Overview of Jonathan's work as a barrister
"Charming, prepared and fearless - Jonathan's intellect and advocacy can transform a case"
Called to the Bar in 1986 after a successful Royal Navy career including promotion to Commander and being a Judge Advocate, Jonathan is an award-winning advocate with a national reputation. His particular interests are in:
* complex clinical negligence matters - one of the few NHS Resolution CN Panel mediators
* catastrophic and fatal personal injury cases - represents both claimants and defendants
* armed forces law - drawing on 20 years of experience in the RN, his acumen is unique
* costs cases - he successfully appeared in Hollins v Russell etc in the Court of Appeal; and
* children cases, family law matters, and ancillary relief - since 1996: a FLBA member.
One of the three founders of Clerksroom, and for many years based mainly at 218 Strand, Jonathan enjoys a richly deserved national reputation for the strength of his practice. The author of numerous articles and chapters on these subjects, he has earned the confidence of all sides of the profession and brings both formidable forensic skills and genuinely deep knowledge which ties to a nimble brain and deft intellect.
Jonathan is also a world-class mediator who has (literally) written the book on the subject. He is accordingly much sought after to represent clients as a barrister in all manner of civil, family, and commercial mediations where his complete knowledge of the subject and gift for negotiation tactics, shines through.
Jonathan is reported as
'caring, charming, commited and clever' with a
'wonderful style in conference' that
'puts clients and those instructing at immediate ease, rightly inspiring confidence';
as well as being possesed of a
'superb ability to deliver exceptional results',
Jonathan is 'quick with his paperwork, advices and pleadings'.
Detail - PI and CN
Jonathan's clinical negligence practice is very wide, working mainly for seven respected firms of solicitors in the North East, in Norfolk, in Cardiff, in Lincoln, London, and in Manchester He is the author of a chapter in the leading textbook Powers & Harris and teaches clinical negligence report writing six times a year to consultants on the Specialist Info courses that set a benchmark standard, as well as being closely associated with training for the Severn Deanery in Bristol. He has conducted several Inquests recently, arising from hospital or ambulance trust errors, all of which involved narrative verdicts and PFD reports (formerly Rule 43 reports). He is highly praised for his tact, care, and persistence.
He now carries an 80% caseload for claimants and 20% for defendants.
Well-known for his work in the complete range of complex and catastrophic accident cases, both on liability and quantum, Jonathan excels in combining a grasp of detail with a pragmatic view of prospects, risk and the art of the possible. His multi-party and other cases have made many law reports, and he is retained in dozens of claims against the MOD where his previous service, reaching the rank of Commander in the Royal Navy (seeing operational service in various places worldwide) and a later appointment as a Judge Advocate, make him a natural port of call.
Jonathan has a very strong interest in workplace and sporting injury claims, where a range of lead cases are in his name. He is a founding Trustee of The Jeff Astle Foundation which came to prominence in 2015 and looks to research head injuries in sport. This continues to attract deserved interest and (along with his Chairmanship of Football League Disciplinary Panels) means that JD has considerable connections in sport.
Jonathan is also well known for his work in bizarre, unusual or challenging cases: he has acted for clients following a mauling by a hippo, following systematic abuse by clergy, and after multiple deaths in dreadful circumstances, including torture. As such he likes to be instructed early, to share risk and burden, to attend Inquests if appropriate, and to gain a really clear knowledge of the client's and solicitor's needs, backgrounds, and aspirations. Fearless and independent he is a true guide, philosopher and friend for those engaged in litigation.
Detail - Costs cases
Widely respected too for his knowledge of costs, Jonathan came to prominence as the only successful junior barrister leading for clients in the CFA Test Cases a decade ago. He has maintained those skills and deals with complex issues and cases on all aspects of costs and civil procedure - in the latter area he was a consultee for several rounds of recent reforms. He is well connected at all levels of policy making and development.
His ability in costs negotations in high value cases, or to assimilate detail in complex SCCO assessments and other CCMCs is first class.
Detail - Family Law
Jonathan developed an early interest in family law as a vocation in 1996, becoming a member of the FLBA and a regular speaker. He has remained closely involved in sensitive private cases, largely in London, and in particular in delicate international collaborative work, ancillary relief, and cross-border issues. With a desire to spend more time in Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Hampshire and Somerset (associated with becoming an actively involved grandfather of three boys) Jonathan has (since mid-2017) begun accepting instructions once again in Children, Ancillary Relief and general family law matters - including harassment - on a private basis in the South West. From September, he will be assisted in his work by his next pupil who (uniquely) is a Family Justice with a decade of experience.
Jonathan's commitment to children issues is well known as part of his international human rights activities. He is also extremely experienced in mediation and collaborative work, with an eye for an effective and lasting settlement that combines sensible advice with client senstivities. It is a pleasure to have him back for this work in the South West. He is happy to discuss cases informally at any stage, or to provide in depth guidance.
Jonathan is also an internationally renowned mediator and trainer, with a strong interest in human rights. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a Fellow of the Association of Arbitrators (South Africa). Away from work, when not riding Triumph motorcycles, driving an old Morgan or Porsche 356 or supporting the predictably hopeless Baggies, he is likely to be found enjoying the gift of his grandsons, surfing, and increasingly - satisfyingly slow running.
After a number of 10ks (and the weekly parkruns) Jonathan is entered for the Bristol and Miami Beach half-marathons with the threat of London 2019 very much in mind to celebrate a special birthday.
Jonathan is celebrating his seventeenth year being clerked by the ever patient Martin Davies who can be contacted on 01823 704072.
Jonathan welcomes calls and discussions off the record and is happy to conduct conferences in solicitors' offices or client'shomes across the country.