Alexander Milner practises in all areas of commercial law. He is a fluent Russian speaker and has a strong interest in cases with a Russian / CIS dimension. He also has experience of acting as an arbitrator.
He is recommended in the 2013 Chambers & Partners Guide as a leading junior for commercial dispute resolution. Sources praise his “eye for detail” and “technical expertise” and describe him as a “thorough and capable” lawyer who is “solid on his feet” and “puts the work in”.
He has been identified by The Lawyer as one of the most talented and promising legal practitioners at work today, and described as being “well on his way to becoming a future star of the bar”.
He has particular experience of:
- Commercial Litigation and Arbitration
- Civil Fraud
- Banking and Financial Services
- Conflicts of Law and Jurisdiction
- European Law and Competition
- Professional Negligence
- Sale of Goods and International Trade
Commercial Litigation and Arbitration
- Berezovsky v. Gudavadze: Acted for Boris Berezovsky in three related sets of proceedings concerning the ownership of investments formerly held by Mr Berezovsky’s late business partner Badri Patarkatsishvili. The case settled in September 2012 shortly before trial.
- Berezovsky v. Abramovich: Acted for Boris Berezovsky in his claim against Roman Abramovich in relation to the ownership of Russian oil and aluminium assets.
- Currently acting as sole arbitrator (appointed by the LCIA) in an UNCITRAL arbitration brought by a law firm against a company in Kazakhstan.
- Currently acting in an ICC arbitration for a Russian manufacturer seeking to recover debts of over €4 million from a joint venture partner.
- Libya v. Mainstride Ltd: Acted for the defendants to a claim brought by the Libyan government for £4 million said to be due under a contract for the sale of a substantial property in Chelsea.
- Kuros Biosurgery v. Baxter Healthcare: Acted for Baxter (with Charles Béar QC and Jemima Stratford QC) in a contractual dispute with a Swiss biotechnology company concerning the development of a variety of new wound care products (case settled before trial).
- Acted for a Russian airline (led by Bankim Thanki QC) in an LCIA arbitration relating to the leasing of a number of Boeing 737 aircraft.
- ACG Acquisition XX v Olympic Airlines  1 CLC 581: Acted for Olympic Airlines (with Philip Shepherd QC) in a dispute over a lease of a defective Boeing 737 aircraft.
- Rooney v. CSE Bournemouth Ltd EWCA Civ 1364: Acted for the defendant maintenance organisation in a contractual dispute arising out of an accident to a Cessna Citation aircraft (with Akhil Shah QC).
- Blue Panorama Airlines v. EuroAtlantic Airways: Acted for a Portuguese airline in Commercial Court proceedings brought by an Italian airline in connection with a wet lease of a Boeing 767 aircraft (with Akhil Shah QC). The case settled mid-way through the trial.
- BAE Systems v. Enimex  EWCA Civ 107: Acted for BAE Systems against an Estonian airline in proceedings arising out of the termination of an aircraft lease.
- Acted for the Light Aircraft Association in High Court proceedings arising out of a fatal gyroplane accident (with Akhil Shah QC).
- Provided written and oral expert evidence on issues of EU competition law in the aviation sector in two ICC arbitrations between major international airlines and a global distribution system operator (with Sir Francis Jacobs QC).
- Regularly instructed to defend airlines and aircraft operations in claims brought under the Montreal Convention 1999, Regulations EC 261/2004 and 1107/2006, and at common law, and to advise provide advice on issues relating to aviation insurance, leasing/financing and regulatory matters.
- Currently instructed in an LCIA arbitration involving an alleged fraudulent transfer of shares in a Russian industrial enterprise (led by Simon Browne-Wilkinson QC).
- BTA Bank v. Ablyazov: Acted for the principal defendants (led by Brian Doctor QC and Adam Tolley) in this US$300m fraud claim by a state-owned Kazakh bank against its former chairman. The decision of Teare J in relation to an application concerning the appropriate scope of a worldwide freezing order is reported at  2 CLC 967.
- Tajik Aluminium Plant v. Ermatov: Acted for seven of the defendants and the Part 20 claimant in a US $500m fraud claim concerning the operations of an aluminium smelting plant in Tajikistan (led by Brian Doctor QC, Paul Sinclair and Rosalind Phelps). The case, which involved issues of bribery, justiciability and Tajik and Russian law, settled in the course of the trial.
Banking and Financial Services
- Smeaton v. Equifax plc: Acting for a credit reference agency defending claims brought under the Data Protection Act 1998 and in negligence in respect of an inaccurate credit reference. The judgment of the High Court  EWHC 2088 (QB) is currently on appeal to the Court of Appeal.
- Sainsburys Bank plc v. esure Insurance Ltd: Acted for Sainsburys Bank (with Charles Béar QC) in proceedings concerning the bank’s right to market a new insurance product underwritten by another insurer (case settled before trial).
