Biography

Mark Johnston has a specialist commercial law practice with respect to large and complex litigation.

He has permanent chambers in Australia and in Singapore at Maxwell 42 – International Arbitration Chambers Singapore (see: https://www.maxwell42.com/members/mark-johnston). 

Mark’s clients have included international constructors and principals of large infrastructure projects, coal companies, oil and gas companies, owners of major infrastructure, national and international-level developers, the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Queensland.  

In addition to complex cases before Australian courts, Mark frequently appears in international arbitrations. He has appeared as a barrister and counsel in numerous arbitrations in London, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, and worked on international arbitrations in Dubai, Spain and in the UK. He has also appeared as counsel assisting and counsel representing in significant commissions of inquiry.

Mark was recently the lead counsel and advocate for one of the world’s largest oil companies in a three-person panel arbitral hearing in London with respect to a claim in the order of $150 million concerning the largest LNG project in the world. 

His other recent cases include, amongst other matters:

  • an international arbitration with respect to a large mining project (circa $1.2 billion);
  • an international arbitration with respect to an overland LNG pipeline (circa $800 million);
  • an international arbitration with respect to the design, manufacture and supply of major mining equipment (circa $100 million);
  • an arbitration with respect to an ammonium nitrate plant (circa $100 million);
  • an international arbitration with respect to a marine LNG pipeline (circa $60 million);
  • an international arbitration with respect to an LNG plant and related facilities;
  • an arbitration with respect to access charges for a coal terminal;
  • various litigation with respect to separate coal mine projects;
  • litigation with respect to royalties payable by a major petroleum producer for an LNG project;
  • litigation with respect to royalties payable by a coal producer;
  • various litigation with respect to quarries;
  • various litigation with respect to residential towers and commercial facilities;
  • litigation with respect to access charges to rail transport infrastructure.

Mark was awarded dux and the University Medal in Law for the Bachelor of Laws after achieving a grade point average of 6.88 out of 7, in addition to over 10 law prizes for academic excellence. He also holds a Masters in Law (Commercial Law) (ANU), a Masters in International Relations (Qld), a Bachelor of Arts (Management) (NSW) and a Diploma in Chinese (Mandarin). Mark was awarded the James Archibald Douglas Prize for the Bar advocacy course. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College and the Defence Force Academy, and he is an old-boy of St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace.

Before being called to the independent Bar in April 2007, Mark worked as a lawyer for the Commonwealth Government and for a top-tier international law firm. He was appointed a Special Adviser to the United Nations in East Timor, and received a United Nations’ Commendation for outstanding performance. Mark is also an ex-Cavalry officer with diverse experience including Troop Commander, sabre Squadron Commander and Regimental Adjutant.  He has served as a strategic-level analyst in China. Mark was formerly a qualified Chinese linguist for the Commonwealth Government having completed the full-time Foreign Affairs language course (for which he was awarded dux). He had the unique opportunity to participate in the inaugural Government-sponsored instructor exchange in China which saw him live and work in China. Mark has been awarded the Australian Active Service Medal and a United Nations Medal.

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