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Alan is an experienced advocate, equally at home in first instance trials in the Commercial Court, the Chancery Division or in arbitrations, as he is arguing points of law in the Administrative Court or the appellate Courts. He also has experience as an arbitrator. Alan is admitted to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands.
Alan was a member of the Attorney General's ‘A' Panel until his appointment as Queen’s Counsel, (2006-2009). He was previously on the ‘B’ panel (2002-2006), and the ‘C’ panel (1999-2002).
Alan is ranked in Chambers Global 2016 in Commercial Dispute Resolution.
Commercial litigation is at the core of Alan’s practice. His cases extend across a broad range of fields including civil fraud, banking, company law (especially joint venture/shareholder agreements and unfair prejudice), energy, financial services, insurance/reinsurance and sanctions, together with attendant conflicts of laws issues and interlocutory remedies (including pre and post judgment freezing orders and anti-suit injunctions).
Alan is ranked in Chambers Global 2016 in Commercial Dispute Resolution.
“He's perceptive, authoritative, clever and an excellent cross-examiner who is supportive and very much a team player.”Chambers UK, 2016
“A sharp and effective thinker who displays a no-nonsense approach.”Legal 500, 2015
“A fierce competitor, who marries up sharp intellect with excellent client care skills”Legal 500, 2016
“He is perceptive, authoritative, clever and an excellent cross-examiner”Chambers UK, 2017
Alan has recently been advising on the application of the international sanctions and asset-freezing regime in relation to Libya in a major Commercial Court fraud case brought by the Libyan Investment Authority seeking proprietary relief in a case alleging that investment agreements made under the Gadhafi regime are void, voidable or unenforceable.
Alan acted for the successful respondent in a Commercial Court challenge to an arbitration award, pursuant to section 67 of the Arbitration Act 1996, brought on the basis that the arbitral tribunal lacked jurisdiction to determine the claim. Applicant’s appeal to the Court of Appeal due to be heard in 2017.
Alan acted for the successful defendant in a claim for breach of fiduciary duty brought against her by her former husband, concerned with the sale of a property to a company in which her new partner, the Chelsea footballer Cesc Fabregas, had an interest. Appeal to the Court of Appeal pending.
Alan acted for the Claimant in a Commercial Court trial in an international sale of goods case raising interesting issues about the relationship between a contractual right to terminate a contract and the right to terminate at common law for repudiatory breach.
Alan acted for the successful Defendant resisting summary judgment in a case raising an interesting point on the construction of the Civil Procedure Rules.
Alan is currently acting for the defendants in a £60M claim arising from the international sale of pharmaceuticals used in the treatment of cancer. The case, due for trial in 2017, raises issues of economic duress, restitution and proprietary remedies, and has given rise to issues of freezing order interim relief. Alan has recently advised in two large commercial cases on issues of tracing in the context of actions alleging a right to proprietary remedies.
Alan led for the appellants in this Supreme Court case of alleged secondary liability for fraud, raising complex legal issues of attribution of knowledge and illegality involving reconsideration by a 7-man Supreme Court of the difficult House of Lords decision in Stone & Rolls v Moore Stephens  1 AC 1391.
Alan acted for the successful claimant in a fraud case concerning foreign exchange trading. The case involved sustained cross-examination of the defendant, whom the Judge found liable in the tort of deceit.
Alan acted for a major French engineering company in a claim under s. 68 Arbitration Act 1996 challenging an arbitral award concerned with LPG carrier vessels on the ground that it was alleged to have been obtained by fraud.
Alan has appeared in a number of major international arbitrations, many of which have involved joint venture, shareholder agreement and/or company law disputes, including issues of BVI and Cyprus company law. Alan has recently acted for the Defendants in a very heavy LCIA international arbitration concerning a Ukraine-based business that manufactures pumps for the international oil and gas market. The US$300M claims involved issues of fraud, including allegations of fraudulent diversion of profits, breach of contract and company law.
