retired Commercial Court judges from London. Not all use their skills in advocacy in Court or arbitration (although there is a good deal of arbitration going on in the Gulf), and many hold key posts in financial institutions.

All those who attended the dinner had the common aim of keeping in touch with other Barristers, with developments at the Bar in England & Wales, and keeping links with their Inn and the Bar Council. Taking opportunities to socialise and, of course, to be further involved in the developing legal scene in the Gulf, are a key aim.

“Bar in the Gulf” is not a formal association, but we have a very good list of people who are interested in keeping in touch. We hope we will be able to liaise with the International Committee as may be appropriate, and with the Bar Council, and with our respective Inns. The plan is to hold at least three dinners a year, and to arrange less formal meetings, and events. Visiting Barristers are always welcome. In due course there will be channels of communication to ensure that our events are known outside the group.

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