Year of call: 2007
E: aknight@3vb.com

Email the Practice Managers:

JuniorsPMs@3vb.com

Alexia has a commercial practice specialising in banking and financial services, civil fraud, general contractual disputes, insolvency, professional negligence and insurance. Alexia is regularly instructed as sole advocate in the High Court and County Court, and works with her instructing solicitors to provide the best result, whether in an urgent interim application or in a longer trial.

Alexia also has significant experience of acting as part of a larger team of counsel on substantial matters: she is currently instructed with Ali Malek QC and James Evans for high net worth individuals in a multi-million pound commercial court claim, and is being led by Gregory Mitchell QC in a claim against Credit Suisse (and others), alleging fraudulent misrepresentation, dishonest assistance in breach of trust, and a breach of a bank guarantee.

Alexia is a strong advocate, with experience of over unled 15 trials, numerous heavy applications as well as urgent injunctions. As a consequence Alexia is willing and able to take difficult tactical calls. Recent examples include sole conduct of a without notice application for an injunction and search order, and advising on the making (and obtaining) of an out of hours application in the Chancery Division to vary that relief. Alexia also (correctly) advised opposing the submission of late expert evidence (post-Mitchell and pre-Denton), successfully appealing the first instance decision Steven Clarke -v- Barclays Bank plc and Lamberts Surveyors Limited [2014] EWHC 505 (Ch), and successfully opposing applications to amend pleadings before HHJs Waksman and Davies QCs in an £850,000 guarantee claim.


3 Verulam Buildings has ‘a good range of counsel’, meaning clients can ‘always find someone to cope with applications at any level’.

Legal 500 UK 2014

The ‘hardworking and user-friendly’ 3 Verulam Buildings is regarded as a ‘strong, knowledgeable and steely set with fighting qualities when needed’.

Legal 500 UK 2014

Alexia is an experienced sole advocate, acting in trials and interim applications in the High Court and County Court, and frequently acts as junior counsel in more substantial banking and finance claims. As a junior, she is currently being led by Gregory Mitchell QC in a multimillion pound claim against Credit Suisse, alleging fraud, dishonest assistance in breach of trust, and as well as claiming under a bank guarantee.

As a junior, Alexia has particular experience of retail trials and appeals, including advising and acting in relation to allegations of mis-selling of interest rate and currency products, often in conjunction with LIBOR allegations, as well as issues arising from s.14A of the Limitation Act 1980. She also has substantial experience in disputed guarantee claims, and in possession proceedings (including equitable claims), and in claims arising from receiverships. Throughout her case-load, her skills as an advocate enable her to take a robust and forceful stance in an approachable and judiciary-friendly manner.

She is also a regular provider of talks and legal updates, particularly in the field of finance litigation.

Alexia's advisory and litigation experience includes:

‘Mis-selling' claims against banks and intermediaries for interest rate hedging products, investment products and payment protection insurance (acting both for and against banks);

Swaps litigation as between investment banks; claims for enforcement of guarantees (and associated actions);

Enforcement and enforceability of Consumer Credit Act agreements;

Norwich Pharmacal applications relating to mistaken payments [2014] EWHC 2626 (Ch);

Disputes relating to entries with Credit Reference Agencies and related Data Protection Act claims;

PPI insurance claims;

All aspects of borrowing, including unauthorised overdraft and credit card charges;

Breach of mandate claims;

Claims against banks by customers who have been victims of fraud/scams (whether by cheque fraud, by card transaction, or through internet banking);

Regular experience acting for lenders and receivers in claims brought by mortgagors and guarantors in respect of the sale of secured properties;

Charging orders; and

Mortgage possession proceedings, including for equitable remedies where the underlying security is alleged to be defective/fraudulent.

Examples of Alexia's recent cases include:

Albesher v Ryan [2016] EWHC 541 (Comm): Led by Gregory Mitchell QC in a Commercial Court claim against Credit Suisse and others for fraudulent misrepresentations, dishonest assistance in breach of trust, and under a bank guarantee, valued at £24.5m.

RBS v Bresnahan: Alexia acts as sole advocate in the Mercantile Court in a claim by RBS under an assigned guarantee.

Lyonsden Ltd v HSBC Bank Plc; Pang & Pang v HSBC Bank Plc; Sir Thomas Ingilby v HSBC Bank plc; and others: Acting as sole counsel for HSBC in respect of interest rate product mis-selling claims, variously alleging negligence, misrepresentation, breach of contract, and breach of COB and/or COBS.

