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Alex is recommended by the legal directories as a leading Silk in eight areas, spanning both criminal and civil law. His core areas are (1) criminal fraud / financial crime (2) crime (3) extradition (4) human rights (5) public and administrative law;  he also specialises in (6) media law (7) defamation and privacy, and (8) public international law.

Significant criminal and financial crime cases include:

  • R v Railtrack plc and its former Chief Executive (corporate manslaughter, Hatfield rail crash)
  • R v Stanford (businessman charged with unlawful email interception)
  • R v Katharine Gun (GCHQ employee – Official Secrets Act disclosures relating to the Iraq war)
  • R v Dunlop (first application to retry an acquitted person (for murder) under new double jeopardy laws)
  • GlaxoSmithKline (criminal investigation into clinical trials, EU/domestic criminal law)
  • R(Redknapp) v City of London Police (corruption investigation in Premiership football, legality of arrest, search warrants)
  • R(Adams) v SoS for Justice (Supreme Court – meaning of ‘miscarriage of justice’)
  • R v Sidhu (insider dealing, hedge fund, co-operating accomplice)
  • R v Dr E (medical doctor charged with gross negligence manslaughter)
  • Alstom Group (global corruption investigation)
  • R(Tchenguiz) v SFO (collapse of Kaupthing Bank – judicial review and Commercial Court claim)

Significant extradition cases include:

  • HH v Italy [2013] 1 AC 338 (Supreme Court – rights of dependent children)
  • Diri v USA [2015] (conspiracy to defraud, export sanctions)
  • Arpasi v Hungary [2016], Mohammed v Portugal [2018] (prison conditions)
  • Lauri Love v USA [2018] (forum bar)
  • Giese v USA [2018] (abuse of process, civil commitment)
  • Cleveland v USA [2019] (mental element inferences in extradition)
  • Credit Suisse / Mozambique bribery [2019]
  • Egorova v Russia [2020] (‘torture zones’, assurances and monitoring)

Previously a derivatives trader in the City who read Mathematics at Cambridge University, Alex is instructed in a wide variety of commercial and business crime cases: corporate manslaughter, corruption, cartels, frauds of all kinds, insider dealing and other regulatory offences. He represents a wide range of bodies and persons: multinational corporations, private equity groups, banks, traders, directors, senior business executives, City firms, regulators, prosecuting authorities, professional bodies, government departments and foreign governments. He is sought after both for his advice during the investigatory stages and for heavyweight trial work. He is on the Serious Fraud Office QC List.

He has extensive experience of major cross-border criminal investigations.  Recent work includes the investigations concerning Alstom, Rolls Royce, Libor and Euribor.  He is recommended as a ‘Thought Leader’ for Investigations in Who’s Who Legal, which also ranks him as a leading Silk for Criminal Fraud and Business Crime Defence (Individuals & Corporates).

His practice frequently involves international and cross-border issues e.g. multi-jurisdictional investigations, extradition, sanctions and Interpol Red Notices. He acts for requested persons and foreign governments. He has experience of criminal cases from many diverse jurisdictions e.g. USA, Russia, Ukraine, France, Jersey, Iceland, Greece, Portugal, the Middle East and a number of Caribbean countries.

He has a wealth of financial services experience, having acted in a number of complex market abuse investigations and insider dealing criminal trials. He has been instructed in a number of regulatory investigations and is briefed in RDC hearings, where his previous trading experience is invaluable. He has particular expertise in areas where criminal and regulatory financial services law intersect such as market abuse, with specific knowledge of specialist areas e.g. ‘spoofing’. He is frequently instructed regarding the reputation management aspects of such investigations where those under investigation seek to maintain their confidentiality. Increasingly, he is instructed in cross-border financial services cases, which involve parallel criminal and regulatory investigations in different jurisdictions.

His general criminal work ranges from murder and gross negligence manslaughter to interception of communications and official secrets.  He has developed particular expertise in cases involving homicide in unusual circumstances.  He is instructed in a mixture of trial and appellate work, including CCRC referrals.

His commercial work often has some criminal aspect to it e.g. high value civil claims following criminal investigations or prosecutions; Commercial Court litigation with parallel criminal proceedings. Recent high profile Commercial Court work includes the Tchenguiz litigation and Libyan Investment Authority v SocGen where issues of collateral use of documents and self-incrimination protection were litigated extensively.  He has experience of ring-fencing (protecting testimony from onward use) and depositions (evidence for foreign proceedings obtained in the UK).

He is a contributing author to a number of leading books on fraud and criminal justice and a regular writer and speaker. He writes the Companies Act offences chapter in Montgomery and Ormerod, Fraud: Criminal Law & Procedure. He is a contributing author to Emmerson and Ashworth, Human Rights & Criminal Justice. He co-authors an important chapter in the Global Investigations Review.

