Alex Haines

Year of Call:
2007 (England & Wales); 2019 (New York); and 2020 (Ireland)
Direct Access:

Alex, dual national and fluent in French and Spanish, is a specialist in international law, with particular expertise in the extensive field of international organisations law. Alex was appointed to the Attorney General’s London B Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown in 2019 and as Sanctions Officer at the Caribbean Development Bank in 2020.

His practice areas include: (i) business crime and corruption including global investigations; (ii) sanctions and export control; (iii) international regulatory and disciplinary proceedings; (iv) institutional law of international organisations including their immunities and international administrative law; (v) international arbitration; and (vi) financial services inquiries (instructed on the Dame Linda Dobbs Review).

He regularly litigates before international tribunals including in Washington DC, New York City, London and Luxembourg. The cases he has been instructed in have involved more than 30 international organisations including the UN (and its specialised agencies, programmes and funds such as UNICEF), the World Bank Group, the IMF, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the African Development Bank and the Organisation of American States.

Alex has lectured on the sanctions proceedings of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to a number of institutions including the Brazilian Bar Association, the British Chamber of Commerce, the Korean Bar Association, the Shanghai Bar Association, English Law Week in Mexico, and he was a panellist at the 35th International Symposium on Economic Crime at Jesus College, Cambridge. His work on sanctions has continued through his efforts with Transparency International’s Suspension and Debarment Taskforce and Oxford International Organisations (OUP database) as a rapporteur.

Alex has also lectured on international administrative law and the immunities of international organisations at the universities of Exeter, City of London, Brasilia, Hong Kong, La Sorbonne, and King’s College, and on the application of international human rights law to international organisations at the International Court of Justice and Stockholm Centre for International Law and Justice, as well as on the appeals systems of international organisations at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

Alex was admitted to the New York Bar in 2019 and the Bar of Ireland in 2020. He sits on the Bar Council International Committee and is registered for direct access and qualified for litigation. Before starting at the Bar, Alex worked as an intern at the International Criminal Court in the Office of the Prosecutor in The Hague.


Alex’s practice includes international fraud and corruption. He has an intricate understanding of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and their sanctions and debarment regimes. His practice consists of advocacy (both written and oral), litigation, investigations and advisory work. He has represented companies and individuals before both the World Bank’s Sanctions Board in Washington DC and the Asian Development Bank’s Integrity Oversight Committee in Manila and, between 2014 and 2017, he was instructed by the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Department of the African Development Bank in a complex international corruption case which was jointly investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Alex authored the new chapter on the Sanctions Regimes of MDBs for Lissack and Horlick on Bribery and Corruption (3rd edition, Lexis Nexis).

In 2019, Alex was instructed by a UN specialised agency to lead an investigation into allegations of fraud in one of its regional offices in South East Asia. He also has experience assisting with negotiated resolution agreements and voluntary disclosure issues, and he has been instructed to redesign integrity compliance programmes so that they are compliant with the IFIs’ Anti-Corruption Task Force guidelines. Alex assists with representing consultants in audits and investigations conducted by the World Bank and other MDBs, criminal referrals to national authorities, mitigating risks of cross-debarment under the Cross-Debarment Agreement, post-sanction representation and assistance including representation before the MDB’s Integrity Compliance Office, and advising on the privileges and immunities of MDBs/IFIs.

Alex advises companies and individuals on all aspects of sanctions law across the UN, EU, US and UK regimes, particularly in the context of financial sanctions and export control. He advises on reporting obligations to the UK’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), as well as US, EU and UK delisting applications and civil or criminal penalties arising from sanctions breaches. He has a detailed understanding of the provisions of two recent pieces of legislation, namely Part 8 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017 (PCA) and the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (SAMLA) which, together, form the core of the UK’s sanctions framework following the decision to leave the EU.

Alex was recently (2021) instructed by a US-based law firm to represent an Eastern European engineering company in relation to its sanctions designation under UK legislation and regulation. He is also instructed to represent a US-owned company accused of violating export licensing requirements under the Export Control Order 2008/3231. As a member of the Attorney General’s London B Panel, he has advised the UK Government on sanctions (Ukraine).

Alex is a Charter Member of the Association of Certified Sanctions Specialists (ACSS) having given talks on the EU Blocking Statute in the context of US sanctions against Iran. In 2019, he co-authored a chapter on UK, UN and EU sanctions for Smith, Owen and Bodnar on Asset Recovery (Criminal Confiscation and Civil Recovery). In 2018 and 2019, Alex was retained by a law firm to advise on the effect of the EU Blocking Statute on US secondary sanctions against Iran following its withdrawal from the JCPOA.

From the 1st January 2021, the new UK sanctions framework officially came into force under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (SAMLA). In a February 2021 episode of RPC’s Taxing Matters, Alex was the guest speaker on the changes SAMLA will now bring about in the sanctions landscape.

Alex represents international civil servants accused of and investigated for sanctionable practices (i.e., fraud, corruption, collusion and coercion) and other misconduct including sexual offences throughout the investigatory framework of international organisations. He has represented employees of international organisations facing internal disciplinary proceedings before disciplinary committees at a number of institutions including the World Bank Group, the Pan-American Health Organisation, the UN, the European Patent Office, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Maritime Organisation.

