Alex Haines

Year of Call:
2007 (England & Wales); 2019 (New York); 2020 (Ireland); and 2024 (District of Columbia)
Direct Access:

Alex is a barrister called to both the English and Irish Bars, and a US-qualified attorney admitted to the Bars of New York and Washington DC. He is a specialist in international law and sanctions, with expertise in the law of international organisations (IOs). A Franco-British dual national fluent in French and Spanish, Alex is ranked in Chambers and Partners for Sanctions (Band 1) and Legal 500 for Business and Regulatory Crime (including global investigations) (Tier 3). In February 2023, he was elected Co-Chair of the New York State Bar Association International Section London Chapter. In 2024, Alex was shortlisted for International Law Junior of the Year by the Legal 500 Bar Awards. Alex is a Sanctions Officer (first-tier decision-maker) at the Caribbean Development and is appointed to the Attorney General’s London B Panel to the Crown.

Alex’s practice areas are: (i) business crime including global investigations and the debarment frameworks of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and International Financial Institutions (IFIs); (ii) sanctions and export control; (iii) international regulatory and disciplinary proceedings; (iv) international administrative law and the institutional law of IOs including their privileges and immunities; and (v) international arbitration and ADR. Alex is often instructed in international arbitrations involving IOs.

Alex litigates before international courts and tribunals in Washington DC, New York City, London, and other IO headquarters including Geneva, Vienna, Jeddah and Addis Ababa. The cases he has been instructed in have involved more than 40 IOs. He is currently standing counsel to three IOs. Alex has been successful before several International Administrative Tribunals including those of the World Bank, OAS, Islamic Development Bank, United Nations, EBRD and Asian Development Bank (all reported).

His unusual practice leads to instructions on cross-over (and cross-border) issues involving economic sanctions (in 2022 and 2023 he acted for the British Government on the sale of Chelsea FC), investigations, IOs and the anti-corruption frameworks of MDBs/IFIs.

Alex authored the chapter on MDBs and their debarment systems in Lissack and Horlick on Bribery and Corruption (3rd ed., Lexis Nexis, 2020 – revised chapter due 2025), co-authored the chapter on UK, UN & EU sanctions in Smith, Owen and Bodnar on Asset Recovery(Criminal Confiscation and Civil Recovery) (OUP, 2019 – revised chapter due 2024), and was a contributing editor to White-Collar Criminal Prosecutions in the US and UK – A Comparative Treatise for Practitioners (American Bar Association, 2022). Alex has been a member of the Bar Council International Committee for a decade 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 is an international fraud and corruption specialist with an intricate understanding of MDBs/IFIs and their debarment frameworks. His practice consists of advocacy, litigation, investigations and advisory work – he currently represents individuals pursued by the anticorruption offices of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Banks (INT and OII respectively).

  • As Sanctions Officer at the Caribbean Development Bank, Alex issued the first decision of the CDB’s new debarment framework in 2023.
  • Experienced in representing companies and individuals accused by the anti-corruption offices of MDBs including those of the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and Asian Development Bank.
  • Experienced in investigations into allegations of fraud and corruption brought by the World Bank and African Development Bank.
  • Experienced in MDB negotiated resolution agreements, voluntary disclosure, and the redesign of integrity compliance programmes to make them compliant with IFIs’ Anti-Corruption Task Force guidelines. Alex also advises on criminal referrals to national authorities (e.g., SFO), cross-debarment under the Cross-Debarment Agreement, representation before Integrity Compliance Offices, and privileges and immunities.
  • Successful appearances before the World Bank Sanctions Board in Washington DC and the Asian Development Bank’s Integrity Oversight Committee in Manila.
  • Previously instructed by the Integrity and Anticorruption Department of the African Development Bank in a case jointly investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Author of the Chapter on MDBs and their debarment framework in Lissack and Horlick on Bribery and Corruption (Lexis Nexis, 3rd Ed. – revised chapter due 2025).
  • Experienced in investigations beyond the frameworks of MDBs, Alex was previously instructed by a UN specialised agency to lead an investigation into allegations of fraud in its South-East Asia regional office.
  • Alex has lectured on the debarment frameworks of MDBs to the Brazilian Bar Association, British Chamber of Commerce, Korean Bar Association, Shanghai Bar Association, English Law Week in Mexico, and was a panellist at the 35th International Symposium on Economic Crime at Jesus College, Cambridge. His work on debarment has continued through his efforts with Transparency International’s Suspension and Debarment Taskforce and Oxford International Organizations (OUP) as a rapporteur.
  • Alex co-produced the Unspoken Giants podcast on MDBs where he discussed investigations, compliance and their debarment frameworks.

Alex is ranked Band 1 for Sanctions by Chambers & Partners.  His sanctions practice includes: (i) bringing or defending administrative law challenges against FCDO listing decisions and HMT (OFSI) decisions that touch on licences; (ii) civil, criminal and regulatory enforcement; (iii) sanctions issues in commercial litigation and international arbitration; (iv) export control advice and investigations into alleged breaches; and (v) advisory work, especially in the financial services sphere, with an emphasis on the Russia Regulations 20219.

  • Leading Sophie O’Sullivan, Alex acted for the Claimant in the first s.38 SAMLA challenge to a UK sanctions designation in the Administrative Court (Synesis v Secretary of State for FCDA [2023] EWHC 541 (Admin)).
  • As a member of the UK Attorney General’s London Panel, Alex is regularly instructed by HM Treasury and the FCDO to advise on sanctions matters, including in 2022 and 2023 on the sale of Chelsea FC and the proceeds thereof in light of the designation of its former owner under Russian sanctions. In 2022, Alex was instructed in the Administrative Court by the Government in the first challenge to OFSI and its alleged delay in issuing a licence.
  • Instructed in 2022 by the Attorney General of a Crown Dependency on a multibillion-dollar sanctions matter.
  • Between 2021 and 2024, Alex has been instructed in eight s.23 SAMLA challenges to UK sanctions designations.
  • Co-authored the chapter on UK, UN and EU Sanctions in Smith, Owen, and Bodnar on Asset Recovery (Criminal Confiscation and Civil Recovery), OUP (revised chapter due 2025).
  • Alex advises companies on all aspects of sanctions law across the UN, EU, US and UK frameworks, particularly in the context of financial sanctions and export control.

