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Call: 2011

Alexander West

Albion Chambers

Broad Street Bristol BS1 1DR

  • Overview

    Alexander specialises in Matrimonial Finance, Regulatory Crime and Inquests.

    Having joined Chambers in 2014 following the successful completion of his pupillage, Alexander has built a busy practice within the Western Circuit and beyond, and is known for his friendly client manner and detailed approach to cases. He quickly puts clients at ease and fights their corner in court, combining rigorous preparation with assertive advocacy.

    Alexander is also a qualified mediator; a skill which assists when negotiating settlements on behalf of clients.

  • Matrimonial Finance

    Having maintained an intentionally broad Family Law practice for several years, Alexander now specialises in Matrimonial Finance, dealing with all aspects of financial remedy applications following divorce or separation.

    Alexander advises and provides advocacy services at all stages from initial application through to final hearing, and particularly enjoys the challenge of cases where matrimonial assets are unlikely to meet both parties’ needs.

    Recent cases

    • S V S – Represented the Wife who was seeking to uphold a post-separation agreement which entitled her to both properties owned by the parties, in circumstances where the Wife had been solely responsible for paying the mortgages and building the equity.
    • W v W  – Represented the Husband in a short-marriage case where the entirety of the £1.6m pot was pre-marital accrual. The Wife’s case was necessarily limited to an argument based on needs, as a Deed of Trust prevented any sharing claim to the FMH.
    • R v R – Represented the Wife in a variation of maintenance case in circumstances where the Wife had used the maintenance to date to accrue significant savings for retirement (£200k+), arguing that the initial order made no provision for income in retirement.
    • K v K – Represented the Husband in enforcement proceedings where a Legal Services Order had been made on the premise that the funds would be provided by a third party. When the funds were not made available to the Husband, failed enforcement proceedings ensued.
    • LS v LS – Represented the Husband in a case where there was very little capital for division, but the Husband was a high-earner, with significant bonuses including shares with a three-year vesting period.
    • M v M – Represented the Wife in a long-marriage case where it was alleged that the Husband had an undisclosed interest in a company with an annual revenue in excess of $200m, despite his claims to be retired. Assets c.£1m.
    • N v N – Represented the Husband in a long-marriage case where the Husband’s parents had made significant financial contributions to the purchase price of the parties’ home, which they were seeking to recover. Assets c.£1m.
    • H v H – Represented the Wife in a short-marriage case which concerned significant pre-marital accrual, the division of a family farming business, and post-separation losses incurred by the Husband in the five years since separation. Assets exceeded £1m
    • B v B – Represented the Husband in a sharing case where the matrimonial pot was large enough to enable both parties to rehouse, although the Wife sought to argue that she should receive more than half of the pot, relying on what she claimed was a reduced capacity for work.
    • B v B – Represented the applicant Wife in a successful application to set aside a consent order on the basis of the Husband’s misrepresentation in the accompanying Statement of Information.
    • W v W – Represented the Husband in a long-marriage needs case, where the Husband was sole carer for the parties’ children and therefore sought an unequal division in his favour, despite having a significantly higher annual income than the Wife.
    • K v K – Represented the Wife in a childless marriage case which involved significant pre-marital assets, periods of separation within the marriage, and debts accrued by the Husband after separation. The Wife relied on a Deed of Trust which governed the division of the equity in the FMH, which she sought to retain.
    • G v Q – Represented the Wife in a long-marriage needs case where the significant assets were the FMH and the family business. W was reliant on state support and therefore had a limited mortgage capacity and limited ability to rehouse should the FMH be sold.
  • Inquests

    Alexander is Head of the Inquest Team, and is ranked in the Legal 500 as a Tier 1 inquest advocate with “encyclopaedic case and statute knowledge”.

    Alexander has experience representing clients in Article 2 and non-Article 2 inquests, with and without a jury, dealing with issues such as disclosure, appropriate conclusions and PFD reports. Having worked in a variety of client-facing roles in the past, Alexander is able to put clients at ease in what is often a very unfamiliar environment, enabling them to give their best evidence.

    Typically representing public authorities, Alexander has a detailed understanding of issues surrounding Regulation 28 evidence, non-causative culpable conduct and the engagement of Article 2. He is able to provide advice on case strategy in addition or as an alternative to advocacy services.

    Alexander has previously been engaged to provide an analysis of all deaths in custody across a range of privately-operated prisons, in addition to providing specific training for large NHS trusts on inquest law.

