Barrister Alex Young

Alex Young

Year of call: 2008  

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“Tenacious & thorough. A keen sharp mind that is always focused.”

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Overview


Alex took a double first in history at Oxford, as well as a postgraduate degree, before converting to law at City University in London. He is a Lord Mansfield, Lord Haldane and Hardwicke Scholar of Lincoln’s Inn, and has been a member of 7BR since October 2009, having joined chambers at the end of a successful year’s pupillage.

During his legal training Alex won first prize in the annual City Criminal Law Essay as well as first prize in the Lincoln’s Inn Crowther Shield advocacy competition. A piece of research which Alex undertook during pupillage was explicitly praised by Lord Justice Munby in a reported judgment (Re Ward [2010] EWHC 16 (Fam), 1 FLR 1497).

Alex combines a keen eye for detail with outstanding oral and written advocacy, meaning he can analyse the facts and legal issues of a case from its earliest stages, and carry its preparation right through to presenting it in court. He is a popular choice with a number of specialist solicitors. Having embraced chambers’ strong multidisciplinary ethos, Alex acts for individual and major corporate clients alike in a variety of matters within his expertise, both within the United Kingdom and overseas.

Clinical Negligence Commercial Complex Fraud Crime Employment Offshore & International Personal Injury

Clinical Negligence


As one of the more junior members of the Clinical Negligence team Alex assists more senior members in preparing cases on behalf of Claimants and Defendants. This includes attending interim hearings such as a recent example of attending a costs hearing in the High Court concerning allegations of negligence against a plastic surgeon. He has also carried out pro bono research for Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA). Recently, Alex has been instructed in his own right to consider a potential claim against a GP for an alleged delay in diagnosing cancer, and a claim in respect of a vulnerable adult who sustained fracture injuries in the course of being moved in a care home. Alex is experienced in cross-examining expert witnesses on a variety of subjects, and is willing to consider instructions on a conditional fee basis.

Clinical Negligence Cases


  • A potential claim against a GP for an alleged delay in cancer diagnosis.
  • A potential claim by the estate of a vulnerable care home resident who sustained fracture injuries allegedly caused by being handled incorrectly by nursing staff.

Commercial


In conjunction with other members of the commercial team Alex has delivered seminar training to solicitors on various aspects of contract law, and is able to advise on a range of commercial law issues affecting both individuals and companies. He has acted in matters ranging from sizeable termination of contract disputes between large companies, to consumer credit, product liability, construction and mortgage disputes, as well as loan disputes between individuals. Alex also has experience of corporate insolvency and winding up disputes, and has successfully obtained a High Court injunction against the advertisement of a winding up petition and subsequently secured the petition’s dismissal.

Commercial Cases


  • Representing one of the UK’s largest corporate outsourcing providers in a six-figure damages claim relating to an IT provider’s termination of contract, which settled on favorable terms shortly before trial.
  • Representing someone who had loaned circa £50,000 to his then-girlfriend to fund a commercial venture, where the court rejected her defence that the money had been a gift following a multi-track trial.
  • Representing a couple who successfully sued their builder for breach of contract, in a substantial claim and counterclaim arising from defective works carried out in their home.
  • Advising in respect of a marine mortgage, in circumstances where the vessel had sunk and the insurers had repudiated a claim due to the alleged suspicious circumstances of the sinking.
  • Advising the owner of a permanent static caravan plot in respect of an eviction dispute with the caravan park.
  • Advising a high street letting agent in a High Court matter where the owners of the property had alleged professional negligence for failing to carry out background checks on a prospective tenant.
  • Advising a director accused of fraudulent misrepresentation, for having allegedly committed his company contractually despite knowing the company was insolvent.

Complex Fraud


Alex has growing experience in complex fraud and related cases. For several years Alex has acted as an ad hoc disclosure counsel to the Isle of Man Attorney General’s Chambers in several major fraud and money laundering prosecutions. Alex has also acted as full junior in one of those prosecutions for the pre-trial preparatory work, and as a stand-in junior in a Privy Council appeal. In the course of those cases Alex developed a good working relationship with the Isle of Man prosecutors and police. Alex is also engaged in ongoing offshore regulatory matters. Domestically, Alex has also stood in for the prosecution and defence counsel at various interim hearings concerning complex fraud or money laundering charges, and has advised clients accused of various civil frauds.