Alex appears and litigates before International Administrative Tribunals (IATs) 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 IOs.

He has acted as counsel for the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank in Thessaloniki, the GWPO in Stockholm, IRENA in Abu Dhabi, and was previously instructed by the Commonwealth Secretariat before its Arbitral Tribunal in London. He has appeared as leading counsel in the following IATs:

  • African Union Administrative Tribunal (AUAT)
  • Asian Development Bank Administrative Tribunal (AsDBAT)
  • Black Sea Trade and Development Bank Administrative Tribunal (BSTDBAT)
  • Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT)
  • Court of Justice of the European Union (General Court)
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Administrative Tribunal (EBRDAT)
  • Inter-American Development Bank Administrative Tribunal (IADBAT)
  • International Labour Organisation Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT)
  • International Monetary Fund Administrative Tribunal (IMFAT)
  • International Renewable Energy Agency Joint Appeals Board (IRENA JAB)
  • Islamic Development Bank Group Administrative Tribunal (IsDBAT)
  • Organization of American States Administrative Tribunal (OASAT)
  • United Nations Appeals Tribunal (UNAT)
  • United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT)
  • World Bank Administrative Tribunal (WBAT)

Alex represents victims of harassment 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 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  on the rights of female abuse victims convicted of violent crime against their abusers.

Alex has lectured on international administrative law and the immunities of IOs 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 IOs at the International Court of Justice and Stockholm Centre for International Law and Justice, as well as on the appeals systems of IOs at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

Alex represents international civil servants accused of and investigated for sanctionable practices (e.g., fraud, corruption and collusion) and other misconduct including sexual offences throughout the investigatory framework of IOs. He has represented employees – including senior lawyers and members of management – facing internal disciplinary proceedings before disciplinary committees of dozens of institutions including the World Bank Group, PAHO, IADB, UN, EPO, African Union, IFAD, IMF, EBRD and IMO. Alex is also instructed by certain IOs to bring proceedings against those accused of prohibited practices.

Alex’s instructions include oral hearings before disciplinary tribunals as well as strategic advice and written advocacy. He also advises on referrals made from IOs to criminal and regulatory domestic bodies (e.g., the SFO) including the scope and potential impact thereof.

In 2023, Alex was instructed to appear in a 10-day International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitration for the Shareholder Claimants in a Bilateral Investment Treaty case between Latvia and the UK (PNB Banka and others v. Republic of Latvia (ICSID Case No. ARB/17/47)). He has previously been instructed on behalf of the Respondent in an LCIA international commercial arbitration worth £115 million between two parties in a former Soviet Republic involving high value commodities, and in three international arbitrations administered by the LCIA using the UNCITRAL Rules against one of the largest IOs in the UK. Alex’s experience is particularly sought after when it comes to issues touching on the cross-over between IOs and their immunities, international human rights law, and international arbitration.

Alex is instructed in mediations, conciliations and settlement negotiations with an international dimension. 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. Alex has also been instructed by the Staff Association of the EIB in Luxembourg to represent its interests on a Conciliation Board.

There are two aspects to Alex’s PIL practice: (i) International Organisations Law, which is the law that applies to disputes and issues relating to IOs, themselves a product of PIL benefiting from privileges and immunities (see, for example, the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN and its Specialised Agencies); and (ii) Investment Treaty Arbitration (see PNB Banka and others v. Republic of Latvia(ICSID Case No. ARB/17/47)).

Alex and the IO Law team he leads at OTC have unrivalled experience in the laws and frameworks of IOs, having been instructed in cases involving more than 40 IOs including the UN, World Bank Group, IMF, NATO, African Union, World Health Organisation and International Maritime Organisation. IOs enjoy privileges and immunities and, as a result, have created internal justice systems not bound by domestic jurisdictions. IOs are created by multilateral treaties concluded between sovereign states and are, therefore, products of public international law. All cases relating to IOs (whether in the context of their privileges and immunities, their institutional frameworks, sanctions, regulation and arbitral proceedings) require specialist counsel with an understanding of the complex workings of each institution (of which there are hundreds).

Between May 2019 and December 2022, Alex was instructed as part of the evidence review team in the Dame Linda Dobbs Review. 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.

"A phenomenal barrister who provides all-round first-class legal services."

Sanctions, Chambers & Partners 2024

"Alex is very professional, knowledgeable and helpful."

Sanctions, Chambers & Partners 2023

"His practice is growing in the market, he's very user-friendly and very clear in drafting and submissions."

Sanctions, Chambers & Partners 2023

"Alex is a first rate advocate with excellent client manner. He has particular expertise when it comes to tribunals in international institutions and is sought after for his experience in this area."

Business and Regulatory Crime, Legal 500 2023

To find out more, contact Lexie Johnson on + 44 (0) 207 427 0801 or George Bennett on +44 (0)207 427 0807 for a confidential discussion.

Our dedicated practice management team can help you identify the right barrister for your case.

  • Elected as London Chapter Co-Chair of the New York State Bar Association International Section (2023).
  • 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)

  • Contributing editor to White-Collar Criminal Prosecutions in the US and UK – A Comparative Treatise for Practitioners (American Bar Association, 2022).
  • 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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