Since he was called to the Bar in 2008, Alex Young has acted in hundreds of cases and has developed the skillset and discipline to offer every client first class advice and advocacy in regulatory disputes in which he specialises.
He receives regular repeat instructions from solicitors in both private practice and government law departments, who value his attention to detail in the preparation of a case and his ability to distil that detail into clear oral and written submissions. He combines intellectual rigour with an approachable and personable manner which helps put clients at ease and helps him to win the confidence of judges.
Having completed his pupillage in 7BR, Alex adopted chambers’ multidisciplinary ethos and built a practice which focuses on the traditional common law areas of crime, personal injury, commercial, professional (including clinical) negligence / discipline, and employment. While successfully practising in each area in its own right, Alex is also well-placed to assist in cases where overlapping areas of law are engaged. For example, Alex prosecutes and defends serious cases in the Crown Court and is on the Grade 3 panel of CPS independent prosecutors. His experience of the criminal law has led to a number of instructions in employment tribunal cases where allegations of dishonesty or other criminal misconduct have been levelled at employees; he has acted on both sides in a number of personal injury actions where claims have been said to have been fraudulently made or exaggerated; and his personal injury experience has proved useful in advising employers around difficult issues of workplace employment rights where injuries at work have been alleged. His knowledge of civil and criminal law practice and procedure has led to instructions in financial and medical regulatory cases where regulators, applying the civil standard of proof, have to consider alleged breaches of professional discipline where the underlying allegation points to potential criminal conduct.
During his career to date Alex has been instructed in cases in the Civil and Criminal Divisions of the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the Crown Court, the Employment and Employment Appeal Tribunals and the Coroner’s Court. He is adept at dealing with complex cases involving tens of thousands of pages of evidence. His clients have ranged from individuals to large companies, to UK and overseas regulators and governments, a world-famous London art gallery, a world-famous opera company, and a Royal College of physicians.
As well as advocacy and advice work, Alex has extensive experience of complex investigative work in the criminal and regulatory fields. He has interviewed large numbers of witnesses to a traumatic multiple homicide committed overseas; he has also interviewed directors and compliance officers in businesses being investigated for alleged infringements of financial and anti-money laundering regulation, and has written detailed reports, in some cases running to hundreds of pages, analysing complex allegations of serious wrongdoing.
Before he studied law, Alex read history at Oxford University, where he achieved first class undergraduate honours and a postgraduate degree. 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  EWHC 16 (Fam),  1 FLR 1497). He now regularly delivers seminars internally within 7BR and to external clients and solicitors.
Alex prosecutes and defends allegations of serious crime.
Alex is Grade 3 on the CPS panel of independent prosecutors, and is regularly briefed by CPS Complex Case Units.
Alex also advises in criminal matters overseas: he has been instructed to advise in prosecutions brought in Jersey (2018) and the Isle of Man (2011-2014). In the latter he was junior counsel in a major fraud by the fiduciary in a trust services company (AG v B), involving ancillary allegations of money laundering against an Isle of Man solicitor. Alex assisted as junior counsel in the latter case during the preparation of its appeal to the Privy Council (H v Attorney General  UKPC 4). He has also been part of a team from 7BR instructed to investigate a mass shooting in an overseas jurisdiction, in which role he interviewed a large number of witnesses who had suffered extremely traumatic experiences.
Prosecuting (as junior alone) a defendant (represented by Queen’s counsel) accused of causing death by dangerous driving.
Led junior in series of cases alleging gang-related violence, county lines drugs conspiracies and possession of firearms with intent to endanger life.
Case concerning two civilian employees of Leicestershire Police, one a manager, accused of stealing money and other items from the force’s evidence and lost property stores.
Instructed to intervene on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions in judicial review proceedings arising from the justices’ refusal to adjourn the trial of an absent defendant alleging mental health problems.