Through working on several offshore matters concerning the Channel Islands and Mauritius, Alex has also developed extensive experience in corporate investigations and corporate AML, CFT as well as sanctions systems and defences (and weaknesses in such systems).

Alex is well able to engage with document-heavy investigations as well as to carry out face-to-face interviews, and is willing to consider instructions relating to any jurisdiction worldwide.

Complex Fraud Cases


  • Acting as disclosure junior and junior respectively in two major fraud / breach of trust / proceeds of crime prosecutions brought by the Isle of Man authorities against directors and other personnel associated with trust and corporate service providers.
  • Acting as stand-in junior in the preparation of the response to a Privy Council appeal (Holt v Isle of Man Attorney General). Alex was extensively involved in liaising with leading counsel and the opposition concerning the drafting of material which was ultimately put before the Privy Council.

Crime


Alex is on the Grade 2 Crown Prosecution Service panel, and also carries out a variety of defence work. He has appeared extensively in Crown and Magistrates’ courts, on his own cases or on interim hearings for more senior members of chambers, concerning matters ranging in severity from speeding offences to allegations of homicide (including murder, attempted murder, death by dangerous driving and death by careless driving). Alex has conducted a number of jury trials for serious offences including burglary and possession of substantial quantities of class A drugs. He is well-versed in respect of motoring offences and has represented a number of private clients in matters such as speeding, failing to stop, failing to report accidents, and drink driving. He recently successfully secured the acquittal of a well-known music industry journalist on a charge of ‘opening a car door to danger’ following a contested trial. He has also advised private clients in respect of allegations ranging from possession of a bladed article to sexual assault.

Memberships


  • Midland Circuit
  • South Eastern Circuit

Crime Cases


  • Jenny Holt v Isle of Man Attorney General (UK Privy Council):  Instructed as stand in junior to cover the first junior’s maternity leave; involved extensively in preparing a response to an appeal brought by a Manx lawyer. Alex has also assisted the Isle of Man’s prosecution authorities as disclosure counsel in several major complex fraud and money laundering matters

Employment


Alex is an experienced employment junior who is regularly briefed in substantial claims by both employers and employees. Solicitors and lay clients alike have been impressed with Alex’s work, which has led to a number of repeat instructions on behalf of major clients including one of the UK’s largest construction firms, several NHS trusts and local authorities, as well as a world-famous London art gallery. Alex is a seasoned trial advocate who has been instructed in trials lasting upwards of seven days, including cases of unusual factual and legal complexity. Additionally, Alex has a developing appellate practice, having taken three cases to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (successfully obtaining judgment for the client in each case) and advising in several others. He also lectures regularly on employment law issues and has delivered specialist seminars to large lay and practitioner audiences.

Memberships


  • Employment Lawyers’ Association

Bonus Cases Employment Status Equality & Discrimination Termination Of Employment TUPE Whistleblowing & Victimisation

Bonus Cases


Alex has experience of cases where a dispute has arisen as to whether an employee’s bonus is discretionary or contractual, in the context of both money claims and the circumstances of bonus entitlement leading to a claim for constructive dismissal.

Employment Status


Alex has lectured on employment status as part of the annual 7BR ‘Introduction to Employment Law’ series and has advised a number of companies and individuals concerning this issue, including, in some instances, all the way to a contested trial. As well as acting in cases concerning the respective rights of employees, self-employed workers and the purely self-employed, Alex also has experience of related issues such as zero-hours contracts and continuity of employment. Recent cases which Alex has acted in concerning employment status have included an adventure sports professional who provided outdoor activities for children pursuant to a zero-hours contract with a local authority, a major fashion design company which was in dispute with one of its designers, and a director of a small but highly successful company who was removed from the board against his wishes.

Equality & Discrimination


Alex has acted in numerous cases involving allegations of race, sex, disability and age discrimination, both as standalone allegations and as adjuncts to unfair dismissal claims. He has a particular interest in age discrimination following his involvement in the seminal EAT case on the (now repealed) 2006 Age Regulations, Bailey v R&R Plant. He has lectured on discrimination generally as part of the 7BR ‘Introduction to Employment Law’ series, as well as delivering a specialised seminar on age discrimination to a large practitioner audience. More recently he also jointly led a seminar on equal pay which was delivered by chambers to the London Boroughs Legal Alliance Special Interests Group.

