Called to the Bar 1980; QC 1996;
Languages: English and French (working knowledge)
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:
"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)
"A true world-class specialist in letters of credit cases". (Legal 500 2011)
"Pre-eminent in his field"...continues to lead the way in banking and finance work. Clients instruct him both at home and abroad, especially for those matters that are fiendishly complex. Testament to his standing, he represented Abbey in the OFT bank charges case, turning in his customary fine performance. As one interviewee noted, "one of the reasons he does so well is that not only is he immensely knowledgeable but he is also charm personified, meaning he always has the ear of the court" (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2011)
"A sure hand on any large litigation" (Legal 500 2010)
Commercial dispute resolution:
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)
Continuing to add to his legion of fans with his work on an impressive range of leading commercial cases, he is "a magisterial advocate who is always meticulously prepared". Clients come to him in the knowledge that his powers of persuasion are an asset on any case (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2011)
"Extremely experienced", "cuts straight to the issue" and provides "very wise counsel". (Legal 500 2012)
"A first-class lawyer" who is "intellectually able, extremely conscientious, commercially savvy and experienced". (Legal 500 2011)
"One of the real star silks" with a "smooth and effective advocacy style" (Legal 500 2010)
"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)
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)
"A class operator" who is "always on the ball and is very effective in court". Incredibly hardworking, he is often called upon for his expert knowledge of international regulatory regimes and for his experience of handling cross-border disputes (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2011)
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)
"Very bright, responsive and creative" (Legal 500 2011)
A "top-notch barrister with a very smooth way of presenting his case". Unflappable and charming in his demeanour, he is widely seen as the ideal choice for large, fraught and highly complex cases. He has an international status and attracts a wealth of instructions from overseas (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2011)
Has a stellar reputation (Legal 500 2010)
"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)
"Formidable" and "a superb operator" whose "oral advocacy is absolutely first class". (Legal 500 2011)
One of the leading commercial silks at the Bar and is equally well regarded in the world of IA. His practice has a particular focus on oil and gas disputes and he is noted for his "stylish and unflappable advocacy" (Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2011)
His "understated manner is just as effective in arbitration as it is in court" (Legal 500 2010)
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
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  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)
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