Oliver Caplin > Twenty Essex > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Twenty Essex

Work Department


Oliver has a broad commercial practice which particularly focuses on international trade, jurisdiction, IP/IT, and dry-shipping disputes (including ship construction). He is ranked as a leading junior in a number of practice areas by Chambers & Partners (UK Bar), The Legal 500 (UK Bar, Asia Pacific) and Who’s Who Legal. He was nominated for Shipping Junior of the Year in 2021 by Chambers & Partners and for Shipping and Commodities Junior of the Year by The Legal 500 in 2022.

His commercial work spans a number of different sectors, including up and downstream oil and gas, energy, pharmaceuticals, telecoms and IT, and sports. Many of his cases involve jurisdictional or other conflicts of laws issues. Oliver has developed particular experience in the area of anti-suit injunctive relief.

Oliver has a broad marine and non-marine insurance practice, including reinsurance. He is the co-author of Miller’s Marine War Risks (4th Ed, Informa).

He appears frequently in the Commercial Court, both as sole counsel and as a junior to a QC. Oliver has also appeared a number of times in the Court of Appeal. He regularly represents clients in arbitral proceedings (both in London and Singapore) before the LMAA, LCIA, ICC, SIAC, HKIAC, GAFTA and FOSFA, as well as related arbitration applications in the Commercial Court.

Before coming to the Bar, Oliver trained and practised as a medical doctor. As a result, he has a particular interest in commercial litigation falling within the life sciences and technology industries. His scientific training also assists more generally with technical disputes involving issues of (bio)chemistry, physics, and engineering.



Italian (conversational)

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Shipping

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

Oliver CaplinTwenty Essex

Praised as a ‘premier set in shipping and commodities with strength in depth at all levels’, Twenty Essex  supports clients in disputes across the whole gamut of maritime matters. Timothy Hill KC, Alex Carless, and Michal Hain all acted on the CMA CGM Libra, which proceeded to the Supreme Court in 2021 and held that a defective passage plan renders a vessel unseaworthy. Elsewhere, Timothy Young KC acted for the Spanish government in London Steam-Ship Owners’ Mutual Insurance Association Ltd v Spain opposite Alexander Thompson; the case concerns one of the largest oil spills in Europe caused by the sinking of the Prestige off the coast of Galicia in 2002. Henry Byam-Cook KC and Philip Riches KC continue to receive instructions on high-profile disputes, with the former involved in two cases arising out of the insolvency of a trading company and a subsequent ship arrest which will be heard concurrently in the Commercial Court. Oliver Caplin, who specialises in dry shipping, has also had a strong year, including acting as sole counsel against silks.

London Bar > Commodities

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

Oliver CaplinTwenty Essex ‘However pressurised the situation, he is calm, responsive and he punches above his weight, a go-to senior junior for commodities disputes.’

Undoubtedly the strongest commodities set’, Twenty Essex  has ‘some outstanding practitioners and the widest selection of very talented lawyers in the commodities area’. One market source remarks that it is ‘the premier set for commodities work with multiple options at every level of seniority’. Michael Ashcroft KC, Michael Collett KC and Timothy Young KC are among the most prominent silks in this area of law. Ashcroft KC acted for the seller, Tintrade Inc., in Septo Trading Inc v Tintrade Inc, a fuel oil dispute concerning where title passed, who bore the risk of off-specification cargo in context of blending and supply from multiple shore tanks through pipelines, and whether cargo was, in fact, off-spec. Among the juniors, Daniel Bovensiepen, who acted as sole counsel defending a Commercial Court claim totalling about $765,000 for alleged contamination of a cargo of gasoil, and Oliver Caplin, who acted as sole counsel in a five-day oil trading dispute in the Commercial Court, are among many who are considered to be at the top of their game.

London Bar > Insurance and reinsurance

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 4

Oliver Caplin – Twenty EssexOliver has an incredibly sharp legal mind. He has the ability to cut through the noise and identify the key issues in the case, and he is very responsive, dedicated and thorough.

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Shipping and commodities

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

Oliver CaplinTwenty Essex

‘Oliver provides sound and commercial advice, responds promptly and is able to quickly grasp concepts that may sometimes be pretty technical (especially in the shipping/commodities industry).’