Practice

Alexander will be appointed King’s Counsel in March 2023.

Alexander has a litigation-focussed commercial Chancery practice, with a significant emphasis on high value disputes in England & Wales and offshore. His work encompasses all aspects of commercial litigation and arbitration, civil fraud, company law, insolvency, and actions under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA).

Consistently ranked as a leading junior in the legal directories, Alexander is recommended in seven practice areas across the 2023 editions (including in commercial litigation, company, civil fraud, insolvency and the English Bar offshore), being described as “a brilliant advocate”, “extremely quick on his feet and immaculately prepared”, “incisive in his cross-examination”, “superb advocacy and attention to detail”, “excellent legal and technical skills”, “very measured and calm, even when working under pressure and tight timeframes” and “a dream to work with”.

Similar comments have featured in previous editions of the legal directories:

  • Advocacy: “a strong and determined advocate in Court”, a “powerful performer who is clever, committed and commercially aware”, “a calm and straightforward style of advocacy”, “his performance is above his level”.
  • Legal knowledge: “really clever guy who’s got an excellent way about him”, with a “great understanding of the law” whose “knowledge makes him a joy to work with”.
  • Judgment: “an excellent tactician, who thinks things through”, “an extremely safe pair of hands” who “exercises good judgement”.
  • Work ethic: “work rate is phenomenal and always of the highest standard”, “he’s all over the documents in a case”, “really diligent, very clever and highly perceptive”, “knows every document of a case inside out, and that gives you just utter confidence”, “phenomenally hard-working”.
  • Written work: “exceptionally good drafting”, “precise and to the point”; “his ability to reduce complex cases to simple propositions in his written work is admirable”.
  • Client skills: “a solicitor’s dream counsel”, “extremely bright, responsive and easy to work with”, “extremely good with clients”, “commercially oriented barrister”, “offers good accessibility and quick turnaround times”.

A significant proportion of Alexander’s practice comprises offshore or international work. He appears regularly before the courts of the British Virgin Islands, both in the Commercial Court and the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal. In addition, Alexander is registered as a legal practitioner with the Court of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and is called to the Bar of Northern Ireland. Other offshore experience includes acting in cases involving jurisdictions such as Nevis, Bermuda, Anguilla, Cyprus, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jersey and Guernsey.

In addition to his private work, Alexander also undertakes work on behalf of the UK government. He has been appointed as Standing Counsel to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and is a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel.

Practice areas

Chancery: commercial

Examples of current and recent instructions include:

  • Von der Heydt Invest SA v Mex Securities S.a.r.l & Ors: Acting for the claimant in a c.€43 million commercial fraud claim in the BVI arising out of an allegedly fraudulently obtained consent order.
  • Davies v Monks: Representing (as lead counsel) a director in a 3-day appeal before the Court of Appeal concerning a c.£4m+ equitable compensation and dishonest breach of fiduciary duty claim concerning the diversion of a waste recycling business.
  • H v CPS: Representing the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) defending an alleged £300m+ claim in malicious prosecution and misfeasance in a public office.
  • State Bank of India & Ors v Mallya: Acting (with John Brisby KC) for Dr Vijay Mallya, the well-known owner of the Kingfisher group in India, in proceedings taken by several Indian banks seeking the enforcement of a judgment of approximately £1.112 billion.
  • Roussev v Leman Nominee Company Limited: Acting (with John Brisby KC) on a high-value multi-jurisdictional trusts and fraud dispute spanning Nevis, the BVI, St Vincent & the Grenadines and England & Wales.
  • Ismail v Chhina: Successfully represented the claimants in a 4-day trial before the BVI Commercial Court in a dispute over the ownership of a BVI company which owned a property in Chelsea Harbour.
  • Re a discretionary family settlement: Representing the beneficiaries of a BVI family trust with assets of up to £20 million against trustees who are alleged to have committed fraudulent breaches of trust.
Fraud – civil

Alexander has significant experience acting on high-value, cross-jurisdictional, fraud claims, having conducted a number of substantial fraud cases as sole counsel, including obtaining worldwide freezing injunctions and other interim remedies. Examples of current and recent instructions include:

  • Von der Heydt Invest SA v Mex Securities S.a.r.l & Ors: Acting for the claimant in a c.€43 million commercial fraud claim in the BVI arising out of an allegedly fraudulently obtained consent order.
  • Serious Fraud Office v Karimova & Ors: Acting for the SFO (with Andrew Sutcliffe KC) in a claim against Gulnara Karimova, the eldest daughter of the former President of Uzbekistan, in respect of a £22 million property portfolio which is alleged to represent part of the proceeds of many millions of dollars in bribes.
  • Roussev v Leman Nominee Company Limited: Acting (with John Brisby KC) on a high-value multi-jurisdictional trusts and fraud dispute spanning Nevis, the BVI, St Vincent & the Grenadines and England & Wales.
  • Abramovich v Hoffmann: Defending (with John Brisby KC) a c. £17 million claim brought by Irina Abramovich alleging fraud and breach of trust against her former executive assistant.
  • Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa al Jaber & Ors v Salfiti & Ors: Defending a £multi-million claim brought by a wealthy Saudi businessman alleging that the defendants had defrauded him. Successfully set aside a freezing injunction.
  • Re a discretionary family settlement: Representing the beneficiaries of a BVI family trust with assets of up to £20 million against trustees who are alleged to have committed fraudulent breaches of trust.
Company law

Alexander has a broad company law practice, with particular experience in shareholder disputes, unfair prejudice petitions (s.994 petitions) and actions under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 (CDDA). Examples of current and recent instructions include:

  • Acting for the Competition & Markets Authority and the Office of Gas & Energy Markets on prospective and current applications under s.9A of the CDDA for the disqualification of directors of companies acting in breach of competition law.
  • Davies v Monks: Representing (as lead counsel) a director in a 3-day appeal before the Court of Appeal concerning a c.£4m+ equitable compensation and dishonest breach of fiduciary duty claim concerning the diversion of a waste recycling business.
  • LCIA Arbitration: Representing (with Aidan Casey KC) the Claimants in an LCIA arbitration concerning the affairs and control of a holding company for an open-pit coal mine.
  • SSF Realisations v Loch Fyne Oysters & Ors: Acting on behalf of the liquidators in a successful claim for repayment of an unlawful dividend declared in favour of Loch Fyne Oysters.
  • Ismail v Chhina: Successfully represented the claimants in a 4-day trial before the BVI Commercial Court in a dispute over the ownership of a BVI company which owned a property in Chelsea Harbour.
  • Re Success Overseas Holdings Limited: Acting for the defendant in an unfair prejudice petition featuring allegations of fraud in respect of the affairs of a BVI holding company of a multi-million dollar palm oil business in Indonesia.
Insolvency & restructuring

Examples of current and recent instructions include:

  • Competition & Markets Authority v Truly Holdings Limited: Acting on behalf of the CMA in relation to the insolvency of the travel agencies Teletext Holidays and Alpha Rooms.
  • Re a provisional liquidation: Appearing for HMRC on an urgent ex parte application to appoint a provisional liquidator.
  • Re a potential insolvency: Advising the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, concerning the interaction between EU legislation and English insolvency law in advance of the deadline for the UK leaving the European Union.
  • Re a company in liquidation: Advising Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on the proper interpretation of several provisions of the Insolvency Act 1986 concerning a company in liquidation.
  • Re a firm of solicitors: Advising a firm regarding the impact of an insolvency on monies held in the firm’s client account.
  • Re Limora Investments Ltd: Representing a minority shareholder in a dispute concerning a large group of companies in the timeshare business. Appeared in the BVI Commercial Court on an application for the appointment of provisional liquidators.
Arbitration

Alexander has experience acting in significant institutional international arbitrations. Examples include:

  • Representing the Claimants in several LCIA arbitrations concerning the affairs and control of a holding company for an open-pit coal mine.
  • Representing the claimant in a US$ 35 million arbitration under the HKIAC Rules.
  • Representing a FTSE 250 company in an ICC arbitration against an African government.
Offshore litigation

A significant proportion of Alexander’s practice comprises offshore work, particularly the BVI. Examples include:

  • Von der Heydt Invest SA v Mex Securities S.a.r.l & Ors: Acting for the claimant in a c.€43 million commercial fraud claim in the BVI arising out of an allegedly fraudulently obtained consent order.
  • Roussev v Leman Nominee Company Limited: Acting (with John Brisby KC) on a high-value multi-jurisdictional trusts and fraud dispute spanning Nevis, the BVI, St Vincent & the Grenadines and England & Wales.
  • Her Majesty’s Comptroller v A Guernsey Bank: Instructed by the government of Guernsey in respect of an intended application for a freezing order and forfeiture order under the Forfeiture of Money etc, in Civil Proceedings (Guernsey) Law, 2007 in respect of some US$ 14.4 million held in various bank accounts in Guernsey.
  • Re a discretionary family settlement: Representing the beneficiaries of a BVI family trust with assets of up to £20 million against trustees who are alleged to have committed fraudulent breaches of trust.
  • Ismail v Chhina: Successfully represented the claimants in a 4-day trial before the BVI Commercial Court in a dispute over the ownership of a BVI company which owned a property in Chelsea Harbour.
  • Re Success Overseas Holdings Limited: Acting for the defendant in an unfair prejudice petition featuring allegations of fraud in respect of the affairs of a BVI holding company of a multi-million dollar palm oil business in Indonesia.
POCA work & asset forfeiture

Alexander is recognised for his experience in high-value, precedent-setting proceeds of crime cases, especially those involving financial, banking, trusts and asset tracing elements, owing to his commercial chancery background.