“A very persuasive and effective advocate; a pleasure to have appearing in a case.”Legal 500, 2015
“An excellent advocate and very user-friendly”Legal 500, 2016
Alan acted for a Russian businessman who successfully applied to strike out a challenge to an arbitral award in his favour arising from the misappropriation of a Moscow real estate project. Teare J’s reported decision deals with the interplay between sections 57 and 70 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
In this judgment Eder J. considers the question of whether the court has power to order the provision of security on an application under s 66 of the Arbitration Act 1996 for leave to enforce an arbitration award.
Between 2012 and 2015 Alan acted for the Defendants in two successive LCIA arbitrations concerned with alleged breaches of a shareholders agreement and unfair prejudice in relation to the BVI holding company of a major Eastern European spirits business.
Alan has appeared in a number of banking-related cases, in both the Commercial Court and the Chancery Division. His advisory practice includes matters involving the construction and application of guarantees, indemnities, letters of credit and various other financial instruments, and related contractual and/or tortious liabilities.
Alan acted for an international money remittance company in a claim against Barclays Bank: obtained an interlocutory injunction from the Chancery Division  EWHC 3379 (Ch).
Acted for Barclays Capital in Commercial Court litigation concerning an Event of Default under a Global Master Repurchase Agreement.
Acted for a bank defending a claim for US$35 million arising out of the performance of a Securities Lending Authorisation Agreement.
Alan has a very broad range of Public law and Regulatory experience. He has appeared in many cases in the Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court, and also in Public law and/or regulatory cases in other tribunals, including the Court of Justice of the European Union, the CMA, the CAT, the Upper Tribunal, the Information Tribunal and various professional disciplinary tribunals (for professions ranging from licensed conveyancers to racing drivers, and others besides). Recent clients include the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority, the Financial Reporting Council, the ICAEW, OFGEM, the GMC and The Charity Commission. Current cases include acting for the Claimant in an important test case challenge to the implementation by NHS England of NICE’s recommendations on new drug treatments for hepatitis C.
Alan was an Attorney General panel member for many years and his Government clients have included No 10 Downing Street, the Cabinet Office, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, HM Treasury (including advising in relation to the Parliamentary Ombudsman's investigation of the regulation of Equitable Life), the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Education. He has experience in the fields of State and Diplomatic immunity, including the State Immunity Act and the Vienna Convention. Since taking Silk Alan has advised HM Revenue & Customs in a number of tax cases raising issues of statutory construction and public law principle and the Department for Education in relation to its flagship Academies programme.
Alan has acted for and against a wide range of public bodies. He has also acted in sporting and professional disciplinary cases, including for Sport England and, most recently, before the Motor Sports Council National Court.
“He gets to grips with a new matter very quickly, has sound judgement and a good technical brain.”Chambers UK, 2016
“Alan is utterly brilliant, he is intelligent and a great tactician who handles clients very well.”Chambers UK, 2016
“Able to master a complex set of facts quickly and effectively.”Legal 500, 2015
“Razor sharp and gets to grips with legislative or procedural matters extremely quickly”Chambers UK, 2017
Alan acted for The Charity Commission in resisting an appeal in an important test case on standing to appeal in respect of a decision of The Charity Commission pursuant to section 34 Charities Act 2011.
Alan acted for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in successfully resisting a judicial review claim based on alleged apparent bias, raising Porter v Magill issues.
Alan acted for the GMC on its appeal to the Court of Appeal against a decision allowing an appeal by the respondent surgeon against the refusal of his application for registration as a specialist in trauma and orthopaedic surgery.
Alan acted, both before the Chief Justice and the Court of Appeal of Gibraltar, for the Attorney General and the Governor of Gibraltar in opposing a judicial review challenge to the appointment of a retired English High Court Judge to preside over a criminal trial of the Marrache brothers, who were accused of crimes of serious dishonesty in relation to their Gibraltar-based solicitors’ firm.
