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Alexander Halban

Alexander Halban

Call: 2009

Barrister

‘Very smart and responsive, he is a rising star of the Bar’

Chambers & Partners

‘An incredibly able advocate who quickly and succinctly identifies and deploys the salient points in a very effective and engaging manner which always has the ear of the court’

Legal 500

‘Incredibly user-friendly, very responsive and someone with excellent attention to detail, he punches above his weight and is a pleasure to work with’

Chambers & Partners

‘Very pragmatic and very commercially minded’

Chambers & Partners

‘He cross-examines well, makes strong points and is much in demand as he speaks Russian’

Chambers & Partners

‘A real all-rounder – extremely bright and versatile, with excellent drafting skills’

Legal 500

‘Incredibly impressive junior, he has a sense of judgment that exceeds his call, which means he gets to the heart of the issue – Russian language skills are a plus but as an all-round junior, he has been phenomenal’

Legal 500

‘Bright, produces excellent documents, and has a firm but pleasant courtroom manner, he also has a USP: he speaks fluent Russian, meaning that he is a natural choice for the wave of CIS litigation making its way through the Commercial Court at present’

Legal 500

Alexander Halban

‘Very smart and responsive, he is a rising star of the Bar’

Chambers & Partners

‘An incredibly able advocate who quickly and succinctly identifies and deploys the salient points in a very effective and engaging manner which always has the ear of the court’

Legal 500

‘Incredibly user-friendly, very responsive and someone with excellent attention to detail, he punches above his weight and is a pleasure to work with’

Chambers & Partners

‘Very pragmatic and very commercially minded’

Chambers & Partners

‘He cross-examines well, makes strong points and is much in demand as he speaks Russian’

Chambers & Partners

‘A real all-rounder – extremely bright and versatile, with excellent drafting skills’

Legal 500

‘Incredibly impressive junior, he has a sense of judgment that exceeds his call, which means he gets to the heart of the issue – Russian language skills are a plus but as an all-round junior, he has been phenomenal’

Legal 500

‘Bright, produces excellent documents, and has a firm but pleasant courtroom manner, he also has a USP: he speaks fluent Russian, meaning that he is a natural choice for the wave of CIS litigation making its way through the Commercial Court at present’

Legal 500

Contact

Alexander specialises in commercial litigation, civil fraud and asset tracing, and insolvency and company law disputes.

Alexander is a fluent Russian speaker and has a particular expertise in Russian and CIS disputes. Most of his cases have an international element, often involving jurisdiction challenges, conflicts of laws issues, and claims brought under foreign law. He regularly appears in applications for freezing orders and other injunctive relief, in cross-border and domestic cases. He also speaks fluent French.

Alexander is recommended as a leading commercial practitioner by the independent guides to the legal profession. Chambers & Partners ranks him as a leading junior for Commercial Dispute Resolution and Legal 500 for Commercial Litigation and Civil Fraud law. Feedback includes:

An incredibly able advocate who quickly and succinctly identifies and deploys the salient points in a very effective and engaging manner which always has the ear of the court’ (Legal 500 2022, Commercial Litigation)

A real all-rounder – extremely bright and versatile, with excellent drafting skills.’ (Legal 500 2022, Fraud: Civil)

‘Incredibly user-friendly, very responsive and someone with excellent attention to detail, he punches above his weight and is a pleasure to work with’ (Chambers & Partners 2022, Commercial Dispute Resolution)

‘Very pragmatic and very commercially minded’ (Chambers & Partners 2022, Commercial Dispute Resolution)

‘Very smart and responsive, he is a rising star of the Bar’ (Chambers and Partners 2021, Commercial Dispute Resolution)

‘He cross-examines well, makes strong points and is much in demand as he speaks Russian’ (Chambers and Partners 2021, Commercial Dispute Resolution)

‘Incredibly impressive junior, he has a sense of judgment that exceeds his call, which means he gets to the heart of the issue – Russian language skills are a plus but as an all-round junior, he has been phenomenal’ (Legal 500 2021, Commercial Litigation)

‘Bright, produces excellent documents, and has a firm but pleasant courtroom manner, he also has a USP: he speaks fluent Russian, meaning that he is a natural choice for the wave of CIS litigation making its way through the Commercial Court at present’ (Legal 500 2021, Fraud: Civil)

Alexander has wide experience of appearing in the High Court (led and as sole counsel) in trials and interlocutory matters. He has also appeared in the Court of Appeal, Privy Council and the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.

Alexander read History and Russian at St John’s College, University of Oxford, where he graduated with First Class Honours in 2007. He completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Bar Vocational Course at City University, London, during which he was awarded a number of scholarships and prizes.

Details of his experience may be found in the practice area tabs. Recent cases include:

  • Al-Subaihi v Al-Sanea [2021] EWHC 2609 (Comm): (led by Rupert D’Cruz QC) acting successfully at trial for the Claimants, Saudi lawyers claiming unpaid legal fees of $16 million for representing the former Saudi billionaire, Maan Al-Sanea, his family and his collapsed Saad Group of companies. The case raised issues solicitors’ fiduciary duties to clients in relation to fee agreements, lawful act duress and undue influence
  • ESL Fuels v Prema Energy (2021): acting for the Claimant (led by Adam Solomon QC) in a claim for breach of a settlement agreement which licensed confidential information allowing the Defendant to manufacture and supply of alternative fuels
  • National Bank Trust v Yurov [2020] EWHC 100 (Comm): acting for defendants (led by Paul Stanley QC and Tom Poole QC) in a nine-week Commercial Court fraud claim brought by a Russian bank alleging misappropriation of $900 million against its former directors and shareholders, raising complex issues of Russian law on directors’ and employees’ liability and involving detailed scrutiny of forensic accountancy evidence. The case was listed as one The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases
  • VTB Bank v Laptev [2020] EWHC 321 (Ch): acting (as sole counsel) in bankruptcy proceedings for £25 million brought by a Russian bank against a Russian-domiciled individual who is already in Russian bankruptcy proceedings. Alexander successfully secured the dismissal of the petition for lack of jurisdiction and based on expert evidence of Russian law
  • AOS Holdings Ltd v Korotkov (2020): acting (led by Rupert D’Cruz QC) in a Commercial Court contract and fraud claim for US$150 million arising out of the purchase of a new cryptocurrency, Grams, launched by the social media app Telegram. The issue of the Grams is currently blocked by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US District Court. The case featured a jurisdiction challenge in the English court and freezing injunction proceedings in Cyprus, before a confidential settlement was reached
  • Sheianov v Sarner International [2020] EWHC 1214 (QB), [2020] 1 WLR 3963: as sole counsel, successfully obtained summary judgment for delivery up of an historic collection of Second World War motorcycles held by an exhibition design company, which was claiming a lien for its unpaid fees. The judgment was reported in the Weekly Law Reports and contains the first detailed modern discussion of the principles of the common law lien
  • Russian Airline v Seychelles Company (2019): acting (as sole counsel) for a Russian airline in an LCIA arbitration concerning an attempted corporate raid on the airline by a former joint venture partner, claiming debts of US$180 million
  • Lefebvre d’Ovidio v Lefebvre d’Ovidio (2019-2021): acting for the claimants (led by Charles Samek QC) in an application for a freezing order under s. 25 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 in support of Italian proceedings concerning the ownership of Silversea Cruises, valued at €750 million and in subsequent proceedings to set aside transactions at an undervalue under s. 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986, in support of the enforcement of Italian judgments

Russia and CIS

Commercial Law and Civil Fraud

Insolvency and Company Law

Professional background

Русский Профиль

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