Mackinlay v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc: Alexia has acted as sole counsel for different banks in a range of investment and insurance mis-selling claims, including seeking summary judgment and early dismissal of claims on limitation grounds. The conditional payment ordered to be paid by the Claimants in Mackinlay was the subject of an appeal that was successfully opposed by Alexia.

Lombard v Sadiku: Alexia acted in a three day trial of a possession claim. Issues arising included the applicability of the Etridge criteria, together with compliance by the lender and the solicitor in the circumstances of an all monies charge.

Royal Bank of Scotland v Devshi: Alexia successfully obtained possession of a property after a three day trial, defeating defences of actual occupation, (alleged to arise from various trust deeds, alternatively constructive and resulting trusts). Alexia's cross examination was so successful that one defendant was found to be dishonest. The case also concerned issues of subrogation and sub-subrogation, as well as the regulation of loans by individuals under FSMA 2000 and the CCA 1974.

Santander UK Plc v Various Banks [2014] EWHC 2626 (Ch): Instructed by Santander in its test case before Birss J in the Chancery Division, successfully representing the bank on its applications for Norwich Pharmacal Orders to obtain disclosure relating to mistaken payments, and assisting the Court establish a practice for future applications.

Steven Clarke -v- Barclays Bank plc and Lamberts Surveyors Limited [2014] EWHC 505 (Ch) (settled): Acted as sole counsel for the defendant mortgage lender in a claim for negligence/breach of equitable duty in the sale of a secured property by receivers, with a part 20 claim urgently commenced against the valuer with limitation pending. Successfully appealed a decision to permit late expert evidence from the Claimant, a decision on Mitchell and good faith under two weeks before trial.

Electro Mechanical Installation Limited v National Westminster Bank Plc; Reedec Limited v National Westminster Bank Plc: Successfully acted for NatWest in claims against it in misrepresentation, negligence and breach of contract, arising from payments made by customers to fraudsters, in purported reliance upon ‘cleared' funds. Alexia also acted for the Bank in opposing the Claimant's appeal to the Court of Appeal in the EMI matter (settled shortly before hearing). Alexia has acted Checkmate UK Limited & anor v National Westminster Bank Plc, and other similar claims, also involving allegations regarding the bank's obligations when crediting cheques to accounts within a corporate group.

Royal Bank of Scotland Plc v Various Partners of Halliwells (settled): Acted for RBS in claims against the former partners of Halliwells pursuant to their guarantees, concerning allegations of the construction of the guarantees, inducement of breach of contract, misrepresentation, breach of FSA Principles of Business and breach of implied terms.

Lehman Brothers Finance AG v. Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederoesterreich-Wien AG; v. Banco Guipuzcoano SA and v. Fortis Investment Management Belguim (all settled): Led by David Quest QC in respect of claims arising out of swap terminations and calculations after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Bank of Ireland v Huffman & anor (settled): Acted for the Bank of Ireland in the enforcement of a guarantee against allegations of misrepresentation and collateral contracts. Successfully opposed applications to amend the defence to counterclaim, leading to settlement.

Phoenix Home Developments Holdings Limited v Close Brothers Ltd & anor: Alexia successfully obtained summary judgment against the Claimant, including on grounds of limitation, in a claim for breach of contract arising from default fees and interest charged on a loan agreement.

Kingsway Finance and Leasing Plc v various: Successfully appeared for the lender in a series of appeals against related bankruptcies arising from asset finance agreements.

Astana Finance v Barclays: Led by John Jarvis QC in a Commercial Court claim against Barclays in an arbitration concerning wrongful margin calls and wrongful issues of default notices under an ISDA agreement.

Champalimaud & anor v Credit Suisse First Boston (settled): Acted as Junior Counsel with Jonathan Davies-Jones QC in a claim against a bank for rectification, breach of an advisory contract, negligent mis-selling and misrepresentation.

Acted in an arbitration led by Andrew Onslow QC, arising out of CDS transactions and involving issues of authority, agency, ratification and applicable law.

Acted (as sole counsel) for La Caixa in successfully disputing the court's jurisdiction to hear the claim.

Acting for (as sole counsel) JP Morgan in successfully opposing a freezing injunction and the imposition of a mandatory injunction against it (High Court).