    Alexander was recently instructed as Counsel to the Review for the Independent Review into the Isle of Man Government’s handling of Covid, chaired by Kate Brunner KC. Further details of the Review can be found at www.covidreview.im

    Alexander also lectures across the country on Inquest Law – Procedure, Preparation and Presentation. Feedback includes:
    Excellent speaker – clearly knows his subject thoroughly” – Solicitor, London
    Very personable and a good communicator who knows his field extremely well” – Barrister, London
    Impressive in-depth knowledge of subject area” – Barrister, Manchester
    Obviously at the top of his game” – Solicitor, Manchester
    Knowledgeable and engaging” – Solicitor, Leeds
    Excellent. Thorough knowledge of subject and extremely polite, courteous and amenable” – Barrister, Leeds

    Recent cases

    • Re Mohamud Hassan – instructed as Counsel to the Inquest in this three-week jury inquest concerning the death of a 24-year old male on the same day he was released from police custody, having alleged mistreatment by officers. The death had led to widescale protests in Cardiff.
    • Re AD – instructed by a local health board in this three-week inquest into the death of a prisoner as a result of food and fluid refusal, requiring detailed examination of prison and healthcare records.
    • Re CM – Instructed by the local authority in the inquest arising from the death of a member of the public following the consumption of a food wrap from Pret-a-Manger in Bath. The case attracted significant media attention at the time of the death.
    • Re BB – Instructed by an NHS Trust in an inquest which concerned an incident of potential medical malpractice in the community, leading to hospitalisation and ultimately death.
    • Re PS – Instructed by a private care home following an incident where a resident had potentially choked on food and died, in circumstances where the risk of choking was known, and the issue for the inquest was whether adequate steps were taken.
    • Re DW – Instructed by an NHS Trust following the death of a mental health patient in the community, in circumstances where the Trust had been contacted with concerns regarding the deceased, but had not taken action.
    • Re JB – Instructed by a private residential and educational facility following the death of a diabetic student whilst on a period of home leave. Issues for the inquest concerned the responsibility of the various agencies involved in the deceased’s care and the suitability of the planning and response concerning diabetes management.
    • Re DRT – Instructed by the family following the unexplained death of a detained mental health patient. Expert evidence was heard from three consultant psychiatrists, a cardiologist and a pathologist who all sough to ascertain the cause and mechanism of death.
    • Re BT – Instructed by the Health and Safety Executive following the death of an individual at their workplace. The inquest looked at the training and supervision in place at the time, and the changes that had been made since the death.
    • Re CN – Represented a privately-run prison in an Article 2 jury inquest which looked at the adequacy of cell checks in the hours leading up to the deceased’s death, criticisms made by the PPO and the steps taken by the prison to avoid a PFD report.
    • Re TD – Instructed by an NHS Trust in an inquest looking at the community care provided to the deceased in the weeks prior to their death, together with the sufficiency of the emergency response and whether it had any impact on the death.
    • Re MT – Instructed to represent a locum GP who had seen the deceased two days prior to her hospital admission, following which she died from sepsis which the hospital failed to diagnose and treat appropriately. Questions for the GP centred on whether they missed the early warning signs of sepsis, and whether their assessment was sufficiently thorough.
    • Re PB – Represented the mental health team within an NHS Trust in a case concerning the death of a detained inpatient who had used his unescorted s.17 to consume a quantity of alcohol that ultimately proved lethal. Issues surrounded the relevant risk assessments, the suitability of the leave and the response of the team once the deceased had returned to the ward intoxicated.
    • Re JB – Instructed by a regulator in relation to a death linked to the use of excessive restraint by security operatives. Key issues concerned the engagement of Article 2 and whether the operatives were an emanation of the state, together with detailed medical evidence concerning causation.
    • Re MC – Instructed by an NHS Trust in an inquest concerning the death of a detained patient who had been placed in a residential home as part of discharge planning. Key issues were whether the treating team had adequately managed the deceased’s risk in the period prior to his death.
    • Re CM – Represented a privately-run residential care home where the elderly deceased had fallen prior to being admitted to hospital, where she died. While risk assessments and mitigation measures were considered, the significant issue at inquest was the delay from the emergency services in responding to the incident.
  • Regulatory

    Alexander acts for regulators, individuals and businesses in a broad range of regulatory disputes, and is always happy to advise on areas which may be unfamiliar territory to those instructing.

    He is one of three barristers on the Western Circuit to be ranked in Chambers and Partners for Environmental Law, described as:

    “A rising star with a growing practice in environmental crime and regulatory matters. He regularly defends environmental prosecutions and has a particular focus on waste management”.

    Alexander also has a growing practice in Health & Safety, Education and Social Care matters, and acts for and against the CQC, local authorities and HSE. He is a member of List C of the Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law. Previous cases have involved the following statutory provisions:

    • Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016;
    • Housing Benefit Regulations 2006;
    • Social Security Administration Act 1992;
    • Fraud Act 2006;
    • Private Security Industry Act 2001;
    • Trade Marks Act 1994;
    • Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014;
    • Food Safety Act 1990;
    • Water Industry Act 1991;
    • Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976;
    • Environmental Protection Act 1990;
    • Health and Social Care Act 2008;
    • Animal Welfare Act 2006;
    • Animal Health Act 1981;
    • Firearms Act 1968.

