“Jon has a superb legal mind, an incisive way of getting to the heart of a problem, and is wholly unflappable. He has star quality.”
The Legal 500 2023
“…the moment he opens his mouth, people listen…”
Chambers & Partners 2021
Jon’s planning, environmental and property practice complements broader public and administrative law interests and his varied civil liability work. Jon appears regularly in all types of court and tribunal alongside undertaking pleading and advisory work for a wide variety of domestic and international clients, including developers, consultants, local authorities, and the Government Legal Department. He is a Member of the Football Association’s General Appeal Panel.
Before coming to the Bar, Jon taught Property and International Environmental Law at Cambridge University whilst completing a PhD in International Environmental Law at Queens’ College.
Jon is ranked as a leading junior for planning law and environmental law (Chambers & Partners and Legal 500). He is regularly listed as one of the top planning juniors in the Planning Magazine’s annual survey.
Frequently instructed as both sole and junior counsel, Jon advises major house builders, developers, consultants, local authorities, objectors, third party interest groups and private clients on all aspects of the planning process, including planning enforcement (both inquiries and criminal proceedings), planning appeals (inquiries, hearings and written representations), development plan examinations, injunctions, and criminal prosecutions under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Jon is currently instructed by the Department for Transport as part of the legal team advising on a wide variety of aspects of the HS2 project. He has previously undertaken secondments to local authorities, where he advised on a range of planning and environmental matters including highways, compulsory purchase and rights of way.
Jon also provides advice and representation in nuisance claims (public and private), boundary disputes and Land Registration Tribunal matters.
Jon’s wider public law practice provides him with a particular expertise in statutory challenges and applications for judicial review, in relation to which he has acted for claimants, defendants and interested parties.
A selection of Jon’s recent and forthcoming cases and inquiries of particular note include:
Residential (including specialist provision), retail and mixed use
Environmental, including EIA
Highways and infrastructure, including footpaths and village greens
Minerals and energy, including fracking
Enforcement and nuisance
Jon frequently delivers seminars and papers to a wide range of audiences, including developers, local authorities, consultants and property professionals. He is the co-editor of Sweet & Maxwell’s Planning Law: Practice and Precedents and is a contributor to Shackleton on the Law of Meetings.
In addition, Jon taught Property Law and International Environmental Law at Cambridge University for a number of years whilst completing his PhD.
Jon has a wide public law practice, encompassing planning and environmental law, compulsory purchase, highways, housing, public procurement, civil liberties and human rights (including unlawful detention and associated claims), freedom of information, and local government law. Jon’s experience of local government law includes prosecutions in the Crown and Magistrates’ Courts concerning a range of matters, including environmental protection and noise abatement.
Jon has been instructed by the Border Agency, appearing in a significant number of immigration tribunal appeals, as well as the Government Legal Department in relation to judicial review challenges to immigration decisions, the “Mau Mau” uprising, and naturalisation appeals (including SIAC matters). He regularly appears on behalf of the Secretary of State in relation to civil penalty appeals.
Jon is regularly instructed in sensitive inquests, including appearing for both local authorities and families. He is prepared to consider Pro Bono representation in appropriate instances. He appeared alongside Andrew Deakin in FJ (a child) (Inquest) (2013), which related to the death of a child at school and required applications for extended reporting restrictions to limit press exposure of child witnesses.
Jon accepts instructions in a broad range of civil liability matters and acts for both claimants and defendants in small claims, fast-track and multi-track cases in the High Court and the County Courts (including familiarity with the relevant costs regimes), as well as appearing in the Coroners’ Court.
Jon provides advocacy, drafts pleadings, and advises on liability, quantum and settlement in high-value and complex disputes across a range of subject matters, including:
Jon also appears in applications for strike out and summary judgment, as well as costs and case management hearings.
Jon’s expertise extends to alternative dispute resolution across the full breadth of his practice, including mediation, joint settlement meetings, arbitration and adjudication.
