Olivier Kalfon

Call: 2003

Olivier specialises in commercial 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”.


  • Expertise

    • Commercial Litigation & Arbitration

      Olivier's practice includes 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 and arbitration arising out of share and business sale agreements, and jurisdiction / choice of law disputes.

      Recent and ongoing work includes:

      • Acting (leading Edward Armitage) for the sellers in a share sale dispute worth in excess of £8m involving allegations of fraudulent breach of warranty and misrepresentation.
      • 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.
      • 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).
      • 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 KC).
      • Acting in LCIA arbitration proceedings about a £1bn family-owned group in a shareholder dispute (led by Dominic Chambers KC).
    • Civil Fraud

      Olivier has considerable experience of pursuing and defending fraud claims, and related pre-action protective measures.

      Recent and ongoing work includes:

      • Acting (leading Edward Armitage) for the sellers in a share sale dispute worth in excess of £8m involving allegations of fraudulent breach of warranty and misrepresentation.
      • 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. Case settled.
      • Acting in large scale multi-party shareholder dispute (involving allegations of dishonest breach of fiduciary duty) in the Eastern Caribbean Court (BVI, Commercial Division) concerning a group of companies in Hong Kong and mainland China (as case leader).
      • 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 KC).
    • Offshore & Trusts

      Olivier has significant 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).

      Recent and ongoing work includes:

      • 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).
      • 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 KC).
      • Acting in cross-border insolvency claim for c.£250 million brought by the liquidator of a BVI company (as case leader). Chancery Division, 2020.
    • Company & Partnership

      Contentious matters including directors’ liabilities, shareholder disputes (unfair prejudice petitions, derivative claims, just and equitable winding up), claims concerning unlawful distributions of capital and unlawful dividends, corporate insolvency, dissolution, restoration and directors disqualification.

      Recent and ongoing work includes:

      • Hellard v Registrar of Companies: 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 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).
      • 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 KC).
      • Acting in LCIA arbitration proceedings about a £1bn family-owned group in a shareholder dispute (led by Dominic Chambers KC).
    • Insolvency & Asset Recovery

      All aspects of both corporate and personal insolvency, including technical issues under the insolvency legislation, transaction avoidance claims, proceedings by and against insolvency practitioners, bond claims and cross-border issues.

      Recent and ongoing work includes:

      • Re Bitumina Industries Ltd [2022] EWHC 2578 (Ch) – Olivier (leading Joseph Bunting) acted for the Joint Administrators of the company. The case concerned the creation of a floating charge, and its enforceability under Section 245 of the Insolvency Act 1986. It entailed a route and branch consideration of Section 245, its effect, construction, scope and interaction with authorities under the previous insolvency statutes. The judge (at [36] and [122]) praised their submissions, noting the “great deal of benefit” he had derived from their “closely-reasoned analysis”.
      • 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).
      • 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 cross-border insolvency claim for c.£250 million brought by the liquidator of a BVI company (as case leader).
      • 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).
      • 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 KC).
      • Acting in LCIA arbitration proceedings about a £1bn family-owned group in a shareholder dispute (led by Dominic Chambers KC).
    • Banking & Financial Services

      Olivier's practice includes investment banking and private equity disputes, mis-selling claims, secured lending, asset financing and claims under guarantees and indemnities.

    • Professional Negligence

      Olivier's practice includes claims against insolvency practitioners, accountants and solicitors.

  • Directory Quotes

    Legal 500 Insolvency (2024 )

    “User friendly, knowledgeable and commercial.”

    CHAMBERS UK Restructuring/Insolvency (2023)

    "Olivier is very sharp. He knows insolvency very well."

    Chambers UK Chancery Commercial (2023)

    "Oliver is very intelligent and a lovely person to work with."

    Legal 500 UK Commercial Litigation (2022)

    “A sublime tactician. Very easy to work with and client-friendly. A truly modern practitioner of the Bar who is down to earth but with razor-sharp legal skills and subtle but deft advocacy skills.”

    Legal 500 UK Insolvency (2022)

    “Olivier is thorough and has an exceptional understanding of insolvency law and practice.”

    Legal 500 UK Offshore (2022)

    “A truly modern practitioner of the bar who is down to earth but with razor sharp legal skills and subtle but deft advocacy skills.”

    Chambers UK Restructuring/Insolvency (2022)

    “His written work is outstanding and always completely meticulous, and he also has an excellent way with judges. He's measured, doesn't take superfluous points and keeps to the core of his argument.”

    Chambers UK Chancery: Commercial (2022)

    “A silk in the making, who's excellent at trial preparation and adept at handling complex, multi-handed cases.”

    Legal 500 UK Insolvency (2021)

    “Incredibly easy to work with while being very intelligent and effective.”

    Legal 500 UK Commercial Litigation (2021)

    “A real pleasure to work with and refreshingly straight-forward and fuss-free in his approach.”

    Chambers UK Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery (2021)

    “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.”

    Chambers UK Restructuring/Insolvency (2021)

    “A very good senior junior and a solid, safe pair of hands who gets the job done." "His written work is excellent.”

    Legal 500 UK Offshore (2021)

    “Has all the qualities of an excellent silk while only being a junior.”

    Legal 500 UK Commercial Litigation (2020)

    “Given the breadth of his skill and his marvellous advocacy, it is no wonder he is so busy.”

    Legal 500 UK Insolvency (2020)

    “He is the rising star of the Chancery and commercial Bar.”

    Chambers UK Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery (2020)

    “He's extremely knowledgeable and someone who I would expect a very strong fight from, regardless of the merits of the case.”

    Chambers UK Restructuring/Insolvency (2020)

    “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.”

    Legal 500 UK Commercial Litigation (2019)

    “A well-regarded commercial Chancery junior.”

    Legal 500 UK Insolvency (2019)

    “His technical ability is his particular strength.”

    Chambers UK Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery (2019)

    “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.”

    Chambers UK Restructuring/Insolvency (2019)

    “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.”

    Chambers UK Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery (2018)

    “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.”

    Chambers UK Restructuring/Insolvency (2018)

    “He's good on paper, good on his feet and always willing to get stuck in.”

    Chambers UK Restructuring/Insolvency (2017)

    “Olivier will make himself available as soon as he can, his written work is fantastic and clients love him. He's the full package.”

    Chambers UK (2017)

    “A strong advocate and a respected adviser. He is always calm and considered, and is good with clients.”

    Chambers UK Restructuring/Insolvency (2016)

    “He is technically excellent, very focused and extremely pleasant to deal with.”

  • Notable Cases