Profile

Alex has established a reputation as a first-class practitioner, prosecuting and defending in the most serious cases ranging from terrorism to international fraud and homicide. He is a persuasive and forceful advocate.

Phenomenally bright… a very good advocate. He has a style of advocacy that just completely wins the judge’s confidence and trust

Chambers and Partners

His courtroom appearances have drawn comment from advocates and judges alike. The Lord Chief Justice has described him as making submissions “with admirable clarity and eloquence”. Alex is diligent in the preparation of his cases, and leaves no stone unturned in constructing the most persuasive arguments on behalf of his clients. He combines a friendly manner with powerful legal insight and judgement, and has a strong track record of success. He is a member of the Serious Fraud Office Panel of Counsel (List A), and is cited in Chambers and Partners 2012 as a leading fraud practitioner.

Recognition

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Expertise

Terrorism

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Alex is instructed in the most serious terrorism cases. In 2013 he acted in the prosecution of six defendants accused of planning an extremist terrorist atrocity in the UK, using an improvised explosive device (IED), firearms and swords. He also has experience in prosecuting offences under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 – including possession of documents useful to those seeking to manufacture IEDs and evade detection. Alex is used to dealing with highly sensitive material, as well as advising on complex disclosure issues. He is familiar with marshalling large volumes of documentation, and advising on electronic trial presentation.

Alex has recently written an article entitled “Possession of Terrorist Materials”, which can be accessed here.

Corporate Crime and Investigations

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Alex is instructed to advise and defend corporate clients. In relation to media investigations he has acted for a number of prominent journalists in proceedings arising out of Operation Weeting (phone-hacking) and Operation Elveden (corrupt payments to public officials). He has, in addition, represented corporate clients in relation to proceedings brought by the Environment Agency as well as under the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991. He has also acted on behalf of company directors accused of offences under the Insolvency Act 1986.

Alex has experience of prosecuting on behalf of HMRC, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (formerly the DTI), the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner and local government bodies. In addition he has prosecuted privately on behalf of an internet company in proceedings alleging the criminal misappropriation of online metadata.

Fraud

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Alex has established a strong reputation as a fraud practitioner. He is on the Serious Fraud Office Panel of Counsel (List A), is ranked in Chambers UK 2012 and has appeared for the Serious Fraud Office in long-running litigation relating to a multi-million pound global advance fee fraud. He remains instructed in the complex and high-value confiscation proceedings. He has an excellent reputation as a defence practitioner, and defends allegations of insurance fraud and other financial crime. In addition, Alex has developed a niche specialism in the field of election fraud. He prosecuted the long-running election fraud trial of three candidates (including a former mayor) standing for election as councillors in Peterborough. In 2013 he prosecuted a council candidate in Ashford following allegations of forgeries of nomination papers and postal vote application forms. Both cases received widespread publicity.

Alex is also instructed by the Financial Conduct Authority (formerly FSA).

Criminal Litigation

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Alex prosecutes and defends in cases of homicide. He has appeared in several Operation Trident cases at the Central Criminal Court, including a double murder relating to targeted executions in south London. Other cases have included gang murder, and drug-related shootings. In this context he has developed experience in handling sensitive disclosure issues, assessing material ranging from covert human intelligence source reports to prison surveillance recordings. As Defence Counsel Alex has successfully defended clients charged with murder and attempted murder arising out of serious gang violence in London, as well as gun crime.

Alex also acts in cases involving serious sexual offences. He has, for example, prosecuted six defendants accused of abducting two teenagers from Telford and subjecting them to a weekend of rape, sexual violence and degradation. He also prosecutes and defends in fatal road traffic cases, and is an experienced cross-examiner of experts.

Inquests and Public Inquiries

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Alex accepts instructions to appear at inquests and public inquiries. He is currently instructed in the inquest arising out of the murder of two private security contractors, shot dead by a colleague in Iraq. The case has attracted considerable press attention.

