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Ali Malek QC

Called to the Bar 1980; QC 1996; Languages: English and French (working knowledge)
Email: am@3vb.com

Ali Malek QC

Ali Malek's practice is largely commercial with experience in all types of banking and financial disputes, aviation, international trade, financial services, insurance, civil fraud, energy law (oil and gas joint venture disputes),competition and consumer credit law, professional negligence (accountants and solicitors), insolvency, sports law, international arbitration (particularly ICC, LCIA and ICSID). Many of his cases have an international element.

What the directories say

Banking and Finance:

Applauded for his strategic thinking, he has recently demonstrated his skills acting for claimants in cases arising out of the mis-selling of financial derivatives.  "A very good advocate, who takes a big-picture view of the case. He's very receptive and has good judgement on how to handle the judge and the witnesses." "An excellent choice for matters requiring a high degree of product knowledge." (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2015)

"He has that ‘X factor' and a real way with clients" (Legal 500 2014)

A top choice for big-ticket banking litigation. Sources highlight his strategic approach and impressive level of product knowledge. He has significant experience in international arbitration.  "At the top of his game. He's a commanding presence in court and a superb advocate."  "A very persuasive advocate, he has a very attractive manner in court and engages the attention of judges."  (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2014)

Ali Malek is a "confident and forceful advocate" who is "great with clients and able to distill issues clearly and concisely".  (Legal 500 2013)

"A suave advocate, who combines tenacity with charm", is a prominent choice for leading domestic and international banking, regulatory and arbitration matters.  He is praised for his ability to "steer a careful course with great skill through the maze of international political and legal difficulties" thrown up by major litigation.  He consistently gives clear and pragmatic advice".  (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2013)

"A superb advocate and statesman, and gives really top-notch and invaluable advice."   (Legal 500 2012.)

Has "a lot of flair" and earns particular praise for his "big-picture strategic advice" and his "fabulous commercial approach." "A joy to instruct", he is sought out for his court and arbitration expertise on heavyweight domestic and international matters. (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2012)

Commercial dispute resolution:

A highly sought-after and impressive silk who handles both litigation and international arbitration. He is instructed on high-profile and high-value commercial disputes, and has particular experience in cases originating in Russia and the CIS.  "A fantastic barrister who is easy to work with, commercially astute and tactically very sound." "Very effective in cross-examination." (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2015)

He is considered one of the nation's leading advocates for complex commercial disputes, including those with an international dimension. Has notable experience in a range of industry sectors, including financial services, aviation, international trade and energy.  "A very stylish advocate with incredible judgement." "An extremely effective operator. He has a masterful grip of the overall strategy and what would work best in the case. He works incredibly hard, juggles a lot of work and is able to take a strategic view at each stage. Really impressive and at the top of his game."    (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2014)

An "extremely experienced" leader with a "very diverse practice".  Described as "a silk at the top of his game", he is "a superb advocate" who "gets the judge's ear".   Sources say they benefit from his "remarkable overview of a case" as much as his "street fighting qualities".   They also comment on the extent to which Malek's work involves multi-jurisdictional matters, saying that "like a good wine, he travels well".  (Chambers & Partners 2013)

"As rounded an individual as you will find at the Bar" and a "top choice to fight a difficult commercial case." Solicitors favour him due to his "unflappable and approachable" demeanour, asserting that "when you hire him you get his undivided attention." (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2012)

Commercial Litigation:

"Very effective in cross-examination, and a superb strategist" (Legal 500 2014)

A highly experienced commercial silk who has established a strong practice in financial services. Particularly recognised for his expertise in international regulatory matters.  "Undoubtedly top-class, he's the bee's knees on this. He's a very clever man."   (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2014)

"A confident and forceful advocate" who is praised for his "ability to suggest innovative takes on legal issues".  (Legal 500 2013)

"Excels at guiding clients through difficult regulatory problems, especially where there is a twin-track civil claim".  He recently advised on a dispute concerning application of money laundering in Guernsey.  Malek is recommended...(Chambers & Partners 2013)

"Extremely experienced", "cuts straight to the issue" and provides "very wise counsel".  (Legal 500 2012)

A big name in the financial legal market, who has an impressively broad practice, which takes in banking and financial litigation, insurance matters and questions of international financing and the regulation which applies in various jurisdictions. (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2012)

Financial Services

A widely respected silk who successfully combines expertise in commercial law with strong regulatory knowledge. He is often called upon to advise on international regulatory frameworks and cross-border disputes.  "He is excellent at guiding a client through a difficult regulatory problem, especially where there is a twin-track civil claim." "Ali is a fierce cross-examiner, but he doesn't do that as a bar-room brawler. Instead, he's elegant in the way he deconstructs his opponents." "He's an intellectual trailblazer."  (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2015)


Handles large-scale fraud disputes as part of his hugely impressive commercial litigation practice.   "First-class and a fine choice for the more substantial cases." (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2015)

"Commercial and easy to deal with" (Legal 500 2014)

