Home Barristers Olivier Kalfon

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation


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”.

Recent work includes a shareholder dispute in the Cayman Islands concerning a Chinese clothing brand, shareholder disputes in the BVI and St Kitts and Nevis concerning African mining companies, and an LCIA arbitration arising out of the sale of a substantial group of manufacturing companies in Eastern Europe.

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 cases

  • Arlington Infrastructure Ltd (In Administration) v Woolrych [2020] EWHC 3123 (Ch) - successful application to challenge out of court appointments of administrators on the basis that the floating charges on which the appointments relied were unenforceable. 

  • Hellard v Registrar of Companies [2020] EWHC 1561 (Ch) - contested company restoration applications in which the Court considered the scope of the sweep up provision in section 1029(2), Companies Act 2006.
  •  LCIA arbitration about a £1bn family-owned group in a shareholder dispute.

  • Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber v Bosheh [2018] 11 WLUK 46 - successful application to discharge freezing injunction for material non-disclosure.
  • Sandhu v Nagra [2018] EWHC 763 (Ch) - three-week trial of shareholder dispute concerning a clothing manufacturing business.

  • Re Chowdhary Limited [2017] EWHC 557 (QB) - summary judgment / strike out application in respect of claim by former franchisee alleging fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation.

  • Greig v Lauchlan [2017] EWHC 535 (Ch) - trial of action to recover company shares and properties said to have been transferred under undue influence and held on constructive trust.
  • Re Thomas [2017] EWHC 314 (QB) - trial of action against bank for alleged breach of "information duty”.
  • Re Fashionup Limited (2016, ChD) - shareholder dispute, successful application to discharge freezing injunction for material non-disclosure.
  • Lord Chancellor v Blavo [2016] EWHC 126 (QB) - contested freezing injunction in the context of a £22m claim issued by the Lord Chancellor.
  • Re Cartel Client Review Ltd [2016] EWHC 442 (Ch) - trial of action to recover unlawful dividends and property held on constructive trust.
  • Advising a media conglomerate on its commercial dispute with a satellite operator concerning the licensing and distribution of various television channels.
  • Advising an investment bank on the recovery of mortgaged commercial aircraft registered in a foreign jurisdiction.
  • Advising the former minority shareholders of a financial services company on claims for fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty against the company directors.
  • Acting (with Christopher Pymont QC) in a claim brought by financial institutions alleging conspiracy to defraud and fraudulent misrepresentation (ChD, 2014). Case settled.
  • Acting in a complex claim for damages brought by a venture capital firm for alleged breach of an exclusive jurisdiction clause in an investment agreement (QBD, 2014). Case settled.
  • Acting in professional negligence claim against insolvency practitioners alleging inadequate pre-sale marketing of companies within renewable energy sector (ChD, 2014). Case settled.
  • Smith Jafton [2013] 2 EGLR 104 - claim for declaration of entitlement to exercise right of collective enfranchisement (appeared as junior counsel).
  • Point West (London) Limited Rothschild Trust (Bermuda) Limited [2012] EWCA Civ 884 - acting for Rothschild Trust in property dispute (service charges, defective curtain-walling) concerning penthouse apartment. Appeared as junior counsel in the Court of Appeal.
  • ACCA Koumettou [2012] EWHC 1265 (Ch) - acting for ACCA in contested insolvency block-transfer application.
  • Re Rebell Holdings Limited [2011] EWCA Civ 977 - liquidator’s claims to recover payments by directors alleged to have been made in breach of fiduciary duty (ChD trial and Court of Appeal).
  • Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills Baer Limited [2011] EWCA Civ 420 - public interest winding up petition alleging that company was part of a fraudulent “rolling phoenix” operation (ChD trial and Court of Appeal).
  • Acting in claim against solicitors alleging negligent advice given in connection with ‘phoenix’ trading under insolvency legislation. ChD proceedings settled.
  • ICAEW Webb [2009] EWHC 3461(Ch) - acting for ICAEW in contested insolvency block-transfer application.
  • Dayman v Aziz [2008] EWHC 2244 (Ch) - court appointed receiver’s entitlement to costs and lien over properties. Whether entitlement precluded under CPR 69.7.


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
Insolvency Lawyers 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)