Recent cases in which Alex has advised / taken to trial include:

  • Acting for three Respondents (the employer and two senior managers) accused of disability discrimination by a claimant who had been dismissed for gross misconduct. After a six day hearing the claim was dismissed, the tribunal commenting that the disability evidence was ‘extremely thin’.
  • Advising a Claimant who secured a settlement from her former government department employer, in circumstances where she had claimed that her employer’s attitude to her disability had led to her being made redundant.
  • Successfully defending at trial a claim brought against a major construction company by one of its former HR managers for age and sex discrimination.
  • Successfully defending at trial a claim for race discrimination brought by a machine operator.
  • Representing a local authority in a claim brought by three members of school staff who were compulsorily retired under the old legislation. Owing to a failure to follow the retirement regulations the claimants had suffered age discrimination, but the tribunal was persuaded that, owing to the technical nature of the failure, it would not be appropriate to award any compensation.

Termination Of Employment


Alex has lectured widely on termination as part of the 7BR ‘Introduction to Employment Law’ series and also recently delivered a specialist seminar on remedies to Essex County Council’s legal department. He has been instructed by employers and employees in a large number of termination cases, including alleged constructive dismissal, wrongful dismissal, ‘whistleblowing’ dismissal, redundancy (both of the simple kind and also more complex ‘business reorganisation’ redundancies), and ordinary unfair dismissal. He has acted in cases ranging from simple half day trials up to trials lasting a week or longer, in cases valued by claimants up to six figures, and in one case where disputed expert evidence was deployed concerning the technical circumstances which had led to dismissal (namely the causes of a near-fatal accident on a construction site). He has received repeat instructions over the past several years from several major employers and also acted for numerous individuals ranging from manual workers to senior executives.

Recent cases have included:

  • Advising a civil servant in a claim brought against a government department for redundancy, in a case which settled before trial.
  • Advising a senior manager made redundant in a business reorganisation by a well-known outdoor opera company, in a case which settled favourably through negotiation before proceedings were even issued.
  • Defending successfully at trial a large IT company from multiple claims brought by aggrieved employees arising from a business reorganisation redundancy.
  • Defending successfully at trial a claim for unfair dismissal brought by one of a major company’s own HR managers.
  • Defending successfully at trial an employer which had targeted an employee with covert surveillance and then dismissed them for falsely claiming to be disabled.

TUPE


Alex has acted in several multi-respondent TUPE matters where the respondents were disputing which of them was the claimant’s employer. In two different service provision cases for the same respondent client, Alex successfully argued at multi-day contested hearings that his client was not the correct employer. He secured not only the dismissal of the respondent from the proceedings in each case, but also two costs orders against two other respondents – in one case for late disclosure, and in the other for having continued to pursue an argument beyond the point at which it had become hopeless as a matter of fact and law.

Whistleblowing & Victimisation


Alex has advised, and successfully defended at trial, employers in several cases where employees have claimed to have been dismissed or otherwise subjected to detriment for raising whistleblowing allegations (including allegations concerning potentially fatal breaches of health and safety, and alleged fraudulent claiming of overtime), including an NHS Trust, a major construction company and a company providing services to a globally recognised car manufacturer. Alex appreciates the commercial and reputational sensitivities involved in such cases, and is used to advising major clients on how best to contest such allegations.

Employment Cases


  • Hira Company Ltd v Daly UKEAT/0135/10/RN:  Having won at trial on behalf of a Claimant in a constructive dismissal case (in which, unusually, the two lay tribunal members had outvoted the employment judge), Alex successfully resisted the employer’s appeal.
  • Bailey v R&R Plant (Peterborough) Ltd [2011] All ER (D) 03 (Sep) (EAT):  Alex successfully argued a novel point of law concerning the interpretation of retirement legislation, in a case which attracted considerable practitioner comment and was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal.
  • London Borough of Redbridge v Idris UKEAT/007/13/DM:  Having been instructed at short notice, Alex successfully resisted an appeal brought against a claimant who had represented himself at trial and had obtained a substantial judgment.

