Home Barristers Olivier Kalfon

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Olivier Kalfon

Call 2003


Olivier specialises in commercial chancery litigation with a strong emphasis on business disputes (often with an international dimension), civil fraud, company and insolvency, and banking / financial services litigation.

He is recommended in the directories as a leading junior in numerous practice areas including commercial litigation (Legal 500), dispute resolution: commercial chancery (Chambers Global) chancery: commercial (Chambers UK), offshore (Legal 500) and restructuring/insolvency (Legal 500, Chambers Global and Chambers UK).

The directories have described Olivier as “a confident and assertive advocate with a sharp intellect”, who “turns judges around, and is very impressive in court. He's not easily deflected - he's got real steel.” Olivier is “very clever, very reliable and a great team player” as well as being “responsive, attentive and a consistent pleasure to deal with”. “He’s the full package”.

Areas of practice

Commercial Litigation and Civil Fraud: including heavy business disputes within a wide range of sectors, civil fraud (such as freezing orders and other interim relief, asset-tracing and recovery, and civil claims based on dishonesty), litigation arising out of share and business sale agreements, and jurisdiction / choice of law disputes.

Company, Partnership and Insolvency: including shareholder disputes, partnership disputes, joint ventures, directors’ duties, corporate and personal insolvency, property issues in insolvency, antecedent transaction avoidance, applications to challenge or remove office holders, bond claims and cross-border insolvency.

Banking & Financial Services: investment banking and private equity disputes, mis-selling claims, secured lending, asset financing and claims under guarantees and indemnities.

Professional Negligence: including claims against insolvency practitioners, accountants and solicitors.

The clerks are happy to discuss the basis on which Olivier will act in any given matter. In the absence of express written agreement otherwise, the terms under which Olivier accepts instructions are The Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services By Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012 (as updated from time to time) referred to in the BSB Handbook.

Sample of current and recent cases

  • Acting in large scale multi-party shareholder dispute in the Eastern Caribbean Court (BVI, Commercial Division) concerning a group of companies in Hong Kong and mainland China (as case leader). Trial in phases between 2019-2021.
  • Acting in proceedings in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands (Financial Services Division) brought by the liquidators of an investment fund against the fund’s directors and specialist service providers, involving allegations of unlawful means conspiracy, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt (led by Christopher Parker QC).
  • Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber v Bosheh [2021]: multi million-pound civil fraud claim involving allegations of identity theft and document manipulation (as case leader). Successful application to discharge freezing injunction for material non-disclosure ([2018] 11 WLUK 46). Trial listed for 2021.
  • Acting in cross-border insolvency claim for c.£250 million brought by the liquidator of a BVI company (as case leader). Chancery Division, 2020. Case settled.
  • Arlington Infrastructure Ltd (In Administration) v Woolrych [2020] EWHC 3123 (Ch): successful High Court challenge of out of court appointment of administrators over energy companies (as case leader). Appeal in the Court of Appeal listed for 2021.
  • Hellard v Registrar of Companies [2020] EWHC 1561 (Ch): test case concerning company restoration applications in which the Court considered the scope of the sweep up provision in section 1029(2), Companies Act 2006 (as sole advocate).
  • Acting in LCIA arbitration proceedings about a £1bn family-owned group in a shareholder dispute (led by Dominic Chambers QC).


Olivier has offshore legal experience and was admitted to the Bar in the Cayman Islands in 2006. In 2016 Olivier was admitted to practice as a Legal Practitioner in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (BVI).