Appellate Courts

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Alex regularly appears in the Court of Appeal and High Court, often in relation to novel or unusual points of law. He is a fluent performer and is confident engaging with complex issues of law and statutory construction. He has been singled out for praise by several appellate judges. Particular areas of expertise include arguing points relating to the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants Act) 2004 and human trafficking.

Pro Bono

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Alex has acted as pro bono counsel for Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prisoner of conscience held captive in Iran, and has written a column in The Times calling for her release.

Appointments

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  • Serious Fraud Office Panel of Counsel (List A)
  • Crown Prosecution Service (Level 4)

Education

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  • Magdalen College, Oxford, BA (Hons) Modern History, 2:1;
  • City University, London (CPE/Diploma in Law) Distinction;
  • Inns of Court School of Law (BVC) very competent.

Other

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  • Conversational French and Russian
  • Member of Criminal Bar Association
  • Member of the South Eastern Circuit

Notable cases

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R v Khan and others

Six men accused of planning to bomb an English Defence League rally.

R v Cerit

Prosecuting a council election candidate who forged signatures and attempted to rig a vote. .

R v Bina and Asemani

Prosecuting a couple who facilitated illegal immigration into the UK.

R v Flatman and Others

Concerning a large-scale drugs smuggling operation.

R v Rashid and Others

Sole Prosecution Counsel in a lengthy prosecution of six defendants accused of abducting and raping young girls from Telford.

R v Davenport and Others

Four-month Serious Fraud Office prosecution of individuals charged with an international conspiracy to defraud (advance fee fraud).

R v Taylor

Operation Trident double murder at the Old Bailey, concerning two executions in south London.

R v Newland

Prosecuting a youth for possession of a cache of weapons, including a 9mm Agram sub-machine gun, a Mac-10 firearm, and a loaded .38 revolver.

R v Akhtar, Khaliq, Razaq

Leading Counsel in the prosecution of local politicians, including a former mayor, for vote-rigging offences in the weeks leading up to the local elections for Peterborough City Council.

R v Akiniyi and Oniwinde

Junior Counsel in an Operation Trident attempted murder at the Old Bailey, concerning an attack on the victim in his home by suspects armed with a knife and a shotgun.

R v Simms

Sole Counsel prosecuting a defendant at the Old Bailey charged with possession of a loaded MAC-10 sub-machine gun in Wandsworth. The case turned on the analysis of complex Low Copy Number DNA...

R v Walwyn

Junior Counsel in an Operation Trident attempted murder case at the Old Bailey. The victim was shot in the stomach in an attack in Greenwich, south London.

R v Brown

Junior Counsel in an Operation Trident attempted murder at the Old Bailey. The case arose out of a shooting in north London. The tetraplegic victim gave evidence by TV link from his hospital bed.

R v Alom

Sole Counsel in the defence of a 17-year-old youth charged with the attempted murder of a male near Brick Lane, East London.

R v Quashie-Pownall and Others

Junior counsel in the defence of an 18-year old man charged with murder as part of an alleged gang attack in west London.

R v Moses

Sole Counsel defending a 17-year-old girl charged with the possession of a loaded 9mm Browning pistol in south London.

R v Kayani

Sole Counsel defending a young father charged with possession of firearms obtained in response to a police warning that his life was in immediate danger.

R v Nyatepe-Coo

Sole Counsel defending a German national accused of sexual assault of young children in the south-east of England.

R v Meredith

Sole Counsel defending a woman accused of causing serious injuries in a hammer attack on a female motorist in west London.

Related news

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13 October

Alex Chalk in hotel claw-hammer attack trial

Alex Chalk is instructed in the trial of Philip Spence, who is accused of brutally attacking three women with a claw-hammer during a night-time raid on their Cumberland Hotel room. Mr Spence admits...

27 November

Alex Chalk in 'Muslim Patrol' case

Alex Chalk is instructed in a case concerning the prosecution of individuals who sought to enforce Sharia Law as part of a so-called “Muslim Patrol”. The group were charged with assault and...