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Alexander Thompson

Alexander has a broad practice in all areas of commercial law. He represents clients in matters involving civil fraud and asset tracing, company and insolvency law, finance, insurance, international trade, shipping and shipbuilding.

Alexander appears as a junior or as sole counsel in the High Court and in international arbitrations under ICC, LCIA, LMAA, GAFTA, and FOSFA rules. He graduated with a Double First in Law from the University of Cambridge and placed first in his year in Commercial Law. Alexander  has a Distinction on the BCL from the University of Oxford and, prior to joining 20 Essex Street, taught law at Pembroke College, Oxford.

Alexander is a keen linguist and has acted in a number of international disputes with French, Spanish and German documents. He particularly enjoys commercial cases with a cross-border element.


Corporate disputes, insolvency and civil fraud

Alexander practices in a range of company, insolvency and civil fraud / asset tracing disputes:

  • Acting (with Blair Leahy) for two Russian defendants in a long-running substantial (c. £20m) action in the Chancery Division. The case includes trust claims over property situate in England, claims for freezing injunctions and relief under s. 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Instructed (with Duncan Matthews QC and Tony Beswetherick) for enforcement receivers seeking to obtain assets for the SFO in relation to a large fraud matter.
  • Presently acting for a construction and engineering company in a loan dispute with an ex-director.
  • Advised and acted for a company in the High Court on an application to appoint administrators over a well-known London restaurant business.
  • Acted for a pharmacy company in the Companies Court for an urgent application for a validation order arising out of a winding up petition.
  • Advised and acted for a company in bankruptcy proceedings against a judgment debtor.
  • Instructed in relation to a joint venture dispute arising out of a construction project in Berlin.
  • Advised and represented in mediation two commercial agents in claims for wrongful termination of an agency agreement and compensation under the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993.
  • Acted for a Gibraltar-based company in civil fraud claims against an ex-employee.
  • Acted for a defendant in claims for misrepresentation, undue influence, duress and/or breach of contract arising out of a services agreement.
  • Advised a claimant on steps to enforce a settlement agreement against assets in England.



Commodities, finance and international trade

Alexander has wide experience in commodities and international trade. His instructions in this area include (as sole counsel):

  • Presently acting for cargo interests in an arbitral dispute for short and damaged cargo.
  • Advised a Tunisian trucking company on potential claims against an oil company for breach of a services agreement.
  • Advised a Nigerian supplier on questions of applicable law and jurisdiction under a letter of credit issued by a German bank.
  • Advised buyers under a contract for the sale of petroleum coke on bringing proceedings in the Commercial Court in England.
  • Advised Bulgarian sellers on the merits of a claim for the negligent stowage of a cargo of sunflower seeds in containers carried by road.
  • In a FOSFA arbitration, advised and acted in a challenge to the Tribunal's jurisdiction in a sales contract containing a so-called "pathological" dispute settlement clause providing for jurisdiction of the German courts as well as arbitration.



Shipping and Shipbuilding

Alexander specializes in maritime law disputes. By way of example, his instructions include:

  • Asefa Yesuf Import and Export v AP Moller-Maersk  [2016]  EWHC 1437: represented the successful defendants in a Part II application in the Admiralty Court to set aside defective service of a claim form on shipowners outside the jurisdiction, in Denmark, under the EU Service Regulation (1393 2007), and represented the First Defendant in an application for an extension of time to serve a claim form in the Commercial Court (heard concurrently, sole counsel).
  • In LMAA arbitration, advised owners in an action for breach of the safe port warranty in the charter.
  • In LMAA arbitration, acted for owners in a dispute over unpaid demurrage under two charters of the same vessel.
  • Advised on a High Court action related to a settlement agreement arising out of a substantial shipping arbitration.
  • In LMAA arbitration, represented charterers in a dispute relating to the lawful termination of a charterparty following the rejection of a vessel at the loadport.
  • In LMAA arbitration, represented owners in claims for general average arising out of an engine failure that left the vessel stranded at sea.
  • Advised on the termination of a voyage charter following delay in loading a cargo of rice in India.

Alexander has a particular interest in shipbuilding and offshore construction:

  • Acted for owners (with Timothy Hill QC) in a multi-million Euro arbitration in respect of various claims under a newbuilding contract.
  • Acted (with Michael Ashcroft QC) in relation to contempt proceedings arising out of a shipbuilding dispute in arbitration.
  • Acted (with Duncan Matthews QC and Daniel Bovensiepen) in an arbitral dispute arising out of a newbuild passenger ferry in South America.



Education and Career: 


BPP Law School (2013 - 14)
BPTC, Very Competent

Lincoln College, University of Oxford (2012 - 13)
Bachelor of Civil Laws, Distinction

Trinity College, University of Cambridge (2009 - 12)
BA (Hons) in Law, Double First Class


Lord  Mansfield  Scholarship,  Lincoln's  Inn  (2013)

Hardwicke Entrance Scholarship, Lincoln's Inn (2013)

Crewe Scholarship, Lincoln College, Oxford (2012)

Travelling Studentship, Trinity College, Cambridge (2012)

Whittaker Scholarship, Trinity College, Cambridge (2012)


Norton Rose Prize for Commercial Law, Faculty of Law, Cambridge (2012)

Lizette Bentwich Prizes  for  outstanding  performance  in  Tripos,  Trinity  College,  Cambridge  (2010,  2011, 2012) 

College Council Awards for outstanding performance in Tripos,Trinity College, Cambridge   (2010, 2011, 2012)

F.W.  Maitland  Prize  for  outstanding  performance  in  the  Constitutional  Law  Tripos,  Trinity  College,  Cambridge (2010)

Appointments and Society Memberships: 


Young Fraud Lawyers Association