Callum O'Connor


Callum has experience in high value and complex commercial disputes and investigations both in South Africa and globally.
Callum has advised on a broad spectrum of matters involving a cross section of notable clients, with a strong emphasis on asset tracing and fraud claims, compliance and investigations, restructuring and insolvency litigation and class actions. Callum has been involved in various cross-border proceedings, as lead and co-lead counsel in multijurisdictional anti-bribery and corruption investigations and fraud and asset tracing claims.
In 2024 Callum was listed as Up and Coming in Corporate Investigations and Dispute Resolution by Chambers and Partners and as a Next Generation Partner by the Legal 500.


Representative matters

A major South African bank on its position regarding loan financing, subsequent Swaps and related reputational concerns with a particular focus on the bank’s engagements with various regulatory authorities and counterparties. The matter demonstrates our ability to advise financial institutions on high profile investigations into financing transactions involving multiple regulatory authorities, legal frameworks and legal, commercial and governance concerns.

A listed mining company pursuant to the discovery of misappropriations from a subsidiary in excess of USD44 million, including litigation to reveal an offshore structure created to conceal the proceeds of various frauds, as well as advising on the recovery of funds through asset tracing and concomitant litigation in a number of jurisdictions, including Switzerland, the Netherlands, the British Virgin Islands and Curacao.

A sovereign wealth fund in its investigation of widespread fraud and theft and advice to the client on the enforcement of various judgments to recover funds in Armenia, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Georgia, India, Lebanon, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The mandate also involved advice to the client on engagements with INTERPOL in an attempt to extradite wrongdoers to face trial.

A major international bank on the defence of a civil action against the Government of the Republic of South Africa, seeking to set aside the Government’s acquisition of certain aircraft in the Strategic Defence Package, notoriously known as the Arms Deal – a multi-billion rand acquisition project completed in 1999. The matter presents novel questions of law in circumstances where a tender is invalidated due to corruption.




Pro bono

Advising a leading Human Rights Organisation that seeks reparations for survivors of torture. The matter concerned prospective civil proceedings against a fugitive involved in the supply armaments and assistance in the commission of war crimes. The mandate involved asset tracing and novel advice involving leading a team of members from various A&O’ offices.

Leadership Positions And Professional Affiliations

  • South African Restructuring and Insolvency Practitioners Association
Johannesburg-based Callum O’Connor operates a contentious practice which encompasses providing advice to his clients on investigations and white-collar crime, in addition to broader commercial work. He has notable experience of cases relating to corruption, bribery and money laundering. Strengths: “Callum O’Connor is an excellent counsel to work with. He is young but shows great depth and knowledge in his advice.”
Chambers and Partners Global 2023 (South Africa: Corporate Investigations (Up and Coming))
Ranked as a Next Generation Partner.
Legal 500 2022 (South Africa: Dispute Resolution (Next Generation Partner))



Attorney, South Africa, 2010


Money Laundering Control, University of Johannesburg, 2015

Advanced Company Law I & II, Advanced Contract Law, Advanced Administrative Law, Nelson Mandela Institute of the School of Law, 2010 – 2011

LLB, University of the Witwatersrand, 2008

B. Soc. Sci. Politics, Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE), University of Cape Town, 2005


A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.