- Aldi Joinery Ltd v. Barclays Bank plc: Acted for the Claimant company in High Court proceedings to recover substantial sums fraudulently withdrawn from its account by a third party (case settled before trial).
- Erste Bank v. Cleobury Ltd: Acted (with Michael Brindle QC) for a London-based investor in Commercial Court proceedings against an Austrian bank concerning the enforceability of a share purchase agreement and an associated guarantee (case settled before trial).
- Acted for a hedge fund in a dispute with a group of investment banks concerning the banks’ entitlement to call in a €350m syndicated loan facility.
- Advised a Russian-based hedge fund in connection with a potential claim against a bond issuer for failing to redeem its securities.
- Advised certain investment funds on the interpretation of the FSA’s Requirements for Collective Investment Schemes.
- Advised a foreign bank (with Simon Browne-Wilkinson QC) in connection with a restraint order affecting its accounts held with a correspondent bank in London.
- Advised a major financial services company (with Patricia Robertson QC) as to whether a proposed new product would constitute a contract of insurance for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
- Regularly instructed to appear in the High Court and County Courts in cases involving complex mortgage repossessions, enforcement of loans and guarantees, breaches of mandate, mistaken payments, charging orders and orders for sale. Also frequently acts for high street banks in County Court claims relating to consumer credit, hire-purchase agreements and payment protection insurance.
European Law and Competition
- Gave written and oral expert evidence (with Sir Francis Jacobs QC) on EU competition law issues in two ICC arbitrations between major European airlines and a global distribution system operator.
- Advised a leading European airline on the interpretation of the EU Slots Regulation.
- Advised major drinks and clothing manufacturers on the interpretation of EU regulations concerning the labelling of spirit drinks and textiles.
- Advised two non-European investment funds as to whether their shares constituted eligible investments for the purposes of a UCITS scheme within the meaning of Commission Directive 2007/16/EC (the Eligible Assets Directive).
- Advised a large French manufacturer on the lawfulness of a dawn raid conducted at its premises by the EU Commission (with Sir Francis Jacobs QC).
- Advised a major financial services company on the compatibility of the proposed SEPA credit cards framework with Articles 101 and 102 TFEU (with Sir Francis Jacobs QC).
- Advised a number of law firms as to the compatibility of the rules of an EU Member State’s Bar Association with the EC Treaty (with Sir Francis Jacobs QC).
- Advised a Czech bank as to whether a restructuring plan adopted by the Czech state constituted aid applicable after accession requiring review by the Commission under Article 108 TFEU (with Sir Francis Jacobs QC).
- Assisted Sir Francis Jacobs QC in preparing expert evidence on behalf of two national governments on questions of EU law arising in the context of an ICSID arbitration and a dispute before the International Court of Justice.
- Assisted Sir Francis Jacobs QC in preparing expert evidence on EU law on behalf of a US corporation accused of anticompetitive conduct in Japan.
Professional Negligence / Professional Indemnity Insurance
- Acting for and advising a number of mortgage lenders in connection with claims against conveyancing solicitors and valuers for losses sustained as a result of fraud or negligence.
- Advising a firm of auditors in Singapore in connection with a claim by the purchaser of a business for an alleged failure to provide information regarding the implications of the acquisition for its GST (VAT) liability.
Regularly instructed to appear in the High Court and County Courts and to provide advice in relation to all kinds of contractual matters including consumer credit agreements and contracts for the sale and supply of goods and services.
- BA Modern and Medieval Languages, King’s College, Cambridge (First class honours with distinction, first in university).
- CPE, City University (Distinction).
- BVC, Inns of Court School of Law (Outstanding).
Prizes & Scholarships
- Lord Mansfield Scholarship, Lord Bowen Scholarship, City University Scholarship, Hardwicke Scholarship, Shelford Scholarship, and Buchanan Prize (Lincoln’s Inn)
- Winner of European Law Students’ Association Moot Court Competition on WTO law held at the headquarters of the WTO in Geneva (representing City University).
- Mrs Claude Beddington Modern Languages Prize and Olga Youhotsky & Catherine Matthews Russian Prize (Cambridge University)
- Choral Scholarship (King’s College, Cambridge)
- ‘Advantages and disadvantages of arbitrating Russian and CIS disputes in western Europe’, Transnational Dispute Management Vol. 9, issue 3 (April 2012)
- ‘Regulation EC 261/2004 and “extraordinary circumstances”’, Air and Space Law 34, no.3 (2009); 215-220
- Contributor to the Civil Procedure Reports (Sweet & Maxwell)
Russian and CIS Arbitration Network (executive committee member)
British-Russian Law Association
Fluent Russian and French
Good working knowledge of Italian
Alexander is an enthusiastic musician, having formerly studied choral conducting at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St Petersburg. He frequently sings with professional London-based choirs. He also enjoys opera, theatre, literature, art, sport and travel.