Professional practice

C&P 2024Leading Junior 2024

Alex has a wide-ranging practice, spanning commercial and commercial chancery disputes, both in litigation and arbitration. He has extensive experience of insolvency and restructuring disputes, as well as civil fraud, asset recovery, banking and financial services litigation, injunction applications and disputes concerning crypto and digital assets. Alex also has a strong offshore practice, having been called to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands (2021) and registered to appear before the courts of the DIFC (2024). He has also acted in various matters in Cayman, Bermuda and Antigua & Barbuda. Alex acts for a broad range of clients, including insolvency officeholders, multinational companies, HNWIs and major banks.

Alex’s recent career highlights have included being instructed as part of a team acting for the Joint Administrators of NMC Health PLC in their multi-billion pound claim against various defendants; for the Joint Liquidators of the Antiguan entity Emergent Fidelity Technologies Ltd in the context of the multi-jurisdictional FTX/ Bankman-Fried crypto dispute; for the Cayman Official Liquidators of Ascentra Holdings, Inc.; and for various substantial creditors in litigation before the Bermudian Court in the liquidation of the reinsurer PB Life and Annuity Co. Ltd. Alex is often instructed as part of a team in large-scale, complex cases and also as sole counsel, including in claims for interlocutory and final injunctions and insolvency and company applications of all kinds.

Alex has been ranked in Legal500 and Chambers and Partners for many years, described as “really brilliant”, highly intelligent”, “personable” and “particularly adept at cutting through difficult technical points and finding the best way to present a difficult case”. Alex is also one of the five-member drafting team for the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce’s Legal Statement on Digital Assets and English Insolvency Law (2024), as well as one of the authors of the seventh edition of Lightman & Moss: Law of Administrators and Receivers of Companies (forthcoming 2024).

 

What Others Say

Alexander is really brilliant.”

(Chambers & Partners 2024: Restructuring/Insolvency client UK Bar)

Alexander is particularly adept at cutting through difficult technical points and finding the best way to present a difficult case.”

(Chambers & Partners 2024: Restructuring/Insolvency client UK Bar)

A highly intelligent, personable barrister, who is quick to get to the heart of the key issues, both legal and commercial, and who is able to provide succinct and astute advice within a tight timescale

(Legal500 2024, Commercial Litigation)

Alex is extremely good at quickly getting to grips with a complex factual background and breaking this down into a digestible and accessible format.”

(Legal500 2024, Commercial Litigation)

Career

Alex was called to the Bar in England & Wales in 2011 and in the British Virgin Islands in 2021.

Alex has been registered to appear before the Courts of the DIFC since 2024.

Alex speaks regularly at professional conferences and law firms on various legal topics relevant to his practice, including most recently with Paul McGrath KC at the 2024 Chancery Bar Association Conference on the topic of section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986, and in particular on the topic of the law of crypto and other digital assets.

Alex was one of the five-member drafting team for the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce’s Legal Statement on Digital Assets and English Insolvency Law (2024).

Arbitration & related court applications

Alex accepts instructions to act in arbitrations and is familiar with the major sets of arbitration rules. He also has experience of obtaining interim injunctions in the High Court under section 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996.

His recent instructions include:

  • Instruction to act as part of a large team on behalf of the interim receivers of a Cayman entity in complex multi-jurisdictional ICC arbitration
  • Obtaining an interim injunction, maintained on the return date, in the context of an LLP dispute
  • Substantial LCIA arbitration regarding an LLP dispute
Banking & Finance

Alex has extensive experience in banking and financial services litigation of various kinds, as well as disputes concerning FCA-regulated entities and structured finance disputes. His experience in this area includes acting for issuers of notes in securitisations (CMBSs), as well as officeholders of insolvent major multi-national banks (Lehman, MF Global). He also has significant experience, both professional and academic, in the context of the law of crypto and digital assets, having acted for the liquidators of an Antiguan entity in the context of the FTX/ Sam Bankman-Fried crypto dispute and served as one of the five-members drafting team on the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce’s Legal Statement on Digital Assets and English Insolvency Law (2024).

