Alex Bailin KC > Matrix Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Matrix Chambers


Alex’s practice is centred on financial and business crime, all aspects of criminal law, and extradition.  His work also involves public law, human rights, media law and public international law. He is variously described as “a class act”; “wildly clever – a true polymath”; “hugely respected”, “everyone wants him on their side”; “an outstanding advocate”.

Alex is recommended by the legal directories as a leading Silk in eight areas, spanning both criminal and civil law. His core areas are  [1] financial/business crime (individuals and corporates) [2] general crime [3] extradition [4] financial services [5] human rights [6] public and administrative law; he also specialises in [7] media law, including defamation and privacy, and [8] public international law.

Previously a derivatives trader in the City, Alex is instructed in a wide variety of financial and business crime cases: corporate manslaughter, corruption, cartels, frauds of all kinds, insider dealing and other financial services/regulatory offences. He represents a wide range of bodies and persons: senior business executives, regulators, prosecuting authorities, professional bodies, multinational corporations, banks and government departments. He is sought after for his advice during the investigatory stages and for heavyweight trial work. He is highly ranked for his work both for individuals and for corporates. For individuals, he is considered “among the country’s most highly regarded specialists in this space”.  For his corporate work he is regarded as “superb”; “a very cool and trusted individual.”

 He has been briefed in a number of high profile extradition cases e.g. USA v Mike Lynch and USA v Oleg Tinkov. He has experience of criminal cases from many diverse jurisdictions e.g. USA, Russia, Ukraine, France, Jersey, Iceland, Greece, the Middle East and a number of Caribbean countries.  He is described as “streets ahead intellectually”; “Innovative, very smooth and a class act, he takes the case to another level.”; “a top name at the Bar for extradition”.

He has a wealth of financial services experience, having acted in a number of complex market abuse investigations and insider dealing criminal trials. He has been instructed in many regulatory investigations, such as the recent PRA/FCA probe into the conduct of senior managers at HBOS plc. He is regularly briefed in RDC/EDMC hearings, where his previous trading and banking experience is invaluable. He is described as having “great judgement and tactical nous”; and being “very polished”.

His commercial work often has a criminal aspect to it e.g. high value civil claims following criminal investigations or prosecutions; Commercial Court litigation with parallel criminal proceedings. His high profile Commercial Court work includes the Tchenguiz litigation and Libyan Investment Authority v SocGen.

His general criminal work ranges from murder and gross negligence manslaughter to interception of communications and official secrets, and he is one of handful of advocates with genuine expertise in espionage cases.  He is also sought after in homicide cases which involve unusual aspects. He is instructed in a mixture of trial and appellate work, including CCRC referrals.  He is described as “the most compelling and elegant advocate”.

His international criminal and public international work includes advising on state immunity; cases concerning torture, rendition, genocide and other violations of fundamental human rights. He has global experience: e.g. US Supreme Court cases; litigation in the Turks & Caicos Islands; proceedings before the International Criminal Court. Recently, he was instructed in relation to matters relating to the Lockerbie bombing. In public international law, he is “very sought after”; “his advocacy is superb; calm, measured and highly persuasive”.

His media work often involves the interaction between fair trial rights, privacy, confidentiality, open justice and freedom of speech – areas where criminal and media law intersect. He has acted for high-profile figures, editors, journalists, programme producers, publishers, national newspapers and broadcasters on reputation management issues, production orders, search warrants, witness summonses, reporting restrictions, anonymity, contempt of court, the Official Secrets Acts and other criminal offences. His media clients include all major UK media organisations together with global media groups such as Thomson Reuters and BuzzFeed. He is “wildly clever – a true polymath”; “second to none”; “inspires”.

He has a diverse human rights and public law practice: from commercial judicial reviews to test cases in the ECtHR. His clients range from wealthy private clients, major shareholders, multinational corporations and FTSE companies to media organisations, regulators, public authorities, NGOs and publicly-funded individuals. He has been instructed in more than 20 cases in the Supreme Court, House of Lords, Privy Council and European Court of Human Rights. He often works at the interface between criminal and public law. He has appeared in a number of major Public Inquiries e.g. Litvinenko Inquiry, Undercover Policing Inquiry. He is described as “a class act”; “steps ahead of everyone else”; “has the flair you need … to get the ear of the court.”