    Recent cases

    • R V B&F – Represented two individuals accused of interfering with a badger sett, in a criminal trial.
    • CQC v SH – Represented a private provider of domiciliary care in an appeal against the CQC’s decision to cancel its registration.
    • R v S – Represented a hunt master in a criminal trial concerning charges of criminal damage and being in charge of a dangerously out of control dog, following the killing of a pet cat by hunting hounds.
    • CQC v DM – Instructed to represent the CQC in respect of an appeal against the regulator’s decision to refuse an application for Registered Manager status.
    • CC v Various – Instructed by a police force to seek Gang Injunctions against seven respondents, following incidents of escalating retaliatory violence between rival gang members.
    • CQC v J – Represented a private provider of personal care services in an appeal against the CQC’s decision to impose conditions on its registration.
    • CQC v HS – Prosecuted on behalf of the CQC in respect of a business providing personal care when it was not registered to do so.
    • HSE v MAR – Prosecuted on behalf of the HSE in respect of a builder who had exposed a gas flue when working on a chimney, causing a health and safety risk to the sole elderly occupant of the neighbouring property.
    • WCC v FD – Represented an individual accused of offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and Animal Health Act 1981 in relation to the transportation and treatment of animals destined for an abattoir.
    • DVSA v OD – Represented a private company and its directors in respect of drivers hours’ violations committed by its staff.
    • GCC v Various – Represented a local constabulary in various appeals against decisions concerning firearms licences. Cases concerned the application of the principles in the Firearms Act 1968 and subsequent case law.
Alexander West


“Alex is very approachable and he provides a great level of service.”

“Alex has a reassuring influence in any case; he is always meticulously well prepared and is a very polished advocate.”

Chambers and Partners 2024 

‘Alex has an extraordinary ability not to be fazed by anything which is unexpected; he glides above it all like a swan. His advocacy is concise and clear. He is also fantastic at analysing documentation and evidence and has an ability to get to the heart of a problem.’

‘Alex is very personable, approachable and calm with his instructing solicitors and clients alike. He has an eye for detail and a disarming approach that can catch his opposite number off-guard. He works well with judges, can think fast on his feet and his advocacy is strong.’

Legal 500 2024

‘Alexander West is a very good advocate.’

Chambers and Partners 2023

‘Alexander is meticulous, calm and always impeccably well prepared. His advocacy is flawless.’

Legal 500 2023

‘Alexander has a thorough knowledge of CQC regulatory work. He is measured and calm, and his advocacy style is very professional and effective. He is well-prepared for hearings and unflappable when an unexpected issue arises. He inspires confidence.’

Legal 500 2023

“Very thorough and extremely easy to work with” encyclopaedic case and statute knowledge” “an accessible and efficient communicator with an ability to quickly assess the essence of a case and devise an appropriate strategy”.
Legal 500 2022

“Alexander West is a strong junior with notable expertise in environmental crime and regulatory matters. He regularly defends environmental prosecutions and has a particular focus on waste management.”
Chambers and Partners 2022

“He is always thoughtful and considered and immediately puts my clients at ease. He has handled extremely emotive inquests with a calm and reassuring approach which has been invaluable in providing support and reassurance to my clients.”

Legal 500 2021

“A strong junior who continues to grow his practice in environmental crime and regulatory matters. He regularly defends environmental prosecutions and has a particular focus on waste management.
“He always presents as assured and confident.” “He is thorough and great with clients.”
Chambers and Partners 2021

“A very good up-and-coming junior who always provides sensible and commercial advice.”
“He’s a very capable practitioner who is very thoughtful.”
Chambers and Partners 2020

“He is personable, calm, measured and someone who exudes authority beyond his call.”
“He is extremely approachable, has a clear understanding of the issues and is able to provide commercial and pragmatic advice.”
Chambers and Partners 2019


  • Philosophy and Theology (Joint Honours) Nottingham University
  • GDL


  • Middle Temple GDL Scholarship (2009/10)
  • Middle Temple BPTC Scholarship (2010/2011)
  • Sachs Prize for BPTC Results top 5% (2011)
  • Winner National BPTC Criminal Advocacy Competition (2011)


Heads of Disagreement
Enforcement of financial orders: does the Limitation Act apply to interest?
How to deal with the Coroner’s expert: analysis of R (Smith) v HM Assistant Coroner for North West Wales [2020] EWHC 781 (Admin)
Witness anonymity in inquests
Lawful killing… Duggan revisited
Challenging Ofsted suspensions (childcare providers): a high hurdle and a low threshold
Environmental prosecutions: waste management still a focus for regulators
Trade mark offences