Alan acted for Virgin Atlantic in an important case involving, among many other issues, the question of whether the English court was competent to adjudicate on the legality of acts performed by international organisations pursuant to the European Patent Convention. The case also raised issues of the interface between Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Patent Convention and domestic law.
Since taking Silk, Alan has acted in a number of telecoms cases, usually but not always concerned with interconnection disputes. He acted for T-Mobile in a dispute concerning the Virgin Mobile joint venture and has on a number of occasions acted for the MBNL joint venture involving Three and EE.
In recent months Alan has been heavily involved in advising a leading mobile phone network in relation to complex commercial and contractual issues that arose as a consequence of a proposed £10 billion M&A transaction. He is currently acting for Three, the mobile phone operator, in a Commercial Court action brought against its competitor EE.
An increasingly important part of Alan’s practice involves competition litigation in the High Court, the CAT, the CMA or elsewhere. He has also appeared in the CJEU. He has recently acted for the Claimants in a Chancery Division action alleging breach of s 18 of the Competition Act concerned with the tendering of coach services between London and Stansted Airport. He is currently acting for Agents Mutual Limited in two cases raising important competition issues in relation to online property portals used by estate agents to sell and lease residential property, and has recently advised in a case concerning the free movement rights and their interface with national labour law, involving the ITWF v Viking Line line of authority.
Alan has a well-established advisory practice in relation to the EU-law based regulation of various medical professions, in fields such as mutual recognition/education/free movement, consumer protection and pharmaceutical and pharmacy regulation, for clients including the GMC, the GDC and the General Pharmaceutical Council. Alan also has recent experience of cases concerning drug licensing/pricing and the Drug Tariff. He has also advised in relation to the recent EU Consumer Rights Directive.
Alan acted for a leading transport company in successfully opposing a highly controversial scheme to de-privatise buses in Tyne and Wear, which for the first time invoked statutory procedures in the Transport Act 2000. The proposed “Quality Contract Scheme” would have seen buses in Tyne and Wear franchised for many years at an operating cost of £1.6 billion. The case involved consideration of various statutory public interest tests, and involved highly contentious complex economic modelling evidence. The decision will have important implications for the future of bus regulation in the UK.
Alan acted for GEMA on an appeal to the CMA against Ofgem’s price control decision for electricity distribution network operators (“DNO”s). The appeals were made under section 11C of the Electricity Act 1989 and related to price controls made for the 8-year period from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2023.
In the data protection/freedom of information fields, Alan has been involved in cases concerning such high profile issues as secret documents about arms sales to Saudi Arabia; a claim by ‘The Times' for disclosure of policy papers prepared for the Chancellor's Budget; a case brought by a ‘Guardian’ journalist, which was the first in which the Government litigated the ‘prejudice to public affairs' statutory exemption in the Freedom of Information Act and a case about the controversial Iraq WMD Dossier. Alan was, from its inception, a member of HM Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel for freedom of information cases.
Alan has extensive public inquiry experience, including several very high profile inquires. In 2003, in the Hutton Inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly, he was selected to act for Prime Minister Tony Blair, his Chief of Staff (Jonathan Powell), his Communications Director (Alastair Campbell) and the then Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (Sir John Scarlett), among others. Alan went on subsequently to advise No 10 Downing Street on other matters.
In 2012 Alan was Leading Counsel to the Pollard Review into the BBC Newsnight/Jimmy Savile affair.
Alan has extensive other public inquiry experience: e.g. E.coli O157 (2009); Review into deaths at Deepcut Army Barracks (2007); Zahid Mubarek (2006); Bristol Royal Infirmary (1999 - 2001).
“He is very bright, well thought of and has a good practice.”Chambers UK, 2016
“He has sensible judgement.”Chambers UK, 2016
BA (Hons) First Class, University College, Oxford (PPE); Kennedy Memorial Scholar, Harvard University; Post-Graduate Diploma in Law (with Distinction), City University.
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