Mark Handley is an experienced solicitor-advocate with a practice that focuses on cross-border disputes and international litigation. His cases have arisen in a wide range of sectors. He has been recognized in the Legal 500 UK as having “a breadth of experience with superior case and team management skills”, and as having “oil and gas, financial services, infrastructure, telecoms and media sector experience”.
Mr. Handley has litigated extensively in the Commercial Court, but also in other divisions of the English High Court such as the Chancery Division, the Administrative Court, and the Technology and Construction Court. He also represented a former UK tabloid editor before the Levison Inquiry. For pro bono clients he has appeared in the Bow County Court, the Hammersmith County Court, and the Winchester District Court.
He has extensive experience with obtaining and defending interim relief including search orders, freezing orders, anti-suit injunctions, anti-arbitration injunctions, charging orders, strike out claims, and third party debt orders.
A significant area of Mr. Handley’s litigation practice relates to matters arising under the Arbitration Act 1996 and other arbitration-related matters and the enforcement of arbitral awards. He regularly advises on such issues, including in particular issues relating to the appearance of foreign sovereign states in the English courts, the challenge or enforcement of arbitral awards, and state immunity. Mr. Handley has acted in a significant number of the leading recent cases in this area including the leading authority on the process by which foreign sovereigns are served with English court proceedings, as well as the enforcement of the then-largest commercial arbitration award.
Mr. Handley has conducted litigation in the appellate courts of England the U.K., including the Court of Appeal and the U.K.’s Supreme Court. His appellate matters have ranged from issues under the State Immunity Act 1978, as under the leading case of General Dynamics (UK) Limited v. Libya  UKSC 21, as well as abuse of process, contractual construction, appeals on the facts, and an appeal arising out of judicial review proceedings in the online gambling sector.
Mr. Handley has extensive experience in litigation in many of the UK’s offshore financial services jurisdictions, including obtaining freezing orders in the British Virgin Islands and Jersey, trial litigation in Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands, as well as appellate matters in the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal and the Gibraltar Court of Appeal.
Dubai International Financial Centre Courts
Mr. Handley is also qualified in the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts. This is a common law, special purpose jurisdiction. His experience in the DIFC includes anti-suit injunctions, freezing orders, and trial litigation, as well as advising on issues of DIFC law including insolvency, trust law, arbitration, and contract law.
Mr. Handley’s practice includes arbitration. He has experience of most of the major arbitral rules including the ICSID, UNCITRAL (both the 1976 and later versions), ICC, LCIA, and LMAA Terms. His experience extends to litigation in support of arbitration including interim remedies (freezing orders, anti-suit and anti-arbitration injunctions), challenges to arbitrators, challenges to arbitral awards and enforcement issues.
Mr. Handley has represented states, corporations, and state-owned enterprises in commercial arbitrations which have ranged across a variety of sectors including oil and gas, financial services, transport and infrastructure, shipping, natural resources, construction, power and energy. The claims have related to issues as varied as fraud and corruption, breach of fiduciary duties, breach of contract, financial and trade sanctions, tort claims and others.
Mr. Handley has extensive recent experience in investor-state arbitration under investment treaties as well as domestic investment legislation giving rights to foreign investors. His experience has been especially focussed on claims arising in Asian and African countries, but across a range of sectors including telecommunications, extractives, and transport and infrastructure and a range of circumstances such as privatization, licensing arrangements and concession contracts. He has experience of acting for and advising both respondents and claimants in such arbitrations. He also advises on the prospects and merits of bringing and defending investor-state claims.
White-Collar and Regulatory
Mr. Handley has significant experience with conducting internal investigations, reviewing and preparing policies and procedures, providing internal training, and conducting financial crime risk assessments. He regularly speaks on sanctions and bribery issues at conferences including in London, Munich, San Diego and Cambridge, and has published a range of articles in the area.
Financial and Trade Sanctions
Mr. Handley has extensive experience in advising on financial and trade sanctions, and export controls, under the EU and UK regimes. He has in-depth knowledge of the current EU and UK Russian sanctions, but he has also advised on almost all of the other sanctions regimes including: Afghanistan, Belarus, Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Zimbabwe. He also advises on the EU and UK’s blocking statutes. He has advised the National Competent Authority of an EU member state, a Middle Eastern sovereign, financial services trade organizations, investment banks, professional services firms, corporations across a range of sectors, and individuals on sanctions and sanctions compliance issues. He was recognized in 2022 by Financier Worldwide as one of 10 global “Power Players” in the field of International Trade and Sanctions.
UK Bribery Act and FCPA
Mr. Handley regularly advises a wide variety of clients on the UK’s anti-corruption legislation including the Bribery Act and its predecessor the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Fraud, Money Laundering and Others
Mr. Handley also advises on issues of fraud, anti-money laundering and the UK’s failure to prevent tax evasion offences.
Areas of Practice
- England and Wales
- Dubai International Financial Centre Courts
- Nottingham Law School, Legal Practice Course, 2004
- Nottingham Law School, Post-Graduate Diploma in Law, 2003
- University of Cambridge, Trinity Hall, Ph.D., Medieval History, 1998
- University of Cambridge, Trinity Hall, M.Phil., Medieval History, 1995
- University of Sydney, B.A. (Hons), 1992
- Duane Morris
- Partner, 2023-present
- Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP
- Partner, 2018-2023
- Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
- Of Counsel/Senior Associate, 2011-2018
- Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
- Associate, 2004-2011
- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
- Associate/Trainee Solicitor, 2004-2007
- Contributor, Duane Morris International Arbitration Blog
- Contributor, Duane Morris London Blog
- Author, "The U.K. Is Making It Easier to Prosecute Foreign and Domestic Companies for Financial Crimes," Duane Morris Alert, August 14, 2023
- Co-author, “Around the World: Clash of the Sanctions,” Antitrust Report
- Co-author, “Letting Iran off the hook,” The Lawyer
- Co-author, “UK Bribery Act: Are UK Enforcement Authorities sending the wrong message to Companies?” The Anti-Corruption Report
- Author, “From kick-off to kick-back: the latest Bribery Act prosecutions”, The Lawyer
- Co-author, “The long arm of the Bribery Act”, The Lawyer
- Author, “Anti-corruption due diligence in M&A – the role of POCA”, Financier Worldwide