Offshore & International


Alex has in recent years been involved in litigation or investigative matters involving the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Mauritius, the Middle East and the Far East. He has assisted Her Majesty’s Attorney General of the Isle of Man with three major criminal fraud, money laundering and related offences prosecutions (including acting as stand-in junior in a Privy Council matter). He has also been appointed as an ad hoc consultant to assist an internationally-recognised offshore firm in carrying out an eighteen-month financial regulatory investigation in respect of a third party, and also to assist in carrying out corporate supervisory visits on behalf of an offshore regulator. In both instances Alex has acquired extensive experience of international AML, CFT and sanctions regulatory systems, and of corporate systems and defences concerning those areas. Separately, Alex has also assisted in investigating an overseas matter involving multiple homicides. Alex has a fine eye for detail which lends itself in particular to investigative matters, and is willing to consider instructions concerning any part of the world and to undertake any requisite travel.

Offshore & International Cases


  • Played a key role in a major eighteen-month investigation into regulatory AML / CFT and sanctions compliance in respect of a third party. The subject matter had been global in scope and spanned a number of years, therefore involving a vast array of documents as well as transcripts of live interviews.
  • Carrying out AML / CFT compliance supervisory visits on behalf of an offshore regulator.
  • Assisting with a highly confidential offshore investigation into multiple homicides.
  • Acting as disclosure junior and junior respectively in two major fraud / breach of trust / proceeds of crime prosecutions brought by the Isle of Man authorities against trust and corporate service providers.
  • Acting as stand-in junior in the preparation of the response to a Privy Council appeal (Holt v Isle of Man Attorney General). Alex was extensively involved in liaising with leading counsel and the opposition concerning the drafting of material which was put before the Privy Council.

Personal Injury


Alex is an experienced personal injury practitioner who has conducted serious work in his own right, including fatal accident claims, as well as assisting more senior members of the team in preparing and quantifying cases concerning catastrophic lifelong injuries. Alex has appeared for claimants and defendants in the High Court as well as the County Court in both fast- and multi-track claims. His cases have involved road traffic accidents, claims under the Highways Act, Occupiers’ Liability Act and Fatal Accidents Act, and a variety of employers’ liability claims. Whilst he also does a considerable amount of claimant work, Alex is one of a small number of members of the 7BR team who is an approved ‘panel’ counsel for one of the UK’s biggest high street retailers, and has also been instructed by motor insurers to act in claims involving alleged fraudulent road traffic accidents. He is willing to consider instructions on a conditional fee basis.

Fraudulent Claims

Fraudulent Claims


Alex has been instructed in several road traffic cases where the defendant has alleged or suspected the claim to have been fraudulent. Instructions in this field have come both from claimants seeking to rebut such allegations, and from defendants (in particular motor insurers) seeking to defeat the claim at trial. In a recent multi-track trial in the Central London County Court, Alex successfully defended a claim where the judge found the claimant (and his alleged ‘independent’ witness) to be fraudulent. In the Oxford County Court, Alex was instructed by a defendant in a six-party multi-track road traffic ‘pile up’ case, where the lead claimant had been accused of having induced the accident, and the claimant’s solicitors were subsequently pursued for costs for having continued the claim even after the claimant had ceased to provide instructions. As a common law practitioner with considerable experience of criminal practice, Alex is also able to bring his skills from that practice to bear in cases of alleged civil fraud. In particular, Alex has detailed knowledge of police disclosure and accident reports (particularly useful where there are linked criminal proceedings for dangerous or careless driving), as well as being adept at robust cross-examination.

Personal Injury Cases


  • Advising on damages for dependency for a young child whose father was killed in a road traffic accident, and securing a High Court approval of the ensuing settlement.
  • Securing a favorable settlement for an injured self-employed carpenter whose pleaded damages exceeded £50,000.
  • Winning a contested liability trial for a schoolgirl injured while horse-riding by a collision with an overtaking lorry.
  • Attending a settlement approval hearing on behalf of a defendant insurer in a catastrophic injury claim valued in excess of £5 million.
  • Acting for a defendant insurer in a multi-track road traffic case at trial, where the circuit judge found the claimant and his alleged ‘independent’ witness to be fraudulent.
  • Advising an elderly lady who slipped on spilled paint in a department store, where the defendant subsequently settled her claim on favorable terms despite an initial denial of liability.
  • Advising a man who slipped on ice in a garden centre.
  • Advising a cleaner who subsequently obtained a favorable settlement from her employer for an injury she sustained while lifting a rubbish bin.
  • Acting for a leading national retailer in defending a number of claims brought by employees and customers for injuries sustained on store premises.
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