He has a particular interest in Official Secrets and Espionage cases:

  • Defended Katharine Gun in the Official Secrets Act prosecution arising from disclosures relating to the Iraq war
  • Advised the Guardian in relation to the publication of Assange-WikiLeaks material
  • Represented BuzzFeed in the litigation arising from publication of the Steele-Trump dossier
  • Acted for a number of journalists, newspapers and media organisations in Official Secrets Act investigations
  • Published widely in the national and legal press on official secrets and espionage; writes the Official Secrets Act chapter in Blackstone’s Criminal Practice
  • His grandfather was a codebreaker at Bletchley Park in WWII

His international criminal and public international work includes advising on diplomatic immunity (in criminal and other contexts), state immunity and its interaction with the jurisdiction of various domestic and international criminal courts; cases concerning torture, rendition, genocide and other violations of fundamental human rights; issues relating to individual violations of international criminal laws. He has experience of diverse jurisdictions: from US Supreme Court cases to litigation in the Turks & Caicos Islands.  He has advised concerning proceedings before the International Criminal Court and has been instructed in cases relating to Darfur and Libya. He has appeared in a number of key domestic cases involving international law issues.

Important media cases include:

  • Gubarev v BuzzFeed (international defamation claims arising from Trump Dossier)
  • Litvinenko Inquiry (representing UK print and broadcast media)
  • David Miranda (Snowden material, journalistic protections)
  • R(Catt) v ACPO (Supreme Court – privacy rights, activities in public)
  • Advising the Guardian concerning publication of WikiLeaks material
  • Metropolitan Police v BBC (confidential journalistic sources, Panorama programme on hacking)
  • MoD v Griffin (confidentiality injunction and prior publication, Official Secrets)
  • R(Malik) v Manchester Crown Court (confidential journalistic sources, self-incrimination)
  • R v D (reporting restrictions, application to quash an acquittal)

His media work often involves the interaction between fair trial rights, privacy, confidentiality, open justice and freedom of speech – areas where criminal and media law intersect. He has advised high-profile figures, editors, journalists, programme producers, publishers,  national newspapers and broadcasters on reputation management issues, production orders, search warrants, witness summonses, reporting restrictions, anonymity, contempt of court, the Official Secrets Acts and other criminal offences. His media clients have included the Associated Newspapers, BBC, BuzzFeed, Thomson Reuters, Guardian, the Mirror Group, Daily Telegraph, Independent, ITN, Evening Standard, Channel 4, The Times, BSkyB, Financial Times, News Group Newspapers, and the Press Association. He is recommended in the Defamation & Privacy and Media & Entertainment sections of Who’s Who Legal.

He has a diverse human rights and public law practice: from commercial judicial reviews to test cases in Strasbourg. His clients range from wealthy private clients, major shareholders, multinational corporations and FTSE companies to media organisations, regulators, public authorities, NGOs and publicly-funded individuals. He has been instructed in more than 20 cases in the Supreme Court, House of Lords, Privy Council and European Court of Human Rights. He often works at the interface between criminal and public law.

Notable human rights cases include:

  • Da Silva v UK (European Court of Human Rights [GC], shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes)
  • Litvinenko Inquiry (representing UK print and broadcast media)
  • Smith v MoD [2014] AC 52 (Supreme Court – human rights of British soldiers abroad)
  • Austin v UK (2012) 55 EHRR 14 (European Court of Human Rights [GC] – ‘kettling’ in crowd control)
  • R(GC) v Metropolitan Police [2011] 1 WLR 1230 (Supreme Court – DNA retention)
  • Gillan v UK (2010) 50 EHRR 45 (European Court of Human Rights – anti-terrorist police powers)
  • Pipersburgh & Robateau v R [2008] UKPC 11 (death row appeal)
  • A v Home Secretary [2005] 2 AC 68 (House of Lords – “Belmarsh case”, detention without trial of suspected terrorists)

His public law work includes:

  • Beghal v DPP [2016] AC 88 (Supreme Court – border control, compulsory questioning)
  • R(Cart) v Upper Tribunal [2012] 1 AC 663 (Supreme Court – judicial review of Upper Tribunal)
  • Ahmed v HM Treasury (No.1 & 2) [2010] 2 AC 534 (Supreme Court – UN asset-freezing)
  • Advising the Chief Justice of Gibraltar: considered in [2009] UKPC 43
  • R(Gentle) v Prime Minister [2008] 1 AC 1356 (House of Lords – legality of Iraq war)
  • Judicial reviews of decisions to prosecute / not to prosecute; challenges to CCRC decisions
  • Major public inquiries and inquests e.g. Litvinenko Inquiry, Undercover Policing Inquiry

Current work includes:

  • Pending cases in the European Court of Human Rights
  • Homicide in unusual circumstances
  • Interpol Notice challenges
  • Acting for the majority shareholders and business magnate Leonid Nevzlin in relation to Yukos Oil Company
  • Advising various individuals, banks and corporates in a number of complex, cross-border criminal investigations
  • DoJ investigations
  • FCA market abuse and insider dealing investigations
  • Human rights claims for corporate entities
  • Cross-border defamation / libel work
  • A number of US business crime extradition cases e.g. USA v Mike Lynch (former CEO of Autonomy plc)
  • Official Secrets Act work

Appointments and other information:

  • Deputy High Court Judge (Administrative Court)
  • Recorder (Crown Court)
  • Cambridge University MA (Hons.) Mathematics
  • Lincoln’s Inn Scholar (CPE)
  • Highest mark in the University (CPE)
  • Regular speaker at legal conferences
  • Contributing author to leading books on fraud, human rights and criminal justice
  • Articles frequently published in the legal and national press
  • Appeared on BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4 News, Radio 4 Today Programme and Newsnight on legal issues.

Articles and downloads

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“will defend his client to the hilt” “strategic, and wise” (Chambers UK 2021 Human Rights)

“Quick on his feet, he fights hard” “is great with commercial clients in a way few criminal barristers are.” “Exuding intelligence and poise” (Chambers UK 2021, Crime)

“A superb silk” “Innovative, very smooth and a class act, he takes the case to another level.” (Chambers UK 2021, Extradition)

“considerable experience of representing blue-chip clients” “very, very bright” (Chambers UK 2020, Financial Crime)

“everyone wants him on their side” (Chambers UK 2019, Human Rights)

“hugely respected”; “fierce in the protection of his clients” (Chambers UK 2020, Human Rights)

“shines through in complex extradition cases” (Chambers UK 2020, Extradition)

“a top name at the Bar for extradition matters” (Who’s Who Legal 2020, Investigations)

“a truly extraordinary barrister” (Who’s Who Legal 2020, Criminal Fraud)

“an accomplished and compelling advocate” (Legal 500 2019, Business Crime)

“a real commercial sense of what clients need” (Chambers UK 2020, Financial Crime – Corporates)

“a go-to silk for any tricky case which has cross over crime and public law or civil issues” (Legal 500 2019, Crime)

“great judgement and tactical skill” (Legal 500 2019, Media)

“incredibly effective in all settings”; “incredibly valuable on financial services cases” (Chambers UK 2019, Financial Crime – Corporates)

“exceptionally intelligent” (Legal 500 2018, Crime)

“great insight”; “deep experience” (Chambers UK 2019, Public & Admin. Law)

“superb”; “a very cool and trusted individual” (Chambers UK 2018, Financial Crime – Corporates)

“excellent in all he does”; “an excellent advocate” (Who’s Who Legal 2018, Investigations)

“thinks of solutions that do not occur to others” (Legal 500 2017, International Crime & Extradition)

“a class act” (Legal 500 2016, Human Rights)

“a hugely impressive silk in court and with clients” (Who’s Who Legal 2017, Criminal Fraud)

“a highly polished and accomplished advocate” (Legal 500 2016, Fraud: Crime)

“absolutely superb” (Who’s Who Legal 2017, Media & Entertainment)

“very sought after” (Legal 500 2016, Public International Law)

“Supreme Court judges listen closely to him” (Chambers UK 2017, Admin. & Public Law)

“steps ahead of everyone else”; “a very easy-going style of advocacy that really wins the court over” (Chambers UK 2017, Human Rights)

“strategic and creative”; “very charming, intelligent and energetic”; “notably adept at handling matters involving multi-jurisdictional elements” (Chambers UK 2016, Financial Crime: Corporates)

“understands the world of finance”; “frequently represents high net worth individuals in complex business crime cases” (Chambers UK 2016, Financial Crime)

“dedicated and decisive”; “a wealth of experience” (Who’s Who Legal 2016, Investigations)

“second to none”; “a very smooth advocate” (Chambers UK 2015/16, Defamation & Privacy)

“shrewd operator”; “eminent media practice”; “leading contribution to the field” (Who’s Who Legal 2015/16, Media)

“an outstanding advocate” (Legal 500 2015, Public International Law)

“elegant and effortless”; “meticulous preparation” (Legal 500 2015, Media & Entertainment)

“inspires” (Legal 500 2014, Defamation & Privacy)

“incredibly bright”; “frighteningly quick”; “has the flair you need … to get the ear of the court” (Chambers UK 2014, Human Rights)

“very authoritative” (Chambers UK 2014, Admin & Public Law)

“praised for his oral advocacy and strategic foresight” (Chambers UK 2014, Fraud: Criminal)

“attractive, concise and powerful” (Chambers UK 2013, Human Rights)

“hugely talented”; “known for his great intelligence” (Chambers UK 2012, Fraud: Criminal)