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Alexander Burrell

“Alex has a strong legal understanding and he is very skilful in presenting the client’s case before the courts and arbitral tribunals. He is very thorough and clear in his advice, and is always well prepared. He has an analytical mind and a logical approach.” The Legal 500 EMEA 2023

Alexander specialises in commercial and construction disputes, in both UK litigation and in international litigation and arbitration.

Recommended as a leading junior in The Legal 500 EMEA, his international work includes representing clients in a number of regional and international arbitration centres, including the ICC, DIFC-LCIA, DIAC and ADCCAC, and ad-hoc arbitrations, often involving complex questions of foreign law, jurisdictional, procedural and enforcement issues. Alexander also regularly appears before the DIFC Court as sole counsel, including in applications for interim relief, jurisdictional challenges, multi-day trials, and before the Court of Appeal.

Alexander’s construction cases involve a number of high-profile projects, and his clients include multi-national subcontractors, main contractors and developers.

Alexander commercial cases cover the full spectrum of disputes, including banking and finance, civil fraud, commercial contracts, and insolvency. 

An increasing proportion of Alexander’s cases involve the energy sector, including cases related to construction, energy supply and energy regulation.

Alexander is also frequently instructed in a variety of property disputes, including commercial landlord and tenant, and real property.

Alexander has recently worked as sole counsel on a number of multi-million-dollar cases, including the DIFC Court TCD’s first ever construction trial, with a disputed sum in excess of $10,000,000, setting DIFC law precedent on various issues, and the successful strike out of a $8,100,000 claim arising from a commercial contract dispute, followed by a successful appeal of the same court’s judgment striking out the $900,000 counterclaim.

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Areas of expertise


Alexander regularly acts as sole counsel in a wide range of technically complex construction disputes, including energy projects, infrastructure projects and residential and commercial building projects (including shopping centres, luxury hotels and large mixed-use developments). 

In particular, Alexander has substantial experience of construction disputes in the Middle East, having spent two years within the international arbitration team at a leading United Arab Emirates law firm. 

Cases of note:

  • Panther Real Estate Development LLC v Modern Executive Systems Contracting LLC CA-016-2022 - Represented as sole counsel the appellant, in a two-day appeal before the DIFC’s Court of Appeal, the case involves 10 grounds of appeal on various complex legal issues, in particular relating to EOT notification conditions precedent and the prevention principle. Judgment pending. 
  • Panther Real Estate Development LLC v Modern Executive Systems Contracting LLC TCD 003/2019 26 September 2022 - Represented as sole counsel the defendant, in what is the first ever construction trial in the DIFC Court’s TCD, with DIFC governing law. The case involved a significant number of complex factual disputes and it sets DIFC law precedent on numerous construction law points, including  the legal impact of the contents of termination notices, the ability to pursue both general damages and liquidated damages for delay, and EOT notification conditions precedent. Judgment
  • Contractor v Employer - Successfully acted as sole counsel for a major real estate developer in emergency arbitration proceedings, securing the dismissal of an application brought by the main contractor, requesting a variety of injunctive relief relating to the encashment of bonds in the value of $12.25m after the contract had been terminated (DIFC-LCIA). 
  • Subcontractor v Contractor - Acted as sole counsel for a multi-national contractor in a Geneva-seated arbitration valued at over $32.4m, in respect of a dispute over substructure works for a project which had been planned to be one of the 10 highest buildings in the world (ICC). 
  • Subcontractor v Employer - Successfully acted as sole counsel for a major regional contractor, in respect of a multi-million-dollar dispute concerning fit-out works for a luxury hotel on the Palm Jumeirah, obtaining a declaration of unlawful termination, and succeeding in respect of three separate expert disciplines (delay, quantum and technical) (ICC). 
  • Subcontractor v Main Contractor - Acting as sole counsel for a multi-national steel contractor in an ongoing arbitration against a multi-national main contractor, arising out of a large shopping centre development, with a combined dispute value around $30m (DIAC).
  • Employer v Contractor - Acted as sole counsel for a well-known international developer in interim proceedings in an effort to secure the removal of a contractor from the site following its termination, following the successful dismissal of the contractor’s jurisdictional challenge (DIAC).


Alexander is regularly instructed across the range of commercial disputes, both domestically and internationally (including DIFC Court cases), including banking and finance (including Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) related cases), civil fraud, commercial contracts, energy and insolvency.

Alexander’s recent cases include representing a licensed premises in urgent injunctive proceedings against an energy company following the disconnection of energy supply (settled during the injunction hearing), representing an international bank in proceedings against various companies and their guarantors, and representing an individual in the DIFC Court regarding a claim for $12m for failure to list on the stock market.

Cases of note:

  • Dr. Othman Abdullah O Alswayeh v GII Islamic REIT (CEIC) Limited CFI 025/2022 31 August 2022 (also 07 November 2022) - Successfully acted as sole counsel for the claimant in respect of its $12m claim concerning a failure to list on the stock market in relation to a sale agreement concerning property and shares, securing dismissal of the defendant’s jurisdictional challenge and subsequent application to set aside default judgment. Judgment
  • Rada Trading LLC FZC v (1) Wealth Bridge Trading Crude Oil And Refined Products Abroad LLC (2) Cohenrich Energy FZE CA 007/2021 07 September 2021 - Successfully acted as sole counsel for the second defendant, before the DIFC Court of Appeal, successfully overturning the Court of First Instance’s judgment striking out of the company’s $938k counterclaim. Judgment
  • Rada Trading LLC FZC v (1) Wealth Bridge Trading Crude Oil And Refined Products Abroad LLC (2) Cohenrich Energy FZE CFI 112/2020 11 April 2021 - Successfully acted as sole counsel for both defendants in an $8.1m claim arising out of alleged misrepresentation and deceit in respect of a contract for the supply of various oil products, successfully obtaining the strike out of the claim against both defendants. Judgment
  • Purchaser v Developer - Successfully acted as sole counsel for a major real estate developer in Dubai seated arbitration proceedings regarding a sale-purchase contract dispute in the UAE, obtaining the dismissal of the $3.4m claim and award on counterclaim in the sum of circa $690k, after the matter had to be reissued by the purchaser following the earlier successful dismissal of the case on jurisdictional grounds (DIAC).
  • Owner v Purchaser - Acted as sole counsel for a commercial entity as claimant in respect of an international dispute concerning the sale of a petro-chemical plant, where the combined value in dispute exceeded $68m. The parties settled after the claimant’s reply pleadings and response to joinder pleadings (ICC).

Property and Real Estate Litigation

Alexander has experience in a variety of commercial property disputes, acting for both landlords and tenants. This includes forfeiture (and relief) claims, claims for accounts of profits, arrears, compensation and interim rent.

Alexander also has experience in cases concerning the sale of land, including regarding misrepresentation, proprietary estoppel and collateral contracts.

Alexander is also instructed in cases concerning real property. 

Energy and Environment

Alexander acts regularly in the energy sector, frequently advising and representing both energy suppliers and consumers, often in High Court proceedings. Alexander also provides advice on energy regulation and on climate change related legislation.


  • “He was, as usual, absolutely brilliant and achieved a fantastic result which I felt was unlikely to be possible.”
  • “He really put himself out to make sure that he went the extra mile in his preparations and I’ve started the weekend with an extremely happy client”
  • “Alex did a superb job under pressure”