Acting and advising companies in relation to rights of set-off and factoring agreements.

Alexia is an experienced commercial advocate, acting independently and as part of a wider legal team, in interim applications and trials in the High Court and County Court. She has experience of in excess of 15 trials as a sole advocate, and is an experienced junior alongside senior Members of Chambers. She represents clients both large and small in a range of commercial contractual disputes in different fields, and has particular familiarity with contractual issues arising in the fields of IT, employee fraud and of the impact of Mitchell.

Alexia routinely acts in matters of commercial fraud, both independently and as junior counsel. Alexia has recently acted, unled, in obtaining an injunction and Anton Piller/search order relief (without notice) in the Chancery Division, and in making an urgent out of hours application, in a case of employee data theft.

Particular recent experience of note is set out below:

Wright v Rowland & anor: Alexia acts with Ali Malek QC and James Evans for high net worth individuals in a multi-million pound commercial court claim against them, seeking damages for breach of contract, share entitlement, misrepresentation and quantum meriut in connection with Banque Havilland.

Albesher v Ryan [2016] EWHC 541 (Comm): Led by Gregory Mitchell QC in a Commercial Court claim against Credit Suisse and others for fraudulent misrepresentations, dishonest assistance in breach of trust, and under a bank guarantee, valued at £24.5m.

Utilitywise Plc v Utility Alliance Limited and Others: Alexia acts as sole counsel for the claimant in a commercial fraud claim against former employees and a competitor company. The claims encompass conspiracy to cause loss by unlawful means, breach of confidence, breach of database rights, breach of contract and inducing breach of contract. Alexia successfully obtained a without notice injunction, and a search order, on terms that were urgently varied on an out of hours application to permit service at new addresses, and enforcement over a weekend.

Raja Sherbez Khan v (1) Rdk International Limited and Others: Acted for the respondents in an application for specific disclosure, under two weeks before trial.

Metropolitan Housing Trust Ltd v Taylor & others: Currently acting as sole counsel for Mr Taylor in opposing a freezing injunction and successfully opposing an injunction order arising out of a claim for commercial fraud.

Steven Clarke -v- Barclays Bank plc and Lamberts Surveyors Limited [2014] EWHC 505 (Ch (settled): Acted as sole counsel for the defendant mortgage lender in a claim for negligence/breach of equitable duty in the sale of a secured property by receivers, with a part 20 claim urgently commenced against the valuer with limitation pending. Successfully appealed a decision to permit late expert evidence from the Claimant, a decision on Mitchell and good faith under two weeks before trial.

Quintessential Brands UK Limited (G&J Greenall) -v- G4S Solutions (UK) Ltd (appeal pending): As sole advocate, Alexia successfully represented Quintessential in a claim for breach of contract, conversion and negligence arising from the theft of thousands of cases of bonded gin and spirits by an employee of G4S.

Westminster Group Plc v Adrian Johnson & anor (ChD): Acted for Westminster Group Plc in a claim against the defendant for breach of a SPA. Issues of the validity of the expert's appointment, his decision and associated estoppels, waivers and variations arose.

Electro Mechanical Installation Limited v National Westminster Bank Plc; Reedec Limited v National Westminster Bank Plc: Successfully acted for NatWest in claims against it in misrepresentation, negligence and breach of contract, arising from payments made by customers to fraudsters, in purported reliance upon ‘cleared' funds. Alexia also acted for the Bank in opposing the Claimant's appeal to the Court of Appeal in the EMI matter (settled shortly before hearing).

Alexia has acted for the bank in Checkmate UK Limited & anor v National Westminster Bank Plc, and other similar claims, also involving allegations regarding the bank's obligations when crediting cheques to accounts within a corporate group.

Yamoto Scale Dataweigh (UK) Ltd v Mr M Heffernan: Acting as sole advocate in a six figure claim against the Defendant for alleged fraud by a director.

Alexia regularly acts (as sole counsel) for companies in opposing or seeking injunctions preventing the presentation of winding up petitions in the High Court.

Alexia also has experience in advising and acting for companies and banks disputing the court's jurisdiction to hear claims.

Hannafin Contractors Limited v British Telecommunications Plc (settled): Acted for the Claimant in a six figure claim in the TCC against BT for misrepresentation, breach of contract and negligence.