He is recommended in both the Legal 500 (band 1) and Chambers and Partners (band 2) in this field, being described in the 2023 editions as “dynamic, bright and astute, he knows the law well and his written work is excellent”. He was shortlisted for Financial Crime Junior of the Year at the 2022 Legal 500 Bar Awards.

Alexander regularly acts for government agencies, including the National Crime Agency (NCA) (formerly the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)), Her Majesty’s Revenue v Customs (HMRC), the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Current and recent instructions include:

  • Serious Fraud Office v Karimova & Ors: Acting for the SFO (with Andrew Sutcliffe KC) in a claim against Gulnara Karimova, the eldest daughter of the former President of Uzbekistan, in respect of a £22 million property portfolio which is alleged to represent part of the proceeds of many millions of dollars in bribes.
  • NCA v Abacha & Ors: Representing the NCA (with Jonathan Hall KC) obtaining a freezing order over £100 million of assets alleged to represent the proceeds of the criminal conduct of the former President of Nigeria, General Abacha. Recently successfully obtained a civil recovery order over c.US$ 23 million of the funds.
  • NCA v Khan & Ors: Representing the NCA (with Andrew Sutcliffe KC) in a £multi-million civil recovery claim against a respondent alleged to have been involved in drug trafficking and fraud.
  • HMRC v Lalani: Successfully obtained Account Forfeiture Orders (AFOs) over c.£500,000 found to represent the proceeds of frauds committed against consumers in the United States.
  • HMRC v A: Instructed by HMRC in relation to an intended property freezing order arising out of a £multi-million MTIC fraud.
  • Her Majesty’s Comptroller v A Guernsey Bank: Instructed by the government of Guernsey in respect of an intended application for a freezing order and forfeiture order under the Forfeiture of Money etc, in Civil Proceedings (Guernsey) Law, 2007 in respect of some US$ 14.4 million held in various bank accounts in Guernsey.

Additional info

What the directories say

Chambers UK Guide (2023)
Excellent on his feet and incredibly thorough” (Chancery Commercial).

Alex is calm, confident, measured and incisive in his cross-examination. He is also extremely responsive, hard-working and someone who explains complex legal issues clearly” (Chancery Commercial).

Eloquent and popular, he is an effective and confident senior junior” (Chancery Commercial).

Alexander is incredibly hard-working, and exhibits amazing attention to detail” (Commercial Dispute Resolution).

He is a very able and commercial advocate” (Commercial Dispute Resolution).

Alex is able to see his way through very complex facts and issues and present extremely thorough, well-rehearsed arguments which are incredibly persuasive” (Company).

Alex is calm yet confident, and measured and incisive in his cross-examination” (Company).

Dynamic, bright and astute, he knows the law well and his written work is excellent” (POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture).

Legal 500 (2023)
Superb advocacy and attention to detail. Meticulous preparation he is often instructed against silks” (Insolvency)

He is a brilliant advocate, being extremely quick on his feet and immaculately prepared” (Company).

Alex is a dream to work with, combining excellent legal and technical skills with a good dose of common sense. He is good at helping clients find a path through thorny issues, and does not flinch in the face of tricky or unexpected circumstances” (Commercial Litigation)

Alex is very measured and calm, even when working under pressure and tight timeframes. He provides clear advice on both technical legal points, as well as overall strategy. His advocacy is excellent all round, in particular his cross-examination is incisive and effective” (Fraud: civil).

Alex is hard working, conscientious and always delivers high quality work beyond his years, even when under considerable time or time difference pressures, and even when he has other commitments.  His reliability is beyond the norm.  In advocacy terms his performance is assured, secure, persuasive and beyond his years” (The English Bar Offshore).

Chambers UK Guide (2022)
Hard-working, thorough and personable, he’s all over the documents in a case” (Chancery Commercial).

Really good at breaking down complicated legal points to lay clients and willing to have difficult conversations. Client trusts him as a result” (Commercial Dispute Resolution).

Alex is mature in his judgement, good at drafting and great when it comes to international matters.” “He is approachable, easy to work with and someone who understands how to work with public agencies.” “An expert in this field who is an extremely effective advocate” (POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture).

