Alexander Layton KC > Twenty Essex > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Twenty Essex

Work Department

  • Arbitration and mediation
  • Civil fraud and asset tracing
  • Commercial law
  • EU and competition law
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Private international law
  • Public international law
  • Shipping


Alex is a specialist in private international law. His practice consists almost entirely of cross-border disputes over a wide range of commercial and other matters, including aspects of public international law and state immunity.

His practice is mainly in the Commercial Court and Chancery Division of the High Court, as well as appellate work and arbitration. Alex has been admitted ad hoc to the Bars of Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. He also sits as an arbitrator in international commercial arbitrations both in the UK and abroad.

Alex has given expert evidence on English and European law for proceedings in Europe, Russia, Canada, Latin America and the US. He has also lectured on topics of European and international law in Britain, Europe and the US. Alex was a Visiting Fellow of New York University’s Center for Transnational Litigation and Commercial Law in 2011 and 2018. He is currently a Visiting Professor at King’s College London, teaching private international law. Alex is also a member of the Advisory Boards of the Journal of Private International Law and Oxford University’s Institute of European and Comparative Law.

He was appointed an Assistant Recorder in 1998 and a Recorder in 2000, sitting in both civil and criminal jurisdictions. Alex is also a Deputy High Court Judge.


Qualified 1976, Middle Temple; Astbury Scholar 1975; QC 1995; Assistant Recorder 1998; Recorder 2000; Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators 2000; Bencher 2004; Deputy High Court Judge 2007. Publications: co-author, ‘European Civil Practice’ (2nd ed, 2004); contributor, ‘Bar on Trial’ (1977); contributor, ‘Practitioner’s Handbook of EC Law’ (1998); contributor, ‘Forum Shopping in the European Judicial Area’ (2008).


French (working knowledge), German (working knowledge).


  • Academy of European Law: Trustee
  • Bar European Group: former Chairman
  • British Institute of International and Comparative Law: Chairman of the Board of Trustees (2005–2011)
  • British-German Jurists Association: former Chairman
  • CIArb: Fellow
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association


  • Faculté International pour l`Enseignement de Droit Comparé in Strasbourg and Pescara (1975)
  • Ludwig-Maximillian Universität Munich (1975)
  • University of Oxford, Brasenose College (1974)