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Described in the 2016 edition of Chambers and Partners as “a sensational advocate” with “killer litigation instincts” and “an intellectual giant” who “works incredibly hard [and] is very cool under pressure”, Alison has an extensive civil, criminal and arbitration practice, in both domestic and international courts and tribunals. She is experienced at working in teams of lawyers and experts across jurisdictions, in complex, document-heavy litigation involving States, corporations and individuals.

Early in her career, Alison was named as one of the “future stars of the Bar” by The Times (2008); in 2015 she was nominated as Human Rights and Public Law Junior of the Year at the Chambers Bar Awards.

Alison is recommended in the leading directories in five areas: (1) public international law; (2) crime; (3) administrative and public law; (4) civil liberties; and (5) police law (mainly claimant). She is also listed in the 2016 edition of Chambers Global, as a leader in the field of public international law.

Alison is a member of the Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA), the Extradition Law Association (ELA), the Female Fraud Forum (FFF), the Fraud Lawyers Association (FLA) and the Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA).

Public international law

Alison has acted in a number of significant inter-State cases, and is recognised in this field as “plainly a top-flight lawyer who will go a very long way”. She is experienced at providing advice and advocacy at all stages, from strategic advice on an emerging dispute, to working as a team to frame the claim and manage the production of written pleadings and exhibits, to acting as advocate at the eventual hearing. She works closely with State clients, experts, and lawyers across jurisdictions. Current work includes acting for Mauritius in relation to the long-running dispute with the UK about the Chagos Archipelago, and acting for Ghana in a maritime boundary delimitation claim against Côte d’Ivoire.

She has particular experience of provisional measures applications, and recently appeared before a Special Chamber of ITLOS as part of the counsel team which successfully resisted a provisional measures application by Côte d’Ivoire which would have brought to a halt a significant part of Ghana’s oil production.

Alison advises clients from all over the world on the full range of international law issues, from state immunity for war crimes, to issues of territorial sovereignty and boundary delimitation, to the enforcement of arbitral awards against State assets. She contributes to the leading UK textbook on State Immunity (Fox and Webb, State Immunity).


Alison has extensive international arbitration experience, including both advocacy and advisory work. She has acted in a number of significant ICSID arbitrations and annulment proceedings, and advises companies, individuals and States on arbitration, environmental and trade law matters. Recent work includes acting for Jordan in an ICSID arbitration arising out of the telecommunications sector, and acting for Bangladesh in an ICSID arbitration in the oil and gas sector. She is experienced at acting in teams with international law firms, firms local to the State of the dispute, and in-house corporate and State advisers.

Alison has a particular interest in the application of international law in the domestic courts, and has advised in a number of cases relating to the enforcement of arbitral awards against State assets, including questions of State immunity. She is experienced in the cross-over between commercial and human rights issues, and represented Yukos in Yukos v Russia, in which the European Court of Human Rights awarded €1.5bn in damages to Yukos for violation of its rights in the tax enforcement process (the largest ever Strasbourg damages award).

Alison also has experience of sports-related arbitrations, including representing West Ham United in FA/FAPL arbitrations brought by Fulham FC and the players of Sheffield United, arising out of the Carlos Tevez affair.

Public law and human rights

Alison is singled out as “one of the very few barristers who works at the confluence between criminal, public and commercial law.” (Chambers Global, 2016)

Alison’s public law and human rights practice centres on judicial review claims arising out of the criminal justice system and criminal investigations. This includes:

  • Police misconduct;
  • Public law proceedings relating to the duty to investigate serious crime;
  • Prison law and inquests;
  • Challenges to search warrants and production orders obtained by investigative authorities;
  • Privacy rights relating to the retention of data by the State.

She is regularly instructed by NGOs to intervene in significant human rights cases, and has also acted in numerous cases before the European Court of Human Rights.


Alison is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer. She regularly appears in cases which combine public law, criminal and commercial aspects. Many of her criminal law cases involve an international dimension, arising out of multi-jurisdictional investigations or prosecutions, or raising points of international law.

Much of her criminal work involves advising at the early stages of an investigation. She is skilled at assessing the range of remedies available to clients in relation to ongoing or completed criminal investigations or prosecutions, and at identifying an overall strategy which may include judicial review claims, a civil claim for damages, or an application to the European Court of Human Rights. She has represented a number of clients in damages claims arising out of failed prosecutions, for example, Robert Tchenguiz in his successful damages claim against the Serious Fraud Office arising out of its investigation into the collapse of Kaupthing Bank.

She regularly advises on legal issues related to an ongoing investigation, including extradition and mutual assistance requests and Interpol Notices. She has advised a number of prominent business and political figures who have been subjected to Red Notices, including notices arising out of politically-motivated prosecutions.

She regularly provides advice in relation to criminal prosecutions in other jurisdictions: recent examples include Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, France, Liechtenstein, Jordan, Yemen and the UAE. She also regularly acts in Strasbourg claims arising out of prosecutions in other jurisdictions.

Her international law work overlaps with her criminal experience: for example, she was instructed, with Professor Philippe Sands QC, as amicus to the Special Court for Sierra Leone on the question of whether Charles Taylor enjoyed immunity from prosecution, and appeared in the case of R v Zardad, the first prosecution in the UK for crimes committed wholly abroad (torture and hostage-taking in Afghanistan). She has provided legal and strategic advice to clients facing investigation and prosecution by the International Criminal Court. Her international criminal work includes corruption, war crimes, aggression, issues of state immunity and jurisdiction. She has a particular interest in issues of extraterritorial jurisdiction and state immunity, and is a contributor to the latest edition of State Immunity (Hazel Fox QC and Philippa Webb, 2013). She is also the co-author, with Ben Emmerson QC and Professor Andrew Ashworth QC, of Human Rights and Criminal Justice.


Alison has appeared in many inquests into deaths in custody and at the hands of the state, including the inquests into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed (represented Mohamed Al Fayed); Ian Tomlinson (represented the Tomlinson family); and Alexander Litvinenko (represented Andrey Lugovoy).

Articles and Downloads

Alison accepts instructions under the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.

What they say:

“Strong in public law cases with an international law dimension” (Legal 500 2015, Administrative & Public law)

“A fantastic advocate with a real grasp of the minutiae of the arguments” (Legal 500 2015, Civil liberties and human rights)

“Very good for public international law matters” (Legal 500 2015, Public International Law)

“She is an intellectual giant, works incredibly hard, is very cool under pressure and will never back down when she knows she is right on an issue” (Chambers & Partners 2016, Administrative & Public Law)

“She is fantastic. She takes the initiative and has built up a practice in her own style” (Chambers & Partners 2016, Civil Liberties and Human Rights)

“She’s a brilliant lawyer. She works incredibly hard and is very cool under pressure” (Chambers & Partners 2016, Police Law: mainly claimant)

“She is a fantastically good tactical leader who combines a strong knowledge of international law with killer litigation instincts” (Chambers & Partners 2016, Public International Law)

“Extremely good and one of the very few barristers who works at the confluence between criminal, public and commercial law” (Chambers Global 2016, Public International Law)