Oliver Isaacs

Year of Call: 2000
Email Address: oliver.isaacs@3pb.co.uk
Telephone: 020 7583 8055

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Oliver is renowned for his expertise in the areas of both Commercial and employment. His extensive experience extends to:

  • Commercial expertise in contractual disputes, directors duties, partnership and  shareholder rights.
  • Injunction proceedings both for claimants and defendants, in the High Court on restrictive covenants, breaches of confidentiality and generally in obtaining or defending the grant of injunctive relief. and conditions.
  • Employment claims acting in high profile discrimination, whistleblowing, unfair dismissal claims and TUPE. He has also carved out a niche dealing with claims for bonuses, contractual redundancy payments, and permanent health insurance.  He regularly appears in the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the High Court.
  • Non-contentious matters including drafting and advising on: Shareholder agreements, Partnership agreements, Exclusivity agreements, Franchise agreements and Standard terms.
  • Oliver also has extensive experience dealing with any subsequent professional negligence issues that arise from Employment and Commercial disputes; and is well versed in the particular issues relating to the quantification of damages and evaluation of "lost chances" which arise in such cases.

He frequently lectures and provides training on those areas in which he practises.

For more information see his specialist profiles.


  • Commercial
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    Oliver is instructed in a wide range of commercial litigation. He is an experienced advocate and adviser in a broad range of commercial disputes, at all stages from pre-action and interim stages to trials. He appears in both the High Court and the County Court, in matters relating to:

    • Contractual disputes
    • Directors duties
    • Partnership
    • Shareholder rights
    • High Court injunctions
    • Professional negligence & loss of chance

    Non-contentious matters including drafting and advising on: Shareholder agreements, Partnership agreements, Exclusivity agreements, Franchise agreements and Standard terms.

    Notable Cases

    Rehman v Benfield (2006) EWCA Civ 1392
    Acknowledgment of Title under the Limitation Act 1980

    Stepford Homes v Lee & Others (2012) LTL
    A claim for injunctive relief and ancillary orders against a former employee and the approach the Court should take to costs where a Claimant had decided not to pursue its claim for such ancillary orders but failed to inform the Defendants or the Court


    • 23rd Nov 2016

      Oliver Isaacs provides an update on Estate agents' fees - curing incomplete contracts by implying terms. If a developer agrees to pay an estate agent a finder's fee, what happens if the parties do not discuss what triggers the payment? If a contract is incomplete, can the court fill that gap by implying terms?

      Oliver Isaacs (Call 2000) analyses the most recent contribution of the Court of Appeal to that question in Wells v. Devani (2016) [2016] EWCA Civ 1106.

      View Publication
  • Employment and discrimination
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    Oliver Isaacs has over 15 years' experience dealing with commercial and employment disputes.  He is particularly adept at dealing with claims involving directors, minority shareholders, restrictive covenants and breaches of confidentiality.

    Whilst Oliver is regularly instructed to deal with routine employment claims (discrimination, whistleblowing, unfair dismissal etc.), he has also carved out a niche dealing with claims for bonuses, contractual redundancy payments, and permanent health insurance.  He regularly appears in the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the High Court.

    Oliver undertakes work via Direct Access, and is prepared to consider Conditional Fee and Damages Based Agreements. Additionally, he has represented parties in judicial and other mediations regarding employment and wider commercial disputes.

    Oliver is available for lectures, seminars and produces training material for solicitors, human resources and other professionals.

    Oliver is known for being knowledgeable, skillful and tenacious advocate.

    Oliver is deputy-head of the Employment and Equalities Group for 3PB.

    Notable Cases

    Chindove v Morrison Supermarkets Plc (No 2) (2017) (Unreported) – An appeal on whether an employee had affirmed his contract of employment.

    ICTS (UK) Limited v Visram [2016] UKEAT 0344_15_2607 – An appeal against an ET’s finding that the dismissal of an employee in receipt of long term disability benefits was both unfair and discriminatory.  The EAT held that the employment tribunal had permissibly found that the employee had had an express contractual right to long-term disability benefits and an implied right not to be dismissed, save for good cause, when on long-term sick leave, in circumstances in which he would have lost his entitlement to those benefits following dismissal.  Oliver acted on behalf of Mr Visram both in the ET and the EAT.

    Smith v Gartner UK Ltd [2016] UKEAT/0279/15/LA – An appeal against the striking out of a Claimant’s claim of discrimination.  The claim arose from the failure to pay permanent health insurance benefits until an amended retirement age of 65yrs old.

    Holt v RES on Site Limited [2014] UKEAT 0410_13_2702 - Successfully resisting an unfair dismissal appeal where dismissing officer and appeal officer would not have reached the same conclusion on dismissal.  Employment Judge found dismissal fair having applying Taylor v OCS Group Ltd [2006] IRLR 613 EAT.

    Timbo v Grenwich Council for Racial Equality [2013] EqLR 1010 – An appeal against the ET’s decision to strike out a Claimant’s claim three days into a liability hearing and whether it is appropriate to strike out where there are disputed facts.

    F & G Cleaners v Saddington to [2012] IRLR 892 - An appeal on the principles to be applied to mitigation of loss in the context of a TUPE transfer.

    Stepford Homes v Lee & Others [2012] EWHC 4433 – A claim for injunctive relief and ancillary orders against a former employee and the approach the Court should take to costs where a Claimant had decided not to pursue its claim for such ancillary orders but failed to inform the Defendants or the Court.

    Hosso v ECM Ltd (No 2) [2011] EWCA Civ 1589 – A case addressing the demarcation between equal pay and sex discrimination. Oliver appeared in the ET, EAT and CA representing ECM in this long running dispute which resulted in the successful resistance of a claim valued at over £4 million.

    Walsh v Yellow Pages Sales Limited [2011] UKEAT/0103/11/DA - (sub nom Conant v Arriva Trains Wales) - A conjoined appeal where the EAT reviewed the authorities on when it is admissable for the Employment Tribunal to substitute its own view of the fairness for dismissal for that of the employer. Oliver appeared for Mr Walsh (in the EAT but not the ET) in successfully resisting Yellow Pages' appeal.

    Other cases

    • Alukpe v South Thames College [2014] UKEAT 0395
    • Fullerton v Interrights [2010] UKEAT/0251/09
    • Spicknell v The Wilts and Dorset Bus Company [2010] UKEATPA/1715/09
    • Royal Bank of Scotland v Wilson [2009] UKEAT/0363/08
    • Hosso v ECM Ltd (No 1) [2008] All ER D 160
    • Gladwell v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry [2007] ICR 264
    • Mowels v Vox Displays Limited [2007] All ER (D) 40.

    Unfair Dismissal

    Oliver has huge experience of all types of unfair dismissal claim, acting for employers and employees.  He regularly advises approved persons and those that are regulated by professional bodies

    Recent Cases

    • Successfully acting for an FX trader against a major UK bank in a 10 day case where the employee was dismissed for breach of confidentiality.
    • Successfully acting on behalf of an employee dismissed for comments on facebook.  The action involved cross examining the High Commissioner of Jamaica.
    • Successfully advising an employee on his claim of unfair dismissal against a government of a British Occupied Territory which asserted that it had “state immunity.”
    • Successfully obtaining an order of re-engagement on behalf of an employee unfairly dismissed by the Department for Work and Pensions on the grounds of capability.
    • Successfully representing an employee dismissed for “Some other substantial reason.”  The employee was named by an informant as a crime lord in a metropolitan police investigation but never charged by the police.
    • Advising employees of major public schools on allegations of misconduct.


    Discrimination covers a wide variety of “protected characteristics” including race, sex, disability and sexual orientation. Oliver is frequently involved in cases where serious discrimination is alleged and acts for employers and employees alike.

    Recent cases

    • Acting for a part-time Judge of the EAT accused of disability discrimination.  Oliver was able to have the claim against the Judge struck out.
    • Successfully acting for a sixth form college accused of race discrimination, harassment, disability discrimination, sex discrimination, equal pay (amongst other claims) which lasted 18 days.
    • Successfully appearing on behalf of European Credit Management Ltd (led on appeal by Paul Epstein QC) in the defence of a £4m equal pay/sex discrimination claim by a former employee.
    • Successfully representing an employee who accused an employer of unlawful disability discrimination where the medical evidence suggested he would never work again, but where the effect of dismissal was to deny an entitlement to the benefit of a permanent health insurance policy.
    • Representing an employer in a case involving perceived disability discrimination.


    Oliver regularly advises employees and employers regarding their rights and obligations following the making of protected disclosures. Oliver is best placed to provide objective, independent confidential advice and support.

    Recent cases

    • Advising a medical director who alleged he was constructively dismissed having made disclosures which referenced contraventions of “Good Medical Practice.”
    • Advising a consultant whether he was obliged to repay legal costs to the BMA following failed High Court proceedings involving whistleblowing.
    • Successfully resisting an application for interim relief by an employee of a charity who suggested that he had been dismissed for having made protected disclosures.
    • Advising numerous employees who alleged that there had been breaches of the FCA Handbook.

    Transfer of Undertakings

    Oliver regularly advises employers and employees with the complexities of TUPE 2006.

    Recent Cases

    • Successfully appearing for an employee where it was contended by the employer that there was a “sham” assignment of employees to the undertaking transferred.
    • Advising an employee on whether within the context of a service provision change a service had become too fragmented to mean that there was no transfer.
    • Advising an employee on the effects of the loss of a book of insurance contracts.

    Directors' Duties

    Oliver regularly advises in claims involving breach of directors’ duties.

    Recent Cases

    • Regularly advises employers on the processes to be adopted to terminate directorships/contracts of employment following the discovery of breaches of fiduciary duty.
    • Advised numerous employees on the effect of breaches of fiduciary duty on their rights as minority shareholders under Companies Act 2006.

    Restrictive Covenants/Breach of Confidence/Breach of Fiduciary Duty

    Oliver regularly advises employers on obtaining injunctions and employees in resisting attempts to obtain injunctive relief.

    Recent Cases

    • Successfully representing an employee in resisting a claim for injunctive relief who was accused of “stealing” maturing business opportunities.
    • Representing a company and employees who had allegedly stolen a company database in breach of obligations of confidentiality.  The company alleged the proceedings were an abuse of process and an attempt to drive competition out of business.
    • Advising a dentist on the enforceability of its restrictive covenants which limited competition by reference to area/time.
    • Advising a company on its liabilities there having been an inadvertent disclosure of a small amount of confidential information in breach of an NDA.
    • Advising on the enforceability of restrictive covenants in a franchisor/franchisee relationship.


    • 9th Oct 2017

      3PB Employment barrister Oliver Isaacs analyses the latest employment law cases, covering:

      1. Early Conciliation – De Mota v ADR Network UKEAT/0305/16/DA
      2. Practice and Procedure - Jhuti v Royal Mail UKEAT/0061/17/RN
      3. Burden of Proof - Efobi v Royal Mail Group Ltd
      4. Causation and Apportionment – BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd v Konczak (2017) EWCA Civ 1188
      5. Permanent Health Insurance - ICTS (UK) Ltd v Visram (2017) All ER D 229
      6. Whistleblowing - International Petroleum Ltd v Osipov & Others (2017) UKEAT/0058/17/DA

      Please click below to read Oliver's case law update.

      View Publication


"an efficient and effective barrister, providing creative and commercial solutions to clients. Oliver is always approachable and is sensitive when dealing with clients; whilst able to deliver clear and practical advice even in difficult and complex situations"

"I was thoroughly delighted with his professionalism, his attention to detail and his frank and honest views...A fantastic barrister."

"a tenacious advocate and able to get to the root of the problem quickly."

"Oliver provides clear, practical advice on commercial and employment matters. I would certainly recommend him."

Client testimonials

Professional qualifications & appointments

  • Accredited Mediation Advocate

Professional bodies

  • Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Employment Law Bar Association (ELBA)
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association

Direct Access

Oliver Isaacs is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.

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