Notable cases include:

  • Acting for the Joint Administrators of NMC Health PLC in their multi-billion pound claim against Bank of Baroda and others;
  • Acting for the Liquidators of Emergent Fidelity Technologies Limited, an Antiguan entity involved in the FTX/ Bankman-Fried crypto asset dispute;
  • Acting for the Financial Conduct Authority in its successful application for administration orders under section 359 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 in respect of the Collaterial peer-to-peer lending companies.
  • Acting for the officeholders of officeholders appointed to Collateral in various matters, including their successful application for directions to impose a bar date for investors to assert client money claims.
  • Acting for the Joint Administrators of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (“LBIE”) at various stages of the Waterfall I, II and III litigation (including, for example, in Waterfall I in the Court of Appeal: Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (In Administration) [2016] Ch.50)
  • Acting for LBIE in its successful claim in unjust enrichment in respect of an inadvertent over-delivery of Peruvian bonds: Lehman Brothers International (Europe) v Exotix Partners LLP [2020] Bus L.R. 67
  • Acting as sole counsel for the issuers of notes in four related securitisations in the trial of their successful Part 8 Claim seeking final injunctions against an individual who had been taking unlawful adverse steps against the issuers and related parties: Business Mortgage Finance 4 Plc v Hussain & Ors [2021] EWHC 171 (Ch)
  • Acting for the Class X Noteholders in a CMBS in Hayfin Opal Luxco 3 SARL v Windermere VII CMBS Pls [2016] EWHC 782 (Ch)
  • Acting for the issuers, security trustee and facility agent under the ‘Toys “R” Us’ CMBS in Debussy DTC Plc v Solutus Advisors Ltd [2019] EWHC 1035 (Ch)
Civil fraud & asset recovery

Civil fraud and asset recovery, including cases involving serious allegations of dishonesty, lie at the core of Alex’s practice. Alex has been instructed in a number of high-value and high-profile cases in this area for claimants, defendants and insolvency officeholders, both in London and in various other jurisdictions, often in matters raising complex issues of private international law.

Recent cases include:

  • Acting for Mr Carlos Ghosn and others in proceedings brought against them by Nissan in the British Virgin Islands in respect of ownership of a superyacht (for the defendants);
  • Acting for the Joint Administrators of NMC Health PLC in their multi-billion pound claim in London against Bank of Baroda and others (for the claimants/ officeholders);
  • Acting for the Liquidators of Emergent Fidelity Technologies Limited, an Antiguan entity involved in the FTX/ Bankman-Fried crypto asset dispute (for the claimants/ officeholders);
  • Acting for the Cayman Official Liquidators of Ascentra Holdings, Inc. in their claims against various defendants including a proprietary claim in relation to various funds totalling some US$250 million (for the claimants/ officeholders);
  • Acting for five of the Panamanian corporate defendants in the matter of Bourlakova & Ors v Bourlakov, a dispute before the High Court in London regarding the ownership of the US$200 million sailing yacht The Black Pearl (for the defendants).
Commercial chancery disputes

Alex practises extensively in the Chancery Division, having acted in numerous high-profile and high-value Chancery matters throughout his career. He is an active member of the Chancery Bar Association, having delivered a seminar on anti-suit injunctions at the 2022 Chancery Bar Conference (with Anna Dilnot KC) and a seminar on section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986 at the 2024 Chancery Bar Conference (with Paul McGrath KC).

