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Oliver Caplin

Oliver was called to the Bar in 2012, and has practised at 20 Essex Street since September 2013 after completing his pupillage year under the guidance of David Lewis QC, Malcolm Jarvis and Sean Snook.

Since commencing practice he has appeared in the Court of Appeal, High Court (the Commercial Court, QBD and Chancery Division) and various County Courts. He has also represented clients in LMAA, LCIA, SCC, SIAC, HKIAC, GAFTA, FOSFA, ICC and ad hoc arbitral proceedings. He is regularly instructed to act in the Commercial Court on various arbitration applications, including section 67, 68 and 69 appeals.

The subject matter of Oliver's work is broad, but the vast majority of his cases involve jurisdictional or other conflicts of laws issues. He has particular experience in anti-suit injunctions, and acted in The Yusuf Cepnioglu [2016] 3 All ER 697, one of the leading cases on the role comity plays in the grant of such remedies. In keeping with Chambers’ core areas of practice, Oliver accepts instructions in all areas of dry shipping, commodities, and general commercial work. He has a strong non-marine and marine insurance/reinsurance practice, and is co-authoring the new (4th) edition of Michael Miller's "Marine War Risks". Oliver is regularly instructed in shipbuilding and construction disputes, in relation to the latter especially in the energy sector. 

Prior to coming to the Bar, Oliver trained and practised as a medical doctor. Although he has now left medicine behind him, he has a particular interest in commercial litigation falling within the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical devices, and technology industries. He acted as junior counsel in Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics Company Ltd v Abbvie Biotechnology Ltd [2017] Bus LR 333 (led by Thomas Raphael QC), Chugai Pharmaceutical Co v UCB Pharma et al [2017] Bus LR 1455 (led by Alex Layton QC and Michael Tappin QC), and Eli Lilly & Co v Genentech Inc [2017] EWHC 3104 (Pat) (led by Alex Layton QC and Tom Hinchliffe QC). He has previously acted for a large pharmaceutical company in an insurance dispute before the Commercial Court. 

Outside of these more industry specific cases, Oliver's scientific training leaves him well disposed towards technical disputes that involve issues of (bio)chemistry, physics, and engineering.

He has spent time on secondment at major international law firms both in London and in Hong Kong, and regularly gives talks on wide variety of litigation and arbitration related topics. Whilst Oliver is regularly led by QCs from within and outside Chambers, a substantial proportion of his work is as sole counsel, often in multi-million dollar disputes.

His recent Court cases as junior Counsel include:

  • Eli Lilly & Co v Genentech Inc [2018] 1 W.L.R. 1755 (led by Alex Layton QC) [jurisdiction challenge, Brussels 1 (Recast), service out of the jurisdiction]
  • Chugai Pharmaceutical Co v UCB Pharma et al [2017] Bus LR 1455 (led by Alex Layton QC and Michael Tappin QC) [jurisdiction, justiciability, act of state]
  • Chugai Pharmaceutical Co Ltd v UCB Pharma SA [2017] EWHC 444 (Pat) [jurisdiction, civil procedure, intellectual property]
  • Oldendorff GmbH & Co KG v Sea Powerful II Special Maritime Enterprises [2017] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 194 (led by Michael Ashcroft QC) [Acted for the successful Defendant in this dispute which concerned the proper construction of a letter of indemnity issued for the discharge of cargo without presentation of the original bill of lading]
  • Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics Company Ltd v Abbvie Biotechnology Ltd [2017] Bus LR 333 (led by Thomas Raphael QC) [Jurisdiction challenge, intellectual property]
  • Gunvor SA v Crugas Yemen Ltd [2016, unrep] (Commercial Court, led by David Lewis QC) [Anti-suit injunction, commodities]
  • The Yusuf Cepnioglu [2016] 3 All ER 697 (Court of Appeal, led by David Lewis QC) [Anti-suit injunction dispute, shipping]
  • Aline Tramp SA v Jordanian International Insurance Company [2017] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 467 (led by Michael Coburn QC) [Anti-suit injunction]
  • Sarpd Oil International Ltd v Addax Energy SA [2016] CP Rep 24; [2016] BLR 301; [2016] 2 Costs LO 227 (Court of Appeal, led by David Lewis QC) [Security for costs, commodities]
  • Ruby Roz Plc v The Republic of Kazakhstan [2016] [s67 jurisdiction appeal]
  • The Yusuf Cepnioglu [2015] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 567 (Commercial Court, led by David Lewis QC) [Anti-suit injunction, shipping]


His recent Court cases as sole Counsel include:

  • Gunvor SA v CruGas Yemen Limited [2018] EWHC 2061 (Comm) [Commodities, oil trading, demurrage, market loss]
  • Gunvor SA v Sky Oil & Gas Ltd [2018] EWHC 1189 (Comm) [Commodities, sale of goods, oil trading]
  • The Songa Winds [2018] 2 Lloyd's Rep 47 [shipping, letters of indemnity for delivery absent original bills of lading, contractual time-bar]
  • BP Oil International Ltd v Trafigura Pte Ltd (2017, London Mercantile Court) [commodities]
  • Geogas Trading SA v Addax Energy SA [2016] (Commercial Court) [Commodities]
  • Gunvor Belgium NV v Kaii 12 NV [2015] EWHC 3150 (Comm) [Commodities]
  • Shannon v THV Locobouw [2015] EWHC 1267 (QBD) [Jurisdiction challenge, Brussels 1 Regulation]
  • Re Indemnity Guarantee Assurance Limited [2016] BPIR 1203 [Insolvency, insurance]


Education and Career: 


Nottingham University: B.Med.Sci (Hons) 1st Class (2006)

Magdalene College, Cambridge: Medicine MB BChir, Distinction (2009)

BPP Law School: GDL, Distinction (2011)

City University: BPTC, Outstanding (2012)


The Brick Court Chambers Scholarship, Middle Temple (2012)


Certificate of Honour for performance on the BPTC, Middle Temple (2012)

The Bart Prize, Nottingham University (2006)


Co-Authoring the new (4th) edition of Michael Miller's "Marine War Risks"

April 2016, 20 Essex Street Bulletin - Derived Rights and Anti-suit Injunctions: Has the Curtain Come Down on Comity? 

March 2016, 20 Essex Street Bulletin - Obtaining security for a defendant's and third party's costs against a claimant incorporated in a secretive jurisdiction 

January 2016 20 Essex Street Bulletin - Article discussing mitigation where there is no available market 

Appointments and Society Memberships: 

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit
  • Lecturer in advocacy and mooting skills at Pepperdine University
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association (YFLA)


"'an absolutely outstanding litigator' with impressive expertise in dry shipping disputes." Who's Who Legal 2018

"He is able to move quickly through large volumes of information and identify the pertinent issues." Legal 500 2017

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