Contact details

Alex Irvine

T: +44 20 7809 2195 M: +44 7881 316 693 Email Alex | vCard Office: London

Alex Irvine Senior associate

Contact details

Alex Irvine

Alex Irvine
Senior associate

T: +44 20 7809 2195 M: +44 7881 316 693 Email Alex | vCard Office: London

Alex is a contentious regulatory lawyer with a particular focus on financial services regulation and sanctions law. He acts for both institutions and senior individuals, often in relation to matters that span multiple jurisdictions. Clients value his thoughtful and thorough analysis of the issues and robust defence of their interests.
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Alex is an associate in our award-winning and market-leading regulatory litigation practice.

He has a wide experience representing and advising companies and individuals in regulatory and criminal enforcement investigations, in particular those undertaken by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). These include investigations relating to breaches of the FCA’s principles and rules, including market abuse and insider dealing, allegations of corruption and large-scale fraud and benchmark manipulation.

In the field of sanctions, Alex advises companies and individuals challenging sanctions in the European and domestic courts. He has a particular focus on Iranian sanctions but has also advised in relation to Libyan, Syrian and Ukrainian sanctions.

Alex also provides businesses affected by sanctions with commercially focused transactional advice in an increasingly complex area of law.

  • Regulatory litigation
  • Sanctions
  • Corporate crime and directors' criminal liability
  • Regulatory compliance

Senior executives at global wealth management firm

Advised two senior executives in proceedings brought by the FCA for allegations of failing to perform a review of systems and controls following a fraud prior to assuming their roles at the firm.

Senior individual at inter-dealer brokerage

Represented a senior individual in prohibition proceedings brought by the FCA based on the findings of a civil court.

Insurance intermediary

Represented and advised a large insurance intermediary in relation to an FCA investigation into allegations that it had breached the FCA’s Principles and Rules concerning client money.

Bank of Beirut

Advised an internal auditor of a UK branch of a Middle East bank concerning misleading communications made to the FCA.

Libor investigations

Advised a number of individuals in relation to investigations conducted by the FCA into allegations they were involved in Libor and Euribor financial benchmark manipulation.

Foreign exchange investigations

Advised a number of individuals in relation to investigations conducted by the FCA into allegations that they were involved in foreign exchange - G10 spot currency - pricing manipulation.

Insurance company redress scheme

Advised an insurance company on the development and implementation of a scheme of arrangement.

Financial Ombudsman Service

Acting for a private wealth management firm in relation to a complaint by a customer to the Financial Ombudsman Service concerning investment advice.

More: Regulatory litigation

Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG

Advised a German-Iranian bank in relation to judicial review proceedings brought against the UK government in the English High Court and in parallel proceedings in the EU courts.

Persia International Bank Plc

Successfully represented our client, the UK subsidiary of two Iranian banks, on its legal challenge to its designation in the General Court.

Bank Saderat Iran

Advised this Iranian bank on its successful legal challenge to its designation in the General Court. We are currently advising it on an appeal brought by the Council in the Court of Justice.

Senior individuals of UK-Iranian banks

Advising on legal challenges in relation to designations in the General Court and the UK Courts. These individuals were designated in December 2011 and were delisted in August and April 2012 respectively.

Former Chairman of Bank Saderat Plc

Advised our client on his legal challenge to his designation in Canada. This was the first challenge to the Canadian sanctions against Iran.

Syrian individuals

Advised numerous Syrian individuals in proceedings brought against the Council of the EU in the General Court and European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Sanctions related damages claim

Advising a British-Iranian bank in relation to a €140 million damages claim brought against the Council of the EU for damages caused as a result of its designation pursuant to EU sanctions.

More: Sanctions

Libor investigations

Representing a senior individual in relation to a criminal investigation being conducted by the SFO concerning Euribor manipulation. Involves investigations being conducted by prosecution agencies in three jurisdictions.

Foreign exchange investigations

Advising a number of individuals in relation to internal investigations being carried out by financial institutions concerning allegations of foreign exchange - G10 spot currency – price fixing and market manipulation.

