Practice

Alexander has a litigation-focussed commercial Chancery practice, with a significant emphasis on high profile and high value disputes, both in England & Wales and offshore.

Consistently ranked as a leading junior in the legal directories, Alexander features in 4 categories across the 2021 editions  (commercial litigation, commercial chancery, offshore and proceeds of crime), being described as a “a superb barrister” who is “incredibly detail-oriented”, “really diligent, very clever and highly perceptive” and whose “knowledge makes him a joy to work with”.

Commenting on his advocacy, the 2021 editions describe Alexander as a “a strong and determined advocate in Court”, a “powerful performer who is clever, committed and commercially aware”, with “a calm and straightforward style of advocacy”. The directories also record sources describing him as “calm, measured and precise”, who “knows every document of a case inside out, and that gives you just utter confidence”. Likewise, his written work is described as “excellent”, with sources noting that “his ability to reduce complex cases to simple propositions in his written work is admirable”.

Similar comments have featured in previous editions:

  • Advocacy: “his performance is above his level”, “a very able advocate, who is approachable, adaptable and someone who exercises good judgement”.
  • Legal knowledge: “really clever guy who’s got an excellent way about him”, with a “great understanding of the law”.
  • Judgment: “an excellent tactician, who thinks things through”, “an extremely safe pair of hands” who “exercises good judgement”.
  • Work ethic: “phenomenally hard-working”, “meticulous throughout a case”, “gets the job done effectively”, “someone you can feel confident about”.
  • Written work: “excellent”, “fantastic”, “meticulous” and “precise and to the point”.
  • Client skills: “extremely good with clients”, “commercially oriented barrister”, “very easy to work with”, “very personable”, “offers good accessibility and quick turnaround times”.

Alexander’s practice encompasses all aspects of commercial litigation and arbitration, fraud, company law, insolvency, and actions under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”).

A significant proportion of Alexander’s practice comprises offshore or international work. He appears regularly before the British Virgin Islands Commercial Court, having been called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. Alexander also has experience of acting in cases involving other common law jurisdictions, including Bermuda, Cyprus, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Jersey and Guernsey. He is also called to the Bar of Northern Ireland.

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, and is a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel.

Practice areas

Chancery: commercial

Examples of current and recent instructions include:

  • State Bank of India & Ors v Mallya: Acting (with John Brisby QC) 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 QC) on a high-value multi-jurisdictional trusts and fraud dispute spanning St Christopher & Nevis, the BVI, St Vincent & the Grenadines and England & Wales.
  • Davies v Monks: Representing (as lead counsel) a director in a 6-day quantum trial concerning allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and diversion of a waste recycling business.
  • Ismail v Chhina: Successfully represented (as sole counsel) 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 (as sole counsel, against a QC) 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.
  • Re Limora Investments Ltd: Representing (as sole counsel) a minority shareholder in a dispute spanning the British Virgin Islands, Dubai, Spain and England & Wales (among others), concerning a large group of companies in the timeshare business.
  • Re a discretionary family settlement: Representing (as sole counsel) 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, including seeking and obtaining interim relief.
  • Calonne v Dawnus: Appearing (as sole counsel) in the Court of Appeal in relation to the interpretation of CPR Part 36.
  • 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. Appeared (as lead advocate, against a QC) on a successful application to set aside a freezing injunction.
  • Nathu & Ors v CN Limited & Ors: Representing (as lead advocate) the claimants in a multi-jurisdictional family trust dispute which concerned a Jersey trust with US$ multi-million assets in the BVI and Uganda.
  • Aarons & Ors v Brocket Hall (Jersey) Limited & Ors: Acting for the owner of the golf club at the Brocket Hall Estate, in its defence of a claim by a group of individuals claiming to be life members seeking an injunction to force the club to permit them to continue to play golf at the club following its change of ownership.
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:

  • Serious Fraud Office v Karimova & Ors: Acting (with Andrew Sutcliffe QC) on behalf of the SFO 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 QC) on a high-value multi-jurisdictional trusts and fraud dispute spanning St Christopher & Nevis, the British Virgin Islands, St Vincent & the Grenadines and England & Wales.
  • Abramovich v Hoffmann: Defending (with John Brisby QC) what was said to be 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. Appeared (as lead advocate, against a QC) on a successful application to set aside a freezing injunction.
  • Re a discretionary family settlement: Representing (as sole counsel) 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, including seeking and obtaining interim relief.
  • T v Lopresti: Acting for a victim of modern slavery in the United Kingdom, obtaining an ex parte freezing injunction in support of the victim’s claim for compensation.
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.
  • LCIA Arbitration: Representing (with Aidan Casey QC) the Claimants in an LCIA arbitration concerning the affairs and control of a holding company for an open-pit coal mine.
  • Davies v Monks: Representing (as lead counsel) a director in a 6-day quantum trial concerning allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and diversion of a waste recycling business.
  • 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 (as sole counsel) 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 (as sole counsel, against a QC) 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 recent instructions include:

  • 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: Representing Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) regarding the proper interpretation of various provisions of the Insolvency Act 1986 concerning a company in liquidation.
  • Re a provisional liquidation: Advising HMRC regarding a prospective application to appoint a provisional liquidator.
  • 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 as sole counsel in the BVI Commercial Court on the application for the appointment of provisional liquidators.
  • Re Paul Baxendale-Walker (a Bankrupt): Acting for a firm of solicitors in relation to dealings with the trustee in bankruptcy of a former client of the firm, involving conflict between privilege and the powers of the trustee under the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Re Bentley Harrington Limited (t/a “UNILAD”) (in administration): Representing (with John Brisby QC) the shareholders of online video publisher, UNILAD, seeking to restrain the sale by UNILAD’s administrators of its assets and business to its closest rival, LadBible.
International 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, or work with an offshore element (most frequently in the BVI, where he is called to the Bar). Examples include:

  • Roussev v Leman Nominee Company Limited: Acting (with John Brisby QC) on a high-value multi-jurisdictional trusts and fraud dispute spanning St Christopher & Nevis, the British Virgin Islands, 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 (as sole counsel) 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, including seeking and obtaining interim relief.
  • Ismail v Chhina: Successfully represented (as sole counsel) 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 (as sole counsel, against a QC) 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.
  • Re Limora Investments Ltd: Representing (as sole counsel) a minority shareholder in a dispute spanning the British Virgin Islands, Dubai, Spain and England & Wales (among others), concerning a large group of companies in the timeshare business.
  • Nathu & Ors v CN Limited & Ors: Representing (as lead advocate) the claimants in a multi-jurisdictional family trust dispute which concerned a Jersey trust with US$ multi-million assets in the BVI and Uganda.
  • Re GHM Holdings Ltd: Appeared (as sole counsel) in the BVI Commercial Court on behalf of hotelier Adriaan Zecha in an application to discharge the interim receivership obtained over Mr Zecha’s shareholdings in various BVI companies.
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, being “recognised for his experience in high-value, precedent-setting proceeds of crime cases, he is further skilled at dealing with POCA matters relating to banking, finance and asset tracing as a result of his commercial chancery background”.

He is recommended in both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 in this field, being described inter alia as “excellent: a junior of choice for civil recovery”, “highly regarded”, “very experienced in civil recovery cases”, “his level of expertise on the subject means he is highly in demand”.

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:

  • SFO v Karimova & Ors: Acting (with Andrew Sutcliffe QC) on behalf of the SFO 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 (with Jonathan Hall QC) the NCA in obtaining a freezing order over £100 million worth of assets alleged to represent the proceeds of the criminal conduct of the former President of Nigeria, General Abacha and his associates. Recently appeared (as sole counsel) on a successful application for a civil recovery order over c.US$ 23 million of the funds.
  • NCA v Leahy & Ors: Representing (with Andrew Sutcliffe QC) the NCA in a £multi-million civil recovery claim against a respondent alleged to have been involved in drug trafficking and fraud.
  • Smythe Limited v International Electrical Distributors Limited: Appearing (as sole counsel) on behalf of the CPS in an application to discharge a freezing injunction granted by the Commercial Court over property required to enforce a confiscation order.
  • HMRC v A: Instructed (as sole counsel) by HMRC in relation to an intended property freezing order arising out of a £multi-million MTIC fraud.
  • HMRC v C: Instructed (as sole counsel) by HMRC on a prospective application for various investigative orders under Part 8 of POCA.
  • 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 (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 to the Bar of Northern Ireland (2020)
  • Rights of Audience before the Court of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), Kazakhstan (2018)
  • Admitted to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (British Virgin Islands) (2015)
  • Admitted to the New York State Bar (2008)
Career & appointments
  • Appointed to the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel (A Panel) (2021)
  • Appointed to the Serious Fraud Office’s Proceeds of Crime Panel of Counsel (2017-2020)
  • 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)
  • Member of the New York State Bar Association
Education & awards
  • MA (Oxon) University College, Oxford
  • LL.M. Washington and Lee University School of Law, Virginia, USA