Called 1995; Silk 2010; Previously a derivatives trader; Contributing author to leading books on fraud, criminal, public and human rights law; Crown Court Recorder; Deputy High Court Judge.


Bar Human Rights Committee; Foreign Office pro bono lawyers’ panel; ALBA; Criminal Bar Association.


Cambridge University; Sussex University.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Defamation and privacy

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Alex Bailin KCMatrix ChambersAlex is wildly clever – a true polymath who excels in numerous areas of law. His advocacy is superb: calm, measured and highly persuasive.

London Bar > Public international law

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Alex Bailin KCMatrix Chambers ‘Alex is wildly clever – a true polymath who excels in numerous areas of law. His advocacy is superb: calm, measured and highly persuasive.’

Matrix Chambers is praised for its ‘highly experienced and motivated lawyers, with an in-depth knowledge of international law and a hard-to-match experience before international tribunals‘. The set’s members have a diverse range of expertise including investment treaty claims, state-versus-state disputes and cases before the ECHR and ICJ. Notable cases include Somalia v Kenya, in which Edward Craven  is representing the Somali government in a maritime boundary dispute with Kenya.  Michelle Butler acts for Congo in reparations proceedings linked to the ICJ dispute Democratic Republic of the Congo v Uganda concerning human rights violations carried out by the Ugandan government during the Second Congo War. Alex Bailin KC has been very active on the diplomatic immunity side.

London Bar > Crime

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Alex Bailin KC  – Matrix Chambers ‘Alex is fantastic. He is very well-versed in the criminal law, and is the most compelling and elegant advocate.’

London Bar > Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations)

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Alex Bailin KCMatrix ChambersAlex is able to really see the big picture whilst also being on top of the detail. 

Matrix Chambers is known for its high-profile work on behalf of banks, financial institutions, and corporates in complex corporate crime prosecutions and investigations, offering integrated expertise across data protection, reputation management, and asset recovery issues, as well as a dedicated regulatory investigations team. Clare Montgomery KC remains a highly sought-after counsel for serious financial crime defence and prosecution work, and acted for the FCA in its successful money laundering prosecution of NatWest, while Alex Bailin KC acts in major SFO proceedings, including defending a senior executive of Petrofac against the SFO. The ‘absolutely excellentNichola Higgins continues to expand her profile, including major instructions from the SFO and FCA, such as acting for the SFO in both R v Skeene and R v Bowers, interlinked £30m investment fraud cases.

London Bar > Financial services regulation

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Alex Bailin KC – Matrix Chambers ‘Alex is really good. He has great judgement and tactical nous. He took what is a very complicated case and distilled it down into the salient points. His advocacy is slick and measured. He’s very polished.’

London Bar > International crime and extradition

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Alex Bailin KCMatrix Chambers ‘He is incredibly thorough and a superb advocate.’

The ‘top team offering strength in depth‘ at Matrix Chambers often advises in notable cases before the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, and the European Court of Human Rights. The work is often cross-border and in 2021 its barristers have been briefed in numerous high-profile US, Russian and Indian extradition cases. In criminal related matters, Alex Bailin KC is lauded as an ‘expert on all aspects of financial and business crime‘, and recently acted in R (Lynch) v Westminster Magistrates’ Court, representing Mike Lynch, the former CEO of Autonomy, in the High Court in relation to a request for his extradition by the United States concerning allegations of fraud relating to HP’s purchase of Autonomy. When it comes to general crime, ‘thorough and diligent‘ junior Florence Iveson recently represented a requested person in the case of Government of India v Singh, Singh and Gill, an alleged terrorism related murder case.

London Bar > Administrative law and human rights

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Alex Bailin KCMatrix Chambers ‘Alex is wildly clever – a true polymath who excels in numerous areas of law. His advocacy is superb: calm, measured and highly persuasive.’