FINMA Forex investigation

Represented an FCA approved person called as a witness in relation to a criminal investigation being carried out by the Swiss financial regulator (FINMA) into alleged foreign exchange manipulation.

Internal bribery investigations

Advised a multi-national company concerning allegations of bribes that were made by an employee in exchange for the procuring of business contracts.

D&O insurance

Advising corporates and directors in relation to D&O insurance coverage concerning investigations by regulatory and criminal prosecution bodies.

More: Corporate crime and directors' criminal liability


Advising businesses affected by sanctions on the application of EU and UK sanctions legislation. Providing commercially focused advice and support to help businesses avoid breaching sanctions and continue operating in these difficult circumstances.


Reviewing and amending bribery policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the Bribery Act 2010 and FCA requirements concerning systems and controls requirements.

Consumer credit

Providing advice on the transfer of the UK consumer credit powers to the FCA and its impact on a variety of clients, including one providing card protection insurance and a UK branch of a Middle East bank.

Senior Managers Regime

Providing advice in relation to the revised Approved Persons framework (comprising the Senior Managers Regime, Certification Regime and Conduct of Business Rules).

More: Regulatory compliance
  • Banks and banking
  • Insurance

UK-Iranian and Iranian banks

Acting for three UK-Iranian banks, one Iranian bank and their former directors in respect of legal challenges brought in respect of sanctions in the UK, the EU and Canada.

Internal Aaditor of a UK branch of a Middle East bank

Represented an internal auditor in securing a favourable settlement in respect of action brought by the FCA for making misleading communications to the regulator.

Libor and foreign exchange investigations

Advised various individuals at UK and EU banks in respect of internal investigations and investigations by regulators and criminal prosecution agencies concerning allegations of Libor and foreign exchange manipulation.

More: Banks and banking

Pension transfer regarding unregulated collective investment scheme advice

Advising the IFA business of an insurance intermediary in relation to a redress exercise involving advice provided to customers concerning pension transfers and investments in unregulated collective investment schemes.

Client money investigation

Advising an insurance broker in a settlement discussion with the FCA, the subject of which involved allegations of various breaches of the FCA’s client money related Principles and Rules.

D&O insurance

Advising corporates and directors in relation to D&O insurance coverage concerning investigations by regulatory and criminal prosecution bodies.

Affinion International

Providing non-contentious advice sanctions and consumer credit advice in respect of redress payments made by a client to consumers pursuant to a scheme of arrangement.

More: Insurance

Latest news & insights

07 Oct 2020

From Insights

Finance litigation podcast series 2020

Welcome to our 2020 series of four short podcasts in which we take a bite-sized look at some of the key themes emerging in financial disputes over the last 12 months.


21 Jul 2020

From Insights

Disclosure of risk/compliance documents and minutes: involvement of lawyer not enough for privilege

In A v B and the FRC [2020] EWHC 1492 , a company which believed that internal governance and compliance documents (including a risk register and board minutes) had be..


09 Apr 2020

From Insights

The suspension of open-ended investment funds

On 18 March 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) published a statement on its website concerning the suspension of open-ended commercial real estate investmen..


07 Oct 2019

From Insights

Senior Managers and Certification Regime update 2019 (2019 webcast)

In this webcast, Alex examines some of the lessons learned as the implementation of the SMCR has bedded down for banks, building societies and other deposit takers and..


05 Aug 2019

From Insights

FCA publishes final rules confirming amendments to the SMCR

On 26 July 2019, in Policy Statement 19/20 the FCA published its final rules confirming amendments made to the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (“SMCR”), toget..


04 Feb 2019

From Insights

Heads of Legal not required to be Senior Managers

Firms, in-house lawyers and the legal profession generally will be relieved that the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") has decided to exclude firms' Heads of Legal f..


20 Dec 2018

From Insights

Update on litigation privilege

2018 has seen a flurry of cases concerning the ambit of legal professional privilege, in particular the scope of litigation privilege, including the high profile Court..


25 Sep 2018

From Insights

Disclosure of privileged documents ordered in regulatory investigation: ground-breaking High Court decision

In what "is believed to be the first application of its type to have reached the courts", Arnold J granted an order requiring Sports Direct International PLC to disclo..


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