Recent cases include:

  • Acting for the Joint Administrators of NMC Health PLC in their multi-billion pound claim in London against Bank of Baroda and others, in the Business List;
  • Acting for five of the Panamanian corporate defendants in the matter of Bourlakova & Ors v Bourlakov, a dispute in the Business List regarding the ownership of the US$200 million sailing yacht The Black Pearl;
  • Acting for the Claimants in Moosa & Ors v Mawji, a claim in the Property, Trusts & Probate List, seeking an account in common form, as well as a final injunction against the defendant, in respect of various UK and international property developments;
  • Acting as sole counsel in Business Mortgage Finance 4 Plc v Hussain & Ors [2021] EWHC 171 (Ch), a claim in the Financial List (ChD), for the successful claimants, being four issuers of notes issued as securitisations, for final injunctions and other relief against an individual taking adverse steps against the securitisations;
  • Acting for the successful claimants in the Financial List (ChD), as well as for the successful respondents in the Court of Appeal, in Business Mortgage Finance 4 Plc v Hussain & Ors [2022] EWHC 449 (Ch); [2022] EWHC 661 (Ch); [2022] EWCA Civ 1264, on their application for a committal order against an individual for breaching the terms of a final injunction;
  • Acting for Lehman Brothers International (Europe) in its successful claim in unjust enrichment in respect of an inadvertent over-delivery of Peruvian bonds: Lehman Brothers International (Europe) v Exotix Partners LLP [2020] Bus L.R. 67.
Commercial dispute resolution

Alex has been ranked in Legal500 as a Leading Junior in Commercial Litigation for a number of years. His practice encompasses high-value and high-profile matters in both the Commercial Court and the Business and Financial Lists in the Chancery Division, as well as commercial proceedings in various offshore jurisdictions.

Recent cases include:

  • Acting for the Joint Administrators of NMC Health PLC in their multi-billion pound claim in London against Bank of Baroda and others;
  • Acting for the successful applicants obtaining interim injunctive relief in the Commercial Court, maintained at the return date, under section 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996, in the context of an LLP dispute;
  • Acting as sole counsel for the successful applicants for strike-out and other relief before His Honour Justice Pelling KC, sitting as a Judge in the Commercial Court, in a number of linked proceedings: FVS Investments Limited v G3 God Governance Group & Ors [2022] EWHC 1860 (Comm) and FVS Investments Limited v G3 God Governance Group & Ors [2022] EWHC 1861 (Comm);
  • Acting as sole counsel for the successful applicants for strike-out and other relief before Mr Justice Miles in Blue Side Services SA & Ors v BMF Holdings Ltd [2022] EWHC 714 (Ch);
  • Acting as sole counsel for five of the Panamanian corporate defendants in the matter of Bourlakova & Ors v Bourlakov, a dispute regarding the ownership of the US$200 million sailing yacht The Black Pearl;
  • Acting as sole counsel in Business Mortgage Finance 4 Plc v Hussain & Ors [2021] EWHC 171 (Ch), a claim in the Financial List (ChD), for the successful claimants, being four issuers of notes issued as securitisations, for final injunctions and other relief against an individual taking adverse steps against the securitisations;
  • Acting for the successful claimants in the Financial List (ChD), as well as for the successful respondents in the Court of Appeal, in Business Mortgage Finance 4 Plc v Hussain & Ors [2022] EWHC 449 (Ch); [2022] EWHC 661 (Ch); [2022] EWCA Civ 1264, on their application for a committal order against an individual for breaching the terms of a final injunction;
  • Acting for Mr Carlos Ghosn and others in proceedings brought against them by Nissan in the British Virgin Islands in respect of ownership of a superyacht;
  • Acting for Lehman Brothers International (Europe) in its successful claim in unjust enrichment in respect of an inadvertent over-delivery of Peruvian bonds: Lehman Brothers International (Europe) v Exotix Partners LLP [2020] Bus L.R. 67.
Company law

Alex regularly acts in company law litigation, including in the context of contested company voluntary arrangements and other corporate restructuring matters, as well as applications under the Companies Act 2006 for various types of relief (including, for example, rectification of the Companies House register under section 1096) and unfair prejudice petitions under section 994. Alex also regularly acts in offshore matters raising questions of local company law, including appraisal proceedings in the context of corporate mergers.