Alex appeared in the Court of Appeal alone for the Crown at the hearing of this major modern slavery case (see Operation Pottery below), against two Queen’s counsel and a number of leading juniors for the defendants in multiple conviction and sentence appeals.
Defending limited company accused of breaches of planning permission on a large rural industrial site.
Led junior in seven-week trial of six defendants on allegations of attempted murder and assisting an offender, following a shooting and stabbing on a residential street in broad daylight.
Briefed to defend one of two defendants at trial accused of a spree of night time dwelling robberies including an alleged section 18 stabbing, culminating in assaults on police officers and the stabbing of a police dog.
Briefed in three-counsel case as First Junior in Operation Pottery, which was described by the trial judge as one of the largest modern slavery cases ever to be brought to trial in this country and which attracted national media attention. The first trial lasted some five months and involved multiple witnesses with various serious physical and mental vulnerabilities, tens of thousands of pages of evidence, and complex issues of law and fact. Fifteen defendants were prosecuted across several indictments.
Represented defendant accused of causing death by careless driving at trial (with contested expert evidence called by both sides) and in the Court of Appeal. Alex has also prosecuted such offences, and regularly receives instructions from insurers and private clients in relation to a range of motoring offences.
Alex regularly acts in complex cases of financial crime or regulatory law.
Alex’s financial criminal practice includes an international dimension: he has been instructed to advise in prosecutions brought in Jersey and the Isle of Man. In the latter he was junior counsel in a major fraud by the fiduciary in a trust services company (AG v B), involving ancillary allegations of money laundering against an Isle of Man solicitor. Alex assisted as junior counsel in the latter case (Holt v Attorney General  UKPC 4) during the preparation of its appeal to the Privy Council. In 2016, he was the keynote speaker at a two day anti-money laundering seminar convened by the regulatory authorities on St Kitts and Nevis, and has drafted a proposed new Anti-Money Laundering Code for financial services businesses on behalf of a regulator in another overseas jurisdiction.
Alex has regularly been instructed by reporting professionals in the investigation of companies and individuals where breaches of anti-money laundering law and regulation are suspected. In that role Alex has extensively interviewed directors, money laundering reporting officers and compliance officers of ‘household name’ multinational and offshore companies, and has produced and edited detailed written reports dealing with complex disputes of fact and large volumes of documents.
Instructed to advise on possible consequences, including potential public law and criminal and regulatory proceedings, arising from a public inquiry into hundreds of potentially premature deaths at an English hospital.
Acting on behalf of one of the medical royal colleges in a case where an unqualified doctor had obtained membership of the college on a false basis and whose subsequent treatment of a patient who died is being investigated.
Assisting reporting professional with investigation instigated by Jersey’s Financial Supervision Commission into the affairs of an internationally listed company, regarding its compliance with Jersey’s anti money laundering regime.
Instructed by CPS Serious Fraud Division to prosecute defendant accused, along with his identical twin brother, of six figure gift aid fraud on HMRC. Previously for the same unit Alex had sole conduct of the prosecution of Operation Scar, an HMRC series of prosecutions brought against nearly 20 individuals for tax evasion in the construction industry. Alex has prosecuted and defended a wide range of frauds and money laundering offences in this jurisdiction and overseas, and has extensive financial regulatory experience, and experience of confiscation and forfeiture under the Proceeds of Crime Act. He has lectured to practitioners on aspects of the Criminal Finances Act as part of a series of seminars delivered by chambers.
Disclosure junior and assistant junior during the preparation of the appeal.
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. His instructions have encompassed issues relating to all kinds of discrimination, employment status, TUPE transfers, bonuses and holiday pay, unfair dismissal, victimization, harassment and whistleblowing. Alex appreciates the commercial and reputational sensitivities at stake in such cases, and is used to advising clients on how best to progress or contest such allegations.
Alex is a seasoned trial advocate who can undertake complex trials in cases of unusual factual and legal complexity in the employment tribunal and the county court. He frequently advises and acts in cases where there is a criminal law dimension: examples include employees accused of defrauding their employers, fights in the workplace, and alleged sexual assaults involving senior staff.