Commercial Bar Association
Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association
Chancery Bar Association
British-Russian Law Association


Annotated Guide to Insolvency Legislation and Practice (Butterworths) - Editor
Butterworth’s Property Insolvency (2015) - Editor
Jowitt’s Dictionary of English Law (3rd edition, Sweet & Maxwell) - Contributor


BSc Economics (LSE)


French (fluent)

What the directories say

Legal 500

Commercial Litigation
"A real pleasure to work with and refreshingly straight-forward and fuss-free in his approach." (2021)
"Given the breadth of his skill and his marvellous advocacy, it is no wonder he is so busy." (2020)
"A well-regarded commercial Chancery junior." (2018-19)
"Sharp as a razor, but supremely practical and astute tactically." (2017)
“Superb on his feet, and always well researched and prepared." (2016)
"A confident and assertive advocate with a sharp intellect." (2015)
"Incredibly easy to work with while being very intelligent and effective." (2021)
"He is the rising star of the Chancery and commercial Bar." (2020)
"His technical ability is his particular strength." (2018-19)
"...... easily makes the complicated seem simple." (2017)
“Intelligent, determined and good on his feet.” (2015)
"Has all the qualities of an excellent silk while only being a junior." (2021)

Chambers Global / Chambers UK

Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery / Chancery: Commercial
"His advice is very succinct, extremely user-friendly and highly commercial. He takes a very sensible approach to cases and is extremely accommodating as well. His advocacy is very, very good." "He is very hands-on, responsive and level-headed. He is also sensible and strategic, and his written work is extremely clear." (2021)
"He's extremely knowledgeable and someone who I would expect a very strong fight from, regardless of the merits of the case." (2020)
"Extremely capable intellectually and robust in terms of his advocacy, he is a tenacious advocate. Very little, if anything, gets past him. He doesn't play dirty and never veers away from being entirely appropriate in what he does and says in court." "His work on pleadings is impressive; he has a very easy drafting style that is clear and to the point." (2019)
"If you're against him, you know you're in for a good battle and one that you'll probably enjoy." "He's got a really nice style on his feet, one the judge really warms to, and his command of the papers is excellent." (2018)
"He is personable, commercial and fully understands the business and commercial context within which banks work. He is very popular with clients and highly respected in his area." (2017)
"…he is not afraid to get stuck in." (2016)
Restructuring / Insolvency
"A very good senior junior and a solid, safe pair of hands who gets the job done." "His written work is excellent." (2021)
"A polished advocate with notable gravitas in court. He's calm and measured in his delivery and is very tactically astute. His advocacy is very calm, measured and he's a pleasure to listen to. He's able to deal with anything that the other side throw at him." "He can jump seamlessly and confidently from one complicated case to another. He is organised and thorough, and judges like him because he instinctively knows which points to emphasise and which to drop." (2020)
"He is a strong advocate and a respected adviser. He is always calm and considered in his advice and is very good with clients." "He is a go-to junior for insolvency litigation and is incredibly strong when dealing with financially complex and multi-jurisdictional matters."
"He's good on paper, good on his feet and always willing to get stuck in." (2018)
"Olivier will make himself available as soon as he can, his written work is fantastic and clients love him. He's the full package." (2017)
"He is technically excellent, very focused and extremely pleasant to deal with." (2016)
"He is very intelligent, approachable and good on his feet." (2016)

Chambers UK

"A strong advocate and a respected adviser. He is always calm and considered, and is good with clients." (2017)
"He is a details man who fights hard to win for his clients." (2016)
"He is very clever, very reliable and a great team player." (2016)
"He was superb, both with his written work and during trial." (2015)
"He is a very good advocate with a really effective cross-examination style." (2015)
"He turns judges around, and is very impressive in court. He's not easily deflected - he's got real steel." (2014)
"A great advocate, who is experienced beyond his years." (2014)
“He is tenacious and always well prepared.” (2014)
“He is responsive, attentive and a consistent pleasure to deal with.” (2014)
Many peers believe that "he punches above his weight" due to his "ability to deal with cases which would usually be beyond someone of his call" (2014)
"Academically brilliant and knows his area of expertise inside-out." He is "amazingly quick with his answers and always acts as an extension of your team." (2012)
"Very bright, commercial lawyer who gets to the nub of the matter immediately." Sources admire his "thorough preparation and his calm and assured advocacy style" (2011)
"One to watch going forward." (2010)

Legal 500

“Meticulously detailed and thorough…” (2016)
“Very clear and pragmatic.” (2015)
“Very smart insolvency counsel.” (2014)
"Excellent, thorough, clear, concise, reliable" (2011)
"Genuine pleasure to instruct" (2010)