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Alex is an experienced barrister, writer and educator. His practice at 39 Essex Chambers is focused on mental capacity, mental health and healthcare ethics law, and he has appeared in cases involving these issues in both the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. Alex also writes extensively in the field, editing and contributing to leading textbooks and (amongst many other publications) the 39 Essex Chambers Mental Capacity Law Report, the ‘bible’ for solicitors (and others) working in the area. He was appointed an Honorary QC (now KC) in March 2022 for his contribution to mental health and capacity law outside the courtroom.

Alex is the creator of the website Mental Capacity and Law Policy, providing resources and expert commentary on some of the most difficult mental capacity issues.

Since Alex 2019 a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the IoPPN and since 2020 a Visiting Professor at the Dickson Poon School of Law. Between 2017 and 2022 Alex was a Wellcome Research Fellow King’s College London on the Mental Health and Justice project.

Research interests

  • Mental capacity law
  • Mental health law
  • Disability law


Alex co-leads the Mental Health, Ethics and Law MSc, and teaches the Mental Health Law: the Civil Context module. He also teaches Law at the End of Life on the Medical Law and Medical Ethics and Law MA courses.

Expertise and public engagement

Alex is a Research Affiliate at the Essex Autonomy Project, University of Essex. He spent 2016 on secondment to the Law Commission as a consultant to their Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Project and throughout 2018 was legal adviser to the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983. In 2020, he was appointed a special adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights for their inquiry into the human rights implications of the Government’s response to COVID-19, in 2022 the special adviser to the Committee for their inquiry into human rights in care settings.


  • Editor, BMA/Law Society Guide to the Assessment of Mental Capacity (BMA/Law Society, 5th edition, 2022)
  • Editor, the Court of Protection Handbook (Legal Action Group, 4th edition, 2022)
  • Co-editor, Law and Ethics in Intensive Care Medicine (Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2020)
  • Co-author with Camillia Kong, Overcoming Challenges in the Mental Capacity Act 2005: Practical Guidance for Working with Complex Issues (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2018)
  • Co-author, annual Court of Protection Practice textbook published by LexisNexis.
  • Co-editor and co-author, The International Protection of Adults (Oxford University Press, 2015)