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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 (especially marine insurance), international trade, shipping and shipbuilding / offshore construction.

Alexander appears as a junior or as sole counsel in the County Court, High Court and in international arbitrations under ICC, FOSFA, GAFTA, LCIA and LMAA 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 has a particular specialism in the conflict of laws (especially jurisdiction and the enforcement of foreign judgments). In addition to his full-time practice at the Bar, Alexander is Teaching Fellow in International Commercial Litigation at University College London.

Alexander is a keen linguist and has acted in a number of international disputes with French, Spanish, Italian and German documents.

Specialisations: 

Insolvency

Alexander has a busy insolvency practice (personal and corporate) and regularly appears in the Companies Court in the RCJ and County Courts across England and Wales in matters concerning insolvency jurisdiction.

Recent cases include:

Re a Company (2018) - Advising a company in relation to an application to remove a statutory stay under s 130, IA 1986 and to rectify the share register under s 125, CA 2006.

Re a Company (2018) - Acting for a law firm in relation to winding up proceedings against a former client.

Re a Debtor (2018) - Acting for a Danish individual resident in England in relation to a statutory demand based on a Danish judgment debt. The case raises questions regarding recognition in English bankruptcy proceedings of foreign judgments under the Recast Regulation.

The Ashna (2018) - Advising a shipping company on the proper appropriation of payments made by related third parties of the debtor in the context of winding up proceedings in Cyprus.

Hunt (as Joint Liquidator) and Satkartar UK Ltd (in CVA) v (1) Arora and (2) Nayyar (2018) - Appeared for joint liquidators for misfeasance proceedings against former directors / shadow directors of the company (directions hearing).

Re Bayscape Limited (2017) - Advised corporate financiers in relation to winding up proceedings.

Re Globalised Corporation Limited (2017) - Advised (with Blair Leahy) joint liquidators on an application to reverse the rejection of a c £2m debt, including a number of technical issues as to the construction of terms of engagement and settlement agreements, agency, and matters of Curacao law.

Re Popshop Agency Ibiza Limited (2017) - Counsel for creditor in relation to winding up proceedings, including advice on settlement.

Re Lakhani Holdings Ltd (2016) - Counsel for a pharmacy company on an urgent application for a validation order arising out of a winding up petition.

Re Middlesex 2016 Ltd (2016) - Counsel on an application to appoint administrators over a well-known London restaurant business.

Re a Debtor (2016) - Counsel for a corporate creditor on an application to set aside a statutory demand and bankruptcy petition.

Re a Company (2016) - Advised on the merits of an application to restore a company to the register.

Civil Fraud and Asset Tracing

Jakob v Mazur (2016 - 2018) - Junior Counsel (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. Alexander also works closely with a team of English and Cypriot lawyers in relation to the substantive claims in Cyprus.

Re Gerald Smith (2017) - Assisting Tony Beswetherick for enforcement receivers in respect of the recovery of a very large confiscation order (c. USD80m).

Commercial Litigation

In addition to specialist areas, Alexander acts in a wide variety of general business and commercial disputes in the County Court, High Court and arbitration.

Recent cases include:

A Company v B Company (2018) - Advised (with Thomas Raphael QC) an international pharmaceutical company in relation to potential claims for injunctive relief and restitution under a licence agreement.

Duarte & Duarte v A L Challis Ltd (2016 - 2018) - Advised and represented in mediation and court two commercial agents in claims for wrongful termination of an agency agreement and compensation under the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993.

Commodities and International Trade

Alexander has a busy practice in commodities and international trade.

His recent cases include:

A Company v B Company (2018) - Counsel for Swiss commodity traders in a c. USD2m GAFTA dispute in relation to claims for failure to nominate a compliant vessel in time.

A Company v B Company (2016) - Advised a Tunisian trucking company on potential claims against an oil company for breach of a services agreement.

A Company v B Company (2015) - Advised buyers under a contract for the sale of petroleum coke on potential claims in the Commercial Court.

Insurance

Alexander practices in a wide range of insurance and reinsurance matters, especially (but not exclusively) in marine insurance.

Recent cases include:

The Prestige (2017 - 2018) - Alexander is Junior Counsel (with Christopher Hancock QC and Charlotte Tan) for the P&I insurer in this long-running dispute against the Kingdom of Spain and the French State in relation to claims for c. EUR4.5 billion arising out of one of the largest oil spills in recent times.

