Eleni Polycarpou

Partner | London

Eleni is a partner in the litigation and arbitration team and focuses on international arbitration.

She specialises in international commercial disputes both in litigation and arbitration. Eleni is co-head of the international arbitration team and also head of the UK art law team. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Eleni acts for high net worth individuals and their companies often advising on shareholder and joint venture disputes and contractual disputes in a variety of fields including banking, oil and technology. She has a specialist practice advising on art related disputes and leads the UK art team advising collectors, galleries, museums, auction houses on all art-related matters.

Eleni is also well versed in mediation and has a track record of achieving a successful settlement of disputes via this method.

Eleni lives in London and is a dual national (Cyprus and UK). She speaks fluent Greek, English and Italian often acting for clients from those jurisdictions and from Russia and CIS who hold companies in Cyprus.

Secretary Federica Spagnoletti


In regards to international arbitration, special counsel Eleni Polycarpou ‘never leaves any stone unturned’.

Legal 500 UK, 2017

Eleni Polycarpou, who heads the art litigation team, is ‘an excellent litigator to have on your side and is relentless in pursuing her clients’ best interests’.

Legal 500 UK, 2017

She is definitely well plugged in to this area. She is really brilliant and excellent for art matters.

Chambers and Partner, 2021

Eleni Polycarpou is an exceptional litigation solicitor – immensely experienced and very knowledgeable in this quite specialist field. Apart from anything else, she is a considerate person, with great client management skills.

Legal 500 UK, 2020

Eleni is an experienced expert in the field of international arbitration and is skilled at dealing with the most difficult clients.

Legal 500 UK, 2020

Eleni Polycarpou is a leading arbitration lawyer with terrific expertise in Russian and CIS matters,

Legal 500 UK, 2020

Eleni Polycarpou’s team is one of a kind when it comes to arts and cultural property. The depth and breadth of knowledge and experience should be appealing to any client. The team has skills and knowledge

Legal 500, 2021

Eleni Polycarpou is incredibly hands-on whilst approachable. She is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get into the work herself. She will go the extra mile for a client.

Legal 500, 2021

Eleni is a tough litigator, really committed to her clients, and with bags of energy and spirit.

Legal 500, 2021

I have worked in this field with Eleni Polycarpou. She and her team have a very strong presence in this area of litigation, and fully deserve their excellent reputation.

Legal 500, 2021

Track record




Acting for NRC (a Cypriot company) in relation to fraud proceedings issued in London and in Cyprus against a former business associate (AAD) and companies controlled by him. In London Eleni and her team obtained a default judgment in the sum of £5 million. Their attempts to enforce this Judgment by obtaining a charging order over a property in West London legally owned by a BVI company, ended in a 3 day trial in the High Court in which the BVI Company vigorously defended the claim for the final charging order. Eleni and her team won at that trial and the Judge found that the Property is beneficially owned by AAD and that therefore NRC could proceed to enforce its default judgment.

Dexia Crediop SpA and Provincia di Brescia and Deutsche Bank AG London and Provincia di Brescia: Acting for an Italian local authority in two misselling of swaps claims against two banks and related Italian proceedings

LCIA Arbitration – acting for a company owned by a Russian Oligarch in fraud proceedings over the alleged alienation of a Russia based asset; proceedings brought in the LCIA and in parallel proceedings taking place in Russia, Cyprus and in the BVI and involving resisting freezing order applications in all the jurisdictions

England and Wales, 2005

British Virgin Islands, 2013

The Art Market Adjusts: Managing contractual obligations in uncertain times - US and UK’The%20Art%20Market%20Adjusts:%20Managing%20contractual%20obligations%20in%20uncertain%20times%20-%20US%20and%20UK,’%20Withers%20article%20-%20April%2017,%202020,%20co-author,’ Withers article - April 17, 2020, co-author__

‘Proposed EU regulations on the import of non EU-cultural goods’, Withers article – 19 February 2019, co-author

Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb),

Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA),

British Italian Law Association (BILA),

British Russian Law Association (BRLA),

Russia and CIS Arbitration Network (RCAN),

Hellenic Law Association of London



  • English
  • Greek
  • Italian






20 Old Bailey,



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