Legal 500 (2022)
A highly motivated and intelligent junior who can quickly get to the nub of the issue but who is not afraid to listen before stating opinions or options. His work rate is phenomenal and always of the highest standard” (Commercial Litigation).

Very thorough” (Company & partnership).

He is a solicitor’s dream counsel, definitely my junior of choice” (Offshore).

Extremely bright, responsive and easy to work with. Exceptionally good drafting. Very good attention to detail” (Civil Fraud).

Very bright, very practical, very clear” (Insolvency)

Chambers UK Guide (2021)
He is very hard-working and industrious – he knows every document of a case inside out, and that gives you just utter confidence. His knowledge makes him a joy to work with, and he has a calm and straightforward style of advocacy” (Chancery Commercial).

Really diligent, very clever and highly perceptive.” “He is responsive, hard-working, incredibly detail-oriented and someone with the ability to retain facts” (Commercial Dispute Resolution).

He’s extremely hard-working, has mature judgement and is remarkable on the detail of POCA matters.” “Alexander is a powerful performer who is clever, committed and commercially aware” (POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture).

Legal 500 (2021)
A superb barrister, whom I found very easy to work with. He is quick to pick up on the essentials, the key issues and the details of a matter, his written work is excellent and he is a strong and determined advocate in Court” (Commercial Litigation).

Happy to really get involved in the case and very thorough” (Company).

He is calm, measured and precise and his ability to reduce complex cases to simple propositions in his written work is admirable” (Offshore).

Very bright, persuasive, and determined” (Proceeds of Crime Act & Asset Forfeiture).

Chambers UK Guide (2020)
I found him to be absolutely excellent. He is responsive and his performance is above his level in both written work and oral advocacy. We’re very impressed with him; he’s someone we would look to use in the future for sure” (Chancery Commercial).

His drafting is precise and to the point, he gets the job done effectively and he’s phenomenally hard-working

A commercially oriented barrister who is thorough and has great understanding of the law” (Commercial Dispute Resolution).

A really clever guy who’s got an excellent way about him. He produces fantastic written work and is a very competent advocate.”

The very commercial approach he brings to his civil recovery work is unusual and very effective” (POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture).

Legal 500 (2020)
An extremely safe pair of hands, very personable and very good with clients” (Commercial Litigation).

Knowledgeable, responsive and very easy to work with” (Company & Partnership).

Very bright, persuasive, and determined” (Proceeds of Crime Act & Asset Forfeiture).

Chambers UK Guide (2019)
Approachable and adaptable, he has a huge capacity for hard work, and he exercises good judgement.

He’s meticulous in his written work and extremely good with clients” (Commercial Dispute Resolution).

He is an excellent tactician, who thinks things through. He also offers good accessibility and quick turnaround times.

When there are complicated series of facts he dives into the law and just goes for it. His written work is excellent” (POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture).

Legal 500 (2019)
He is extremely good with clients and is user friendly” (Company & Partnership).

He acts for the NCA in politically sensitive cases” (Proceeds of Crime Act & Asset Forfeiture).

Chambers UK Guide (2018)
A very able advocate, who is approachable, adaptable and someone who exercises good judgement” “Meticulous and able to absorb complex facts and issues quickly” (Commercial Dispute Resolution).

Alex is very experienced in civil recovery cases and is highly regarded. He has the ability to get to the heart of the issue and his level of expertise on the subject means he is highly in demand” (POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture).

Legal 500 (2018)
He is meticulous throughout a case and is always on-hand to assist” (Company and partnership).

Excellent: a junior of choice for civil recovery” (Proceeds of Crime Act & Asset Forfeiture).

Chambers UK Guide (2017)
Offers clear guidance and clear advice. He’s someone you can feel confident about” (Company).

Chambers UK Guide (2016)
He never gives up on a point unless it’s completely exhausted. He really explores everything and has very good attention to detail.”

He’s very good at tailoring his advice to be commercial and pragmatic and to distil pretty complex legal arguments down into a form that is readily comprehensible” (Company).

Foreign Admissions
  • Admitted as a Part II Practitioner with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Court
  • Admitted to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (British Virgin Islands)
  • Admitted to the Bar of Northern Ireland
  • Rights of audience before the Court of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), Kazakhstan
Career & appointments
  • Appointed to the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel (A Panel) (2021-2023)
  • Appointed as Standing Counsel to the Competition and Markets Authority (2021)
  • Member of COMBAR, the Chancery Bar Association (ChBA) and the Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association (POCLA)
  • Chancery Bar Litigant in Person Support Scheme (CLIPS)
  • Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit)
Education & awards
  • MA (Oxon) University College, Oxford
  • LL.M. Washington and Lee University School of Law, Virginia, USA