Additionally, Alex has achieved several appellate successes, having taken three cases to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (successfully obtaining judgment for the client in each case) and advising in several others which were compromised prior to final hearing. He also lectures regularly on employment law issues and has delivered specialist seminars to large lay and practitioner audiences. In January 2019, after Alex successfully defended at trial a large IT company from allegations of direct sex discrimination and unfair dismissal, the managing director wrote to his instructing solicitor: “Alex was highly impressive and his tone spot on…great choice of barrister and we are hugely appreciative of his efforts.”
Defending GP surgery accused of various forms of discrimination, harassment and victimization by a former patient.
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 in the 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.
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.
Alex has extensive experience of contractual and negligence actions in the commercial sphere, having been instructed on behalf of a number of individuals and companies in disputes over debt, poor contractual performance (including building disputes) and allegedly inadequate professional services in a variety of fields.
Clients have included recruitment, lettings and estate agents, IT companies, fashion designers and textiles manufacturers, food wholesalers, and various individuals ranging from customers to directors and shareholders.
Being a seasoned trial advocate, Alex is particularly well-placed to advise in complex factual cases concerning alleged civil or criminal fraud and other related wrongdoing. He has a good eye for detail and is able to advise clients at the very early stages of a case as to how the evidence currently sits and what further investigations should be carried out in order to progress or defend a claim. He has also represented clients in mediation. As well as trial advocacy he has successfully undertaken a variety of interim applications including High Court injunctions restraining winding up petitions.
High Court action, acting for firm of solicitors claiming more than £250,000 in unpaid fees from their lay client under a conditional fee agreement, in circumstances where the retainer had been terminated mid-litigation. Alex advised extensively throughout, including on whether the defendant was in breach of an undertaking to the court. Alex successfully obtained summary judgment and successfully resisted the defendant’s appeal, in what is now a reported case concerning the correct interpretation of a condition in the Law Society’s standard contractual terms. Alex continues to act in an ongoing second appeal due to be heard by the Court of Appeal.
Defending High Court claim brought by leading investment bank for nearly £500,000 damages for alleged misrepresentation, arising from the hire-purchase of industrial plant where the plant was subsequently said to have been stolen.
Instructed to advise individual who transferred sums totalling six figures to what proved to be fraudulent investment scheme.
Instructed to advise on all aspects of a minority shareholder / quasi partnership dispute involving allegations and counter-allegations of theft, fraud and false accounting in a small but profitable business venture.
Acting for fashion house defending claim brought by textiles manufacturer for unpaid invoices. Complex dispute of fact as to whether purchase orders had been properly fulfilled in accordance with the contract, and dispute over contractual construction. Six figure sums in issue.
Acting for international food wholesaler in contractual dispute with shipping agency over whether consignments of goods were released without proper authorisation in an overseas jurisdiction. Fraudulent collusion between one of the wholesaler’s and agency’s employees and other individuals / entities was alleged.
High Court professional negligence action brought by investor alleging inappropriate financial advice concerning relocating overseas. Successfully argued for the pleaded defence to be struck out on the basis of serious defaults in the litigation process on the part of the defendant’s solicitors.
Alex is an experienced personal injury practitioner who has conducted cases including fatal accident claims, claims concerning lifelong injuries and cases where allegations of fundamental dishonesty have been made. 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. His crossover experience in criminal and employment law make him well suited to advise in cases concerning accidents in the workplace, and cases where the claims advanced are suspected by the defendant or its insurers to be fraudulent. In the latter, he has advised and acted for both claimants and defendants in cases where covert surveillance has been employed.
Alex has advised in cases of alleged medical negligence, such as delayed cancer diagnosis and an acupuncturist who punctured both of her client’s lungs. Alex was recently (August 2019) instructed to attend inquest proceedings in respect of alleged neglect by hospital staff leading to the preventable death of a toddler from sepsis.
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