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Oliver Hyams

  • Commercial  


    Oliver frequently acts in commercial disputes, both as sole and junior counsel.

    His practice encompasses a broad range of commercial law, with an increasing focus on civil fraud, company law and insolvency litigation. He appears regularly in the Queen’s Bench and Chancery Divisions of the High Court (including in the Commercial Court and the Companies Court), in addition to the County Court.

    Some of his current and recent cases include:

    • Trinity Logistics v Goonewardena & Ors (2017) (Commercial Court): an action brought by a freight forwarding agent making claims in deceit, unlawful means conspiracy and inducing breach of contract.
    • Hieber v Duckworth (2017) (Companies Court): a successful application to set aside a Tomlin Order pursuant to the rule in ex Parte James and due to a third party’s undue influence in the context of a claim brought by a liquidator against the officers of a company.
    • Ajayi v Abu (2017) (Queen’s Bench Division): a claim to recover 10 years’ unpaid minimum wage against a background of allegations of human trafficking and modern slavery.
    • Kogan v Hembry (2016) (Queen’s Bench Division): a claim to recover approx. £250,000 advanced by way of loan to a property developer. 
    • G v A Ltd (Companies Court): an unfair prejudice petition.
    • ES v CWS (Companies Court): acting for the respondents to related applications to restrain presentation of winding-up petitions.
    • L Ltd v A: a claim to recover the balance of a loan advanced to a company director’s relative.
    • LP v L: a claim in fraudulent misrepresentation for the return of a deposit on a house.
    • P v S: a claim to recover sums due under a deed of waiver, with a defence of equitable set-off.

    Oliver has extensive experience of:

    • General insolvency applications, acting on behalf of insolvency practitioners, liquidators, trustees, businesses and individuals.
    • Obtaining and maintaining freezing injunctions, particularly in aid of execution of judgments.
    • Professional liability disputes, including negligence claims against solicitors and architects.
    • Construction disputes, acting on behalf of contractors, sub-contractors, and clients.
    • Bringing and defending claims on guarantees.

    As a pupil, Oliver was involved in the ongoing Kazakhstan Kagazy litigation. He assisted in preparing for the hearing of the defendants’ appeal and the claimants’ cross-appeal against an order continuing a £72m freezing order (Court of Appeal, [2014] EWCA Civ 38).  He also helped to draft evidence in response to further applications to vary and set aside the freezing order.

    News & Resources

  • Property  


    Oliver has an established property practice. His current and recent cases include:

    • Barclays Bank Plc v Guzel (2017): an application by a bank under s.19 Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 related to the assignment of a lease of commercial premises.
    • R v S: a co-ownership dispute including allegations of undue influence and coercion.
    • H Ltd v S: a claim by a property developer to obtain possession of residential property occupied by a protected tenant, where the tenant alleges attempted unlawful eviction, harassment, and breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment.
    • K v T: a dispute relating to the proper construction of an easement.
  • Wills and trusts disputes  

    Wills and trusts disputes

    Oliver has experience of wills and trusts disputes. His current and recent cases include:

    • R v S: allegations of fraud and undue influence in a claim concerning the beneficial ownership of two properties.
    • W v W: a claim against personal representatives for a declaration of beneficial interest in estate property.
    • Re S: a claim for reasonable provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 with serious allegations made against the deceased’s family members.
    • L v W: a claim against a deceased’s estate, where the claimant alleged that he had made a loan to the deceased during her lifetime, and the executors asserted that the loan agreement was forged.
    • O v O: successfully represented executors where it was alleged that they had forged the deceased’s will, and that the deceased in any event lacked testamentary capacity.


Oliver has a commercial chancery practice, with a particular emphasis on civil fraud, company law and insolvency litigation. For more information, please select a practice area from the headings above. 

Further information

Pro Bono

  • Oliver is junior counsel for the families in the inquest into the 2004 sinking of the Bugaled Breizh by (allegedly) a military submarine. Details here.
  • Oliver is a trustee of Pro Bono Community, a charity that improves the availability and quality of pro bono legal advice.

Publications and seminars

  • Co-authored the insurance section of the COMBAR Brexit paper on financial services, submitted to the Ministry of Justice in January 2017.
  • A panellist at the COMBAR “Financial Services after Brexit” seminar in March 2017 and a speaker at Chambers’ Brexit conference on the impact of Brexit upon the UK insurance industry.
  • Oliver regularly delivers talks and seminars. Recent topics include: bankruptcy and winding up petitions; the changes introduced by the Insolvency Rules 2016; and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.


Before joining the Bar, Oliver worked at the European Commission, specialising in retail banking and pensions reform. With colleagues, he drafted the Payment Accounts Directive, in addition to policy papers addressing consumer protection in the private pensions market.


  • Bar Professional Training Course, Very Competent - City Law School (2012)

  • Graduate Diploma in Law, Commendation - City Law School (2011)

  • MA Human Rights - University College London (2010)

  • BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics and Economics, 2.1 - University of Durham (2009)


  • The Levitt Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2013)

  • Brussels Internship Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2012)

  • Hardwicke Entrance Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2011)

  • The City Law School BPTC Scholarship (2011)

  • Lord Haldane Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2010)


  • French


  • Insolvency Lawyers’ Association
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Lincoln’s Inn

News & Resources

Oliver Hyams

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Year of Call 2012



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Joe Grimmer

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