Has an outstanding reputation for handling large-scale fraud litigation.   "He is a rare breed of silk who understands complex financial matters. He is a powerful cross-examiner and has great court presence."   (Chambers & Partners 2014)

"A real heavyweight commercial silk".  (Legal 500 2013)

One of the most respected silks practising in civil fraud.  "One of the leading names at the Commercial Bar", he is "smooth and measured", "extremely good with clients" and "loves being in court" according to solicitors.  His recent highlights include appearing in the Court of Appeal in the dispute between Linsen International and Humpuss Sea Transport.  (Chambers & Partners 2013)

A "leading silk".  (Legal 500 2012)

One of the most noted silks in this field. "A charming and gentlemanly advocate, he is quick to pick up facts and has an impressively measured delivery." Sources note that he is particularly good on jurisdictional issues and is a master of the more technical issues in a case. (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2012)

International arbitration:

Has a reputation in the international arbitration world as someone to go to for the "top cases." His clients include state authorities and governments, and his recent matters include disputes in Singapore and arbitration-related appearances in the Commercial Court.  "A strong punchy advocate with good instincts and good judgement." (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2015)

"The sort of advocate you seriously fear if he is on the other side of the case" (Legal 500 2014)

A leading performer at the International Arbitration Bar, who handles commercial and investment treaty disputes with equal aplomb. He is repeatedly sought out for his skills as arbitrator and counsel.   "He is a strong and punchy advocate with good instincts and good judgement."   (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2014)

"A very thoughtful and effective strategist" and "a tremedously powerful advocate".  (Legal 500 2013)

"Tremendous", he is renowned for his "high-end commercial practice" and is considered "pre-eminent in his field".  He is experienced both as advocate and arbitrator, and his recent work includes acting for Kazakhstan in a multi-billion-dollar ICSID arbitration brought by KT Asia.  (Chambers & Partners 2013)

"One of the most powerful arbitration advocates available" and has "a great feel for the outcome of a case".  (Legal 500 2012)

An "excellent advocate in arbitration and arbitration-related litigation." "Smart, practical and user-friendly," he is frequently instructed on investment treaty matters. (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2012)

Professional Negligence

"A formidable advocate and cross-examiner, a real heavyweight in terms of his impact in the court and with clients" (Legal 500 2014)

Papers and Talks


"Partiality of Barrister Arbitrators". Mealey's International Arbitration Report (Vol 15, January 2000).

Speaker at an ICC Seminar - "Arbitration and Financial Disputes" (December 2001).

Speaker at the Practitioner Workshops in International Commercial Arbitration on "Finality of Arbitration Awards" organized by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (June 2004).

Speaker at the Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference - "Examining the link between corruption and investment treaty arbitration" (September 2010).

British Institute of International and Comparative Law talk - "Dallah v Pakistan - Observations on the relationship between arbitration and the English Courts" (November 2010).

"A Pilgrimage to Paris: Dallah v Pakistan", co-authored with Christopher Harris, International Journal of Arab Arbitration, Vol 2, Issue No 4 (2010).

Speaker at ICC Conference "Delays in international arbitration proceedings" (October 2012).

Speaker at ICC Conference: "Resolving financial services disputes" (November 2012).

Banking and Finance

Practitioners' Book

Co-editor of "Paget's Law of Banking" 14th Ed (2014).

Co-author of "Jack, Documentary Credits" (2008) (Ed, Tottel Publishing).

Presented a joint paper at the International Bar Association/American Banking Association in Washington on issues concerning cross-border disputes involving banks.

Joint paper presented at the Creaton Conference on "Banks, Fraud and Crime" entitled "Cross-Border Fraudulent Activity" (published by Lloyds of London Press in 1994; 2nd Ed. 2000).

Speaker at the ICC Seminar on Letters of Credit : "Special Defences to Payment" (July 2001).

Conflict of Laws
Joint paper on worldwide injunctions in [1990] LMCLQ 88.

British Institute of International and Comparative Law: Speaker at workshop on "The Drafting and Enforcement of Transnational Contracts: Jurisdiction and Choice of Law" (November 1998).

Speaker at Insol Conference on Liquidations and Money Laundering (July 2001).

Fraud / Fiduciary Duties
Speaker at the Chancery Bar Association Seminar on the topic of "Recent developments in the law relating to dishonest assistance" (July 2002).

Bar Conference 2002 - speaker at workshop on Conflicts of Interest.


Keble College, Oxford. MA(1978) BCL(OXON) (first class)


  • Gray's Inn Awards: Cynthia Terry Entrance Award and The Malcolm Hilberry Award
  • Specialising in all aspects of commercial law
  • Queen's Counsel April 1996
  • Assistant Recorder 1998; Recorder 2000
  • Bencher of Gray's Inn (2003) 
  • Member of the General Council of the Bar (2005-2009)
  • Chairman of the Commercial Bar Association (2007-2009) 
  • Deputy High Court Judge (2008)
  • Head of Chambers at 3VB (2009)





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