Bluecom v British Telecommunications Plc and Intechnology Ltd (settled): Claim for breach of contract and indemnities arising from the fraudulent use of internet telephone lines.

The Slice Limited v Wentworth Direct Finance: Led by Jonathan-Mark Phillips in obtaining a without notice injunction in a claim under the Direct Debit Guarantee Scheme.

Acted in a substantial Commercial Court fraud and breach of contract claim, led by John Jarvis QC. Acted as Junior Counsel with Paul Lowenstein QC in a large mortgage fraud/professional negligence claim against solicitors and valuers.

Champalimaud & anor v Credit Suisse First Boston (settled): Acted as Junior Counsel with Jonathan Davies-Jones QC in a claim against a bank for rectification, breach of an advisory contract, negligent mis-selling and misrepresentation. Previously led by Andrew Onslow QC, in an arbitration arising out of CDS transactions and involving issues of authority, agency, ratification and applicable law.

Acted as Junior Counsel led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC in a Commercial Court contract claim, including being led by Charles Hollander QC in the preparation of a successful summary judgement application.

Acted as Junior Counsel led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC in a Chancery Division claim against a firm of solicitors for breach of contract and breach of trust. Instructed with Richard Brent, in the defence of a Commercial Court claim for a negative declaration, including the preparation of a jurisdiction challenge under CPR part 11.

Excelsior Group Productions v Yorkshire Television Limited [2009] EWHC 1751: Acted for Excelsior with Andrew Sutcliffe QC in a dispute on the proper construction of contracts, arising out of the Darling Buds of May and Frost programmes.

Junior Counsel for the Claimant with Andrew Fletcher QC in a claim for commercial fraud against senior employees, including claims for breach of contract/breach of duties of good faith, fraudulent misrepresentations, procuring breach of contract and causing loss by unlawful means.

Junior Counsel for the Defendant with Gregory Mitchell QC in a claim for conspiracy and causing loss by unlawful means.

Acted with Matthew Parker against Anglian Water in a breach of contract / negligence claim arising out of a contract for the supply and installation of an IT system Acted (as sole counsel) for a company seeking payment under a letter of credit

Acted (as sole counsel) for JP Morgan opposing a freezing injunction and the imposition of a mandatory injunction against it (High Court).

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services case: Acted (as sole counsel) for a hire company successfully opposing the continuation of a without-notice injunction preventing the seizing of goods under a Consumer Credit Act agreement, and applying for a wasted costs order.

Assisted in a number of substantial insurance claims, dealing in particular with the proper construction of the policies and associated documents.

Assisted as a pupil with Matthew Parker in M&J Polymers v Imerys [2008] EWHC 344 (Comm): claim arising out of a three-year chemical supply contract, raising issues of 'fitness for purpose' and whether a 'take or pay' provision was unenforceable as a penalty clause.

Alexia is routinely instructed in general insolvency work, including appearing as an advocate in contested winding up and bankruptcy petitions and applications to set aside statutory demands, and related appeals in the High Court.

Alexia also has regular experience of dealing with injunctions to restrain winding up proceedings.

Kingsway Finance and Leasing Plc v various: Successfully appeared for the lender in a series of appeals against related bankruptcies arising from asset finance agreements.

Successfully acted for the liquidator of a company petitioning for the bankruptcy of the former members of UB40, including defending applications to set aside the statutory demands.

Acting (as sole counsel) for a company in successfully opposing an injunction preventing it from presenting a winding up petition (High Court)

Acted (as sole counsel) for companies in preventing the presentation of winding up petitions.

Regularly acts in disputed bankruptcy annulment and company restoration applications

Advised on the fall-out from KSF

Advised on claims for breach of director’s duties and wrongful trading

Has advised on unfair prejudice claims and associated director issues

Contributor, "Swaps: signs of a shift?" (Legal Business, 2016)

Contributor, "Key Authorities in Banking Law 2011-12 (London, Sweet & Maxwell, 2013)

LLM Thesis: "Jurisdiction Under the EC Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings - Has the Regulation Missed the Point?"

Astbury Scholar, Middle Temple, 2006

International Intellectual Property Moot: Highest scoring individual mooter, 2006

Rebecca Flower Squire Scholarship, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

ERASMUS Scholarship 2003

Ernst & Young Award 2001

Middle Temple

Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)

German (Working knowledge)