A Underwriters v B (2018) - Advised Lloyd’s underwriters under a H&M policy in respect of the scope of the cover under a products and liability policy held by the assured in relation to a subrogated claim against the assured arising out of damage caused to a high-spec underwater umbilical cord on a well-known research vessel.

A Vessel (2018) - Advised (with Michael Ashcroft QC and Luke Pearce) on issues in relation to the recovery of legal costs under a follow clause in a number of H&M policies.

Shipping and Shipbuilding / Offshore Construction

Alexander has a busy and varied practice in shipping and shipbuilding / off-shore construction disputes.

Alexander's recent instructions include:

A v B (2018) - Counsel for Charterers in LMAA arbitration (c. US$2m) concerning indemnities for withholding tax under a time charter.

A Company v B Company (2016-2017) - Junior Counsel (with Timothy Hill QC) in a large multi-million Euro arbitration arising out of various claims under a newbuilding contract for a highly specialised vessel.

A Company v B Company (2016) - Part of the counsel team (with Duncan Matthews QC and Daniel Bovensiepen) in a multi-million dollar arbitration arising out of various claims in respect of a ro-ro ferry in Latin America. Alexander was responsible in particular for dealing with underlying Spanish documentation and liaising with the foreign law expert.

Asefa Yesuf Import and Export v AP Moller-Maersk [2016]  EWHC 1437 - Represented the defendants in a Part 11 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, and represented the First Defendant in the Commercial Court in an application for an extension of time to serve a claim form out of the jurisdiction (heard concurrently).

Alexander has acted in a large number of LMAA arbitrations, covering seaworthiness, off-hire, demurrage, deviation, hold cleaning, damaged cargo, and safe port warranties, among other disputes.

Private International Law / Arbitration

Alexander has wide specialism in the conflict of laws and international arbitration.

Alongside his practice at the Bar, Alexander is currently Teaching Fellow in International Commercial Litigation at UCL teaching on a wide variety of issues in the conflict of laws, as well as ancillary relief (eg freezing and anti-suit injunctions).

Alexander’s recent cases in this area include:

The Prestige (2017 - 2018) - Alexander is Junior Counsel (with Christopher Hancock QC and Charlotte Tan) for the P&I insurer in this long-running dispute against the Kingdom of Spain and the French State in relation to claims for c. EUR4.5 billion arising out of one of the largest oil spills in recent times. The case raises a large number of issues in private international law and arbitration.

Jakob v Mazur (2016 - 2018) - Junior Counsel (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. Alexander also works closely with a team of English and Cypriot lawyers in relation to the substantive claims in Cyprus. The matter also outstanding Part 11 applications disputing the jurisdiction of the English Courts.

Re a Debtor (2018) - Acting for a Danish individual resident in England in relation to a statutory demand based on a Danish judgment debt. The case raises questions regarding recognition in English bankruptcy proceedings of foreign judgments under the Recast Regulation.

Funding Circle Ltd v Sporting Apex Ltd (2018) - Counsel for one of the leading business loan market place companies in London on an application for default judgment under CPR 12.10 and the CJJA 1982 against defendants served without leave outside the jurisdiction.

A Company v B Company (2017) - Advised a Nigerian supplier on questions of applicable law and jurisdiction under a letter of credit issued by a German bank.

Glencore Energy UK Ltd v Topoil AB (2017) - Advised on issues relating to service of High Court proceedings under the EU Service Regulation.

Asefa Yesuf Import and Export v AP Moller-Maersk [2016]  EWHC 1437 - Counsel for the successful defendants in a Part 11 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, and represented the First Defendant in the Commercial Court in an application for an extension of time to serve a claim form out of the jurisdiction (heard concurrently).

A Company v B Company (2016) - Acted in a challenge to the Tribunal's jurisdiction in a FOSFA arbitration in relation to a sales contract containing a "pathological" dispute settlement clause providing for arbitration and jurisdiction of the German Courts.

Education and Career: 

Education

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

Scholarships

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)

Prizes

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: 

Teaching Fellow in International Commercial Litigation, University College London

COMBAR

Young Fraud Lawyers Association 

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