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Alexander Halban

Alexander Halban

Call: 2009


Alexander Halban


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

Alexander is a fluent Russian speaker and has a particular expertise in CIS disputes. Amongst many other CIS cases, he appeared in National Bank Trust v Yurov [2020] EWHC 100 (Comm), a nine-week Commercial Court trial of a Russian banking fraud claim for US$900 million. Alexander also speaks fluent French.

Most of Alexander’s cases have an international element, often involving jurisdiction challenges, conflicts of law 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.

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.

Recent cases include:

  • National Bank Trust v Yurov [2020] EWHC 100 (Comm): acting for defendants (led by Paul Stanley Q.C. and Tom Poole) 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) 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 has featured a jurisdiction challenge in the English court and freezing injunction proceedings in Cyprus.
  • 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): acting for the claimants (led by Charles Samek Q.C.) 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.

Russia and CIS

Commercial and Civil Fraud

Insolvency and company law

Professional background

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