Recent cases include:

  • Acting as sole counsel, before Mr Justice Miles, for the successful applicants seeking, among other things, rectification relief under section 1096 of the Companies Act 2006 in Business Mortgage Finance 4 Plc v Hussain & Ors [2021] EWHC 171 (Ch);
  • Advising in relation unfair prejudice petitions in the context of a substantial LLP dispute;
  • Acting for the Plaintiffs in Bermudian appraisal proceedings under section 106 of the Companies Act 1981 before the Supreme Court of Bermuda, in the matter of Myovant Sciences Ltd & Ors;
  • Acting for the KPMG scheme administrators in the scheme of arrangement in respect of Noble Group Ltd, a Bermuda commodities trading company listed on the Singapore stock exchange;
  • Acting as sole counsel, before Snowden J (as he then was), on behalf of the EY supervisors of various CVAs relating to the Nortel EMEA entities, seeking relief in relation to remuneration and other matters (e.g. Re Nortel Networks France SAS [2019] EWHC 2447 (Ch); [2019] EWHC 2778 (Ch)).
Conflict of laws & private international law

Alex’s commercial and commercial chancery practice, as well as his insolvency and restructuring practice, regularly involves complex conflict of laws issues and points of private international law. He has extensive experience of recognition applications under the UNCITRAL Model Law (Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006), as well as cases raising other cardinal points of cross-border insolvency law (such as acting for the successful creditor in the Gibbs rule case Bakhshiyeva v Sberbank of Russia [2018] EWHC 59 (Ch)). Alex’s work as a draftsman on the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce’s Legal Statement on Digital Assets and English Insolvency Law (2024) involved consideration of the meaning and application of the COMI test to debtors who deal with digital assets.

Recent cases involving conflict of laws issues include:

  • Acting for the Joint Administrators of NMC Health PLC in their multi-billion pound claim against various defendants in London, proceeding in parallel with overlapping claims against the same defendants in the ADGM;
  • Acting for a creditor opposing the recognition by the English Court, under the UNCITRAL Model Law, of the BVI liquidators of Kidman Asset Management Ltd (instructed as sole counsel against King’s Counsel); and
  • Acting for the Joint Liquidators of the Antiguan entity Emergent Fidelity Technologies Ltd in the context of the multi-jurisdictional FTX/ Bankman-Fried crypto dispute, in various proceedings and applications before the Antiguan Court and the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, including consideration of coordination between US Chapter 11 proceedings and Antiguan insolvency proceedings in relation to the same entity.
Crypto & digital property

Alex has a keen professional and academic interest in the law of crypto & digital property.

He is one of the five-member drafting team for the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce’s Legal Statement on Digital Assets and English Insolvency Law (2024). He has written articles on this area of law, notably ‘Cryptoassets, cryptoliabilities: bitcoin and insolvency’, article in South Square Digest (November 2019), pp.44-52. He regularly gives talks, including at law firms, on the law of crypto & digital property.

Recent cases include:

  • Acting for the Joint Liquidators of the Antiguan entity Emergent Fidelity Technologies Ltd in the context of the multi-jurisdictional FTX/ Bankman-Fried crypto dispute, in various proceedings and applications before the Antiguan Court and the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal.
  • Advising in relation to the UK regulatory aspects of an Initial Coin Offering, including cross-border issues concerning the regulatory regimes in force in the US and the UK.
Injunctions & Committal

Alex has extensive experience in the context of seeking and opposing applications and claims for injunctions, both on an interim and on a final basis. As sole counsel he successfully obtained an interim and then a final injunction on behalf of four issuers of securitised notes in Part 8 proceedings tried before Mr Justice Miles in Business Mortgage Finance 4 Plc v Hussain & Ors [2021] EWHC 171 (Ch). Alex also has extensive experience of seeking and obtaining committal orders, having acted (led by Anna Dilnot KC) for the claimants at first instance and on appeal in Business Mortgage Finance 4 Plc v Hussain & Ors [2022] EWHC 449 (Ch); [2022] EWHC 661 (Ch); [2022] EWCA Civ 1264, on their successful application for a committal order against an individual for breaching the terms of a final injunction.

