Vastly experienced in employment law, with a track record spanning almost 30 years, Jonathan is one of the most highly regarded employment specialists in the market. Independently ranked as a leading employment law junior by both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners in their respective latest editions, as well as for many years prior, clients turn to Jonathan on the most serious of cases. He has handled cases that have, quite literally, changed the law. As examples, Jonathan has led on cases which have had a precedential effect on judicial bias and separately on holiday pay which changed the way that holiday pay is calculated to include voluntary overtime, directly changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
An ‘out and out’ employment specialist, Jonathan is able to digest large amounts of information quickly and has an excellent eye for detail. Professional clients rely on the meticulous nature of his preparation and say he ‘knows the case inside out’. Over many years, Jonathan has developed a predominantly respondent-leaning practice that regularly supports, over 10, prominent local authorities, over 20 NHS Trusts, major employers, global financial institutions, leading retailers, manufacturers, F/HE colleges, professional services firms and various police forces.
As qualified CEDR mediator, Jonathan also accepts instructions to act as a mediator in employment disputes, or represent parties at such mediations. Jonathan is qualified and registered to accept direct access work both from individual Claimants and from Respondent Organisations. Jonathan is frequently instructed to appear in the EAT and has also appeared the Court of Appeal on different occasions.
Lauded for his tenacious tribunal advocacy and practice, Jonathan is able to get the best out of his witnesses and open the avenues to truly remarkable client outcomes. Jonathan excels, and is most often instructed in complex and senior multi-day Tribunal claims. Jonathan regularly advises and represents clients on every aspect of employment law within his, quite diverse, sole specialism. His areas of expertise including discrimination and detriment claims, TUPE, Equal Pay, employment status, maternity pay, union detriment and all forms of dismissal.
Jonathan has a well-established, nationally recognised expertise in discrimination law. He famously acted for a major high street bank in a £2.3m race claim, involving 9,000 pages, 52 witnesses and 7 weeks of hearings. He was also instructed in the largest sex discrimination claim filed in the Tribunal service at that time, a £16m claim. Given his seniority, Jonathan’s practice of late includes acting on high value, high pressure and technically complex cases involving the very worst allegations of discrimination, including sexual assault and rape.
Given the complexity and often unprecedented issues involved in the claims Jonathan is asked to advise on, he regularly appears before the appellate Courts, with a notable uptake in such instructions in recent years.
A sample of the reported and significant cases Jonathan has appeared in includes:
- Ryan v South