Alex’s instructions include oral hearings before disciplinary tribunals as well as strategic advice and written advocacy. He also advises on referrals made from international organisations to criminal and regulatory domestic bodies including the scope and potential impact such a referral can have on a company and/or individual.

Alex regularly appears and litigates before the International Administrative Tribunals of international organisations on behalf of both international civil servants (class actions, individuals seeking relief from administrative decisions, and whistleblowers who have been retaliated against for coming forward and shedding light on reprehensible practices) and organisations themselves.

He is currently standing counsel to the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) in Thessaloniki and he is on the list of approved counsel at the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) in Vienna. He has previously been instructed by the Commonwealth Secretariat before its Arbitral Tribunal in London.

Alex has been instructed on cases before a number of International Administrative Tribunals and grievance committees, boards of appeal and appeals boards including:

  • World Bank Administrative Tribunal (WBAT)
  • United Nations Appeals Tribunal (UNAT)
  • United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNAT)
  • Court of Justice of the European Union (General Court)
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Administrative Tribunal (EBRDAT)
  • Inter-American Development Bank Administrative Tribunal (IDBAT)
  • Asian Development Bank Administrative Tribunal (ADBAT) International Labour Organisation Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT)
  • Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT) (for the organisation)
  • Black Sea Trade and Development Bank Administrative Tribunal (BSTDBAT) (for the organisation)
  • African Union Administrative Tribunal (AUAT)
  • Pan American Health Organisation Board of Appeal (PAHO BoA)
  • European Investment Bank Appeals Panel (EIB AP)

Alex also represents victims of harassment and bullying and employees who find themselves in difficulties in field missions (in particular the UN). He has an interest in the rights of women having represented several victims of sexual harassment and maternity discrimination. In the wake of the investigations into a culture of impunity at the beginning of 2018, Alex represented Oxfam survivors and assisted journalists from the Guardian and New York Times in their investigations. Alex has worked with the charities Penal Reform International and Advocates for International Developments specifically on the rights of female abuse victims convicted of violent crime against their abusers.

In 2019, Alex was instructed in three international arbitrations administered by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) using the UNCITRAL Rules against one of the largest international organisations in the UK. Alex’s experience is particularly sought after when it comes to issues touching on the cross-over between international organisations and their immunities, international human rights law, and international arbitration. In 2020, he was instructed on behalf of the Respondent in an LCIA international commercial arbitration worth over £115 million. The dispute was between two parties in a former Soviet Republic involving high value commodities.

Alex is regularly instructed in mediations, conciliations and settlement negotiations with an international dimension, often involving international organisations. He is experienced in class action mediations having been instructed in a complex case against an MDB headquartered in the US. His 140 clients were employees from ten Regional Offices in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, and the mediation sessions were held in both Spanish and English.

Throughout 2018, Alex was instructed by the Staff Association of the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg to represent its interests on a Conciliation Board. He has also represented employees of European institutions before various panels, the sessions of which were held in both English and French.

Alex has been instructed as part of the evidence review team in the Dame Linda Dobbs Review since May 2019. The Review was set up to investigate whether issues relating to HBOS Reading were investigated and appropriately reported to authorities following Lloyds Banking Group’s acquisition of HBOS.

Related updates

Alex Haines is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

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  • Appointed as Sanctions Officer at the Caribbean Development Bank (since 2020)
  • Called to the Irish Bar (2020)
  • Appointed to the Attorney General’s London B Panel (from 2019 to 2024)
  • Admitted to the New York Bar (2019)
  • Member of the Bar Council International Committee (since 2014)
  • Rapporteur for Oxford International Organisations (OXIO), Oxford University Press
  • UN Office of Staff Legal Assistance (OSLA) volunteer lawyer
  • Diplomas from the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Sanremo, on the Law of Armed Conflict: 152nd International Military Course (2013) and 34th Advanced Course on IHL (2017).

  • French (native)
  • Spanish (fluent)
  • Italian (basic)

  • Co-authored the chapter on UK, UN and EU Sanctions in Smith, Owen, and Bodnar on Asset Recovery (Criminal Confiscation and Civil Recovery), OUP.
  • Authored the new chapter on the Sanctions Regimes of Multilateral Development Banks for Lissack and Horlick on Bribery and Corruption (3rd edition, Lexis Nexis).
  • The International Administrative Law Centre of Excellence Legitimacy Index (all five editions: 2014-2018 –
  • Sanctions Procedures of the African Development Bank Group, OXIO 101, OUP (
  • Statute of the Administrative Tribunal of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, OXIO 152, OUP (
  • World Bank Sanctions Procedures, OXIO 41, OUP (
  • Appeals Procedures of the Administrative Tribunal of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, OXIO 200, OUP (
  • Statute of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Monetary Fund, OXIO 348, OUP (
  • Enforcement Policy and Procedures of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, OXIO 349, OUP (
  • The Nature of the Beast – A Comparison Between International Administrative Tribunals, Federation of International Civil Servants’ Associations, ‘Focus on FICSA’, 2018 Edition.

  • Hardwicke Scholar (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • Scholarship for International Law Placement (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • Pupillage Award (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • Florida Advocacy Course Scholarship (South Eastern Circuit)
  • Bar Council business development mission grant to Brazil (UKTI)
  • Grant for Bar Council mission to Seoul and Shanghai (CBA)

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