Recent cases include:

  • Acting for the claimants in Moosa & Ors v Mawji, a claim in the Property, Trusts & Probate List, seeking a final injunction against the defendant in respect of the transfer of certain shares in the context of a South African property development;
  • Acting as sole counsel obtaining a final injunction on behalf of four issuers from Mr Justice Miles (Business Mortgage Finance 4 Plc v Hussain & Ors [2021] EWHC 171 (Ch));
  • Acting for the successful claimants/ respondents at first instance and on appeal in Business Mortgage Finance 4 Plc v Hussain & Ors [2022] EWHC 449 (Ch); [2022] EWHC 661 (Ch); [2022] EWCA Civ 1264, on their successful application for a committal order (led by Anna Dilnot KC);
  • Acting for the successful claimants before Mr Justice Zacaroli in Business Mortgage Finance 6 Plc v Greencoat Investments Ltd [2019] EWHC 2128 (Ch), obtaining a final injunction against certain Isle of Man entities and various individuals to restrain them from interfering with the claimant and its assets (led by William Trower QC, now Mr Justice Trower);
  • Acting for the successful claimant before Mr Justice Nugee (as he then was) in Business Mortgage Finance 6 Plc v Roundstone Technologies Ltd [2019] EWHC 2917 (Ch), obtaining a final injunction against the defendant BVI company and a declaration that a purported receiver of the claimant’s assets had no ostensible authority to act on the claimant’s behalf (led by Tom Smith KC).
Insolvency & restructuring law

Alex has been ranked in Chambers & Partners in Restructuring and Insolvency for a number of years. He has had extensive experience in R&I for over a decade. He is described by clients as “really brilliant” and “particularly adept at cutting through difficult technical points and finding the best way to present a difficult case” (Chambers & Partners 2024: Restructuring/Insolvency).

Alex was instructed in the early years of his practice to act for the PWC Joint Administrators of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (“LBIE”) in various significant matters, including at various stages of the Waterfall I, II and III litigation (including, for example, in Waterfall I in the Court of Appeal: Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (In Administration) [2016] Ch.50). He continues to be instructed as sole counsel by the EY Joint Administrators in various matters relating to the decade-long administrations of various Nortel entities (e.g. Re Nortel Networks France SAS [2019] EWHC 2447 (Ch); [2019] EWHC 2778 (Ch)), having first been instructed by the Nortel JAs as junior to William Trower QC (now Mr Justice Trower) in their successful application for the Court’s sanction of the Nortel Group global settlement, concerning the proper allocation of a US$7.3 billion fund across the Nortel Group’s entities worldwide (Re Nortel Networks UK Ltd [2017] Bus. L.R. 590), and then in their successful application for a novel set of directions imposing a bar date for the assertion of potential administration expense claims (Re Nortel Networks UK Ltd [2017] B.C.C. 325).

Alex has a keen academic interest in insolvency and restructuring law. He is one of the five-member drafting team for the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce’s Legal Statement on Digital Assets and English Insolvency Law (2024), as well as one of the authors of the seventh edition of Lightman & Moss: Law of Administrators and Receivers of Companies (forthcoming 2024).

Recent cases include:

  • Acting for the Joint Administrators of NMC Health PLC in their multi-billion pound claim in London against Bank of Baroda and others, including claims for fraudulent and wrongful trading under ss.246ZA/B of the Insolvency Act 1986;
  • Acting for the Liquidators of Emergent Fidelity Technologies Limited, an Antiguan entity involved in the FTX/ Bankman-Fried crypto asset dispute;
  • Acting for the Cayman Official Liquidators of Ascentra Holdings, Inc. in their claims against various defendants including a proprietary claim in relation to various funds totalling some US$250 million (for the claimants/ officeholders);
  • Acting for the Financial Conduct Authority in its successful application for administration orders under section 359 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 in respect of the Collaterial peer-to-peer lending companies.
  • Acting for the officeholders of officeholders appointed to Collateral in various matters, including their successful application for directions to impose a bar date for investors to assert client money claims.
  • Acting for various substantial creditors in very high-value litigation before the Bermudian Court in the liquidation of the reinsurer PB Life and Annuity Co. Ltd., relating to the statutory interpretation of the creditor waterfall applicable to the liquidation of a reinsurer pursuant to the Companies Act 1981 and the Insurance Act 1978.
  • Acting for a creditor opposing the recognition by the English Court, under the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006, of the BVI liquidators of Kidman Asset Management Ltd (instructed as sole counsel against King’s Counsel).
Offshore litigation

Alex has a thriving offshore practice. He was called to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands in 2021 and was registered to appear before the courts of the DIFC in 2024. He has also acted in various matters in Cayman, Bermuda and Antigua & Barbuda. Alex has longstanding experience of litigation in Jersey, having acted in Jersey’s leading dishonest assistance case (Nolan & Ors v Minerva Trust Company Ltd & Ors [2014] JRC 078A), and is happy to accept instructions in relation to matters before the Courts of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Recent cases include:

  • Acting for the Joint Liquidators of the Antiguan entity Emergent Fidelity Technologies Ltd in the context of the multi-jurisdictional FTX/ Bankman-Fried crypto dispute, in various proceedings and applications before the Antiguan Court and the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal.
  • Acting for the Plaintiffs in substantial appraisal proceedings under section 106 of the Companies Act 1981 before the Supreme Court of Bermuda, in the matter of Myovant Sciences Ltd & Ors.
  • Acting for the Cayman Official Liquidators of Ascentra Holdings, Inc. in the context of substantial proceedings seeking recovery of some US$250m.
  • Acting for various substantial creditors in litigation before the Bermudian Court in the liquidation of the reinsurer PB Life and Annuity Co. Ltd., relating to the statutory interpretation of the creditor waterfall applicable to the liquidation of a reinsurer pursuant to the Companies Act 1981 and the Insurance Act 1978.
  • Acting for Mr Carlos Ghosn and others in proceedings brought against them by Nissan in the British Virgin Islands in respect of ownership of a superyacht.
  • Acting for the Joint Administrators of NMC Health PLC in their multi-billion pound claim against various defendants in London, proceeding in parallel with overlapping claims against the same defendants in the ADGM.
Education
  • 2001 – 2005: BA Classics with Sanskrit – Magdalen College, Oxford – Double First (4th in year)
  • 2005 – 2006: MSt Classics – Magdalen College, Oxford – Distinction
  • 2006 – 2009: DPhil Classics – Magdalen College, Oxford – thesis published by Oxford University Press
  • 2006-2009: Tutor in Greek Literature and Instructor in Latin Language at various Oxford colleges
  • 2008: Lectureship in Greek Literature, Magdalen College
  • 2009 – 2010: GDL – City University
  • 2010 – 2011: BPTC – BPP
Publications

‘Cryptoassets, cryptoliabilities: bitcoin and insolvency’, article in South Square Digest (November 2019), pp.44-52

One of five-member drafting team for the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce’s Legal Statement on Digital Assets and English Insolvency Law (2024)

Author of chapter on administrators’ remuneration for the seventh edition of Lightman & Moss: Law of Administrators and Receivers of Companies (forthcoming 2024)

Scholarships, Prizes & Awards
  • Inner Temple Scholarships (Peter Taylor Scholar, 2010-11; Princess Royal Scholar, 2009- 2010)
  • Serle Court Prize for Equity and Trusts, City University, 2010
  • Full Doctoral Award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to write a DPhil in Classics at Oxford University (2006-09)
  • Full Masters Award from the AHRC for the one-year MSt in  Classics at Oxford University (2005-06)
  • Demyship (undergraduate scholarship) from Magdalen College, Oxford (2003-05)
Languages
  • French (conversational)
  • Spanish (good reading knowledge)
  • Italian (good reading knowledge)
  • Bengali (good reading knowledge)