Jon is developing his practice in relation to sports disciplinary and commercial law alongside other sports-related matters, both as specialisms and as they interact with other areas of his practice such as public, regulatory, licensing, personal injury and human rights.
A keen sportsman, Jon played semi-professional football for a number of years after his release from the professional game. He retains close ties to both current and previous professionals, including a number who are now in the professional game in a number of different guises. As a student, he captained the Cambridge University football side and gained representative honours in Badminton whilst competing at a national level. He also represented Northamptonshire County Cricket Club at youth level.
As such, Jon is well placed to advise and provide assistance in relation to various legal issues whilst at the same time having a profound understanding of the unique nature of sporting clients’ needs and the wider sporting industry.
Jon is a member of the Football Association’s General Appeals Panel.
Jon has been frequently instructed by the Government Legal Department in relation to both public and private law matters, across the full breadth of his practice.
Jon regularly advises local planning and mineral authorities, as well as energy and utilities companies in respect of a wide range of energy and natural resource related matters. He has advised and appeared in a number of inquiries into related appeal proposals. His compulsory purchase experience extends to major infrastructure projects, including new highways proposals and large scale utilities projects.
Jon is ranked as a leading junior in Local Government law (Legal 500). Jon regularly advises local authorities on a range of planning and environmental matters including highways, compulsory purchase and rights of way. He has previously undertaken secondments to local authorities.
Jon advises and appears on behalf of clients in relation to art, cultural property and heritage related issues in the listed building, property and planning law contexts.
“Jonathan is outstanding; he is just fantastic.” Chambers & Partners 2023
“He showed excellent knowledge on some very esoteric points of CPO law. He was very willing to deal with ad hoc queries at short notice and is very client-friendly.” Chambers & Partners 2023
“Jon has a superb legal mind, an incisive way of getting to the heart of a problem, and is wholly unflappable. He has star quality. He is a go-to choice when a specialist planning junior is needed, and he has worked on a number of high value, tricky cases.” Legal 500 2022 (Planning)
“Jonathan is extremely knowledgeable, thorough, determined and passionate, and these all come across quite clearly in his advocacy.” Legal 500 2022 (Local Government)
“A great fighter and takes every point, you would always want him on your side.” Legal 500 2022 (Environment)
“He is really hard-working and dedicated and has excellent written skills.” Chambers & Partners 2022
“He is really hard-working and dedicated and has excellent written skills.” Chambers & Partners 2022
“He’s very commercial, pragmatic and very easy to work with.” Chambers & Partners 2022
“One of the best junior barristers at the planning Bar. He has a superb legal mind and very sound practical judgement.” Legal 500 2022
“He’s got extremely good judgement and an incredible ability to handle detail, and the moment he opens his mouth, people listen.” Chambers & Partners 2021
“He’s extremely responsive, very sharp and on the ball. He combines good technical advice with a high degree of commerciality.” Chambers & Partners 2021
“Very good with clients and has a calm authority that puts clients at their ease. Good on technical issues where multiple parts of different law intersect.” Legal 500 2021
“He has the ability to get to the root of the matter and simplify it with clarity. He is calm, measured and expert in his delivery.” “He understands the stresses that clients are under and doesn’t patronise them.” Chambers & Partners 2020
“He churns out work in one evening that would take most people a week.” Chambers & Partners 2019
“He’s an excellent junior who is on top of the details and really adds value in assisting his leaders. He’s very thorough, very knowledgeable and clients like him.” Chambers & Partners 2018
“Jon can always be relied upon for fast, commercial and pragmatic advice.” Chambers & Partners 2018
“A clear advocate, who is persistent and tenacious and does very well with the court.” Chambers & Partners 2017
“Jon is extremely competent, very good in conference and someone who gives pragmatic advice on issues.” Chambers & Partners 2017
“Jon came to the case relatively late in the process. The issues were complex and technically challenging and yet he was able to absorb vast amounts of information in a relatively short period of time. The Council was very impressed by his grasp and understanding of the issues and the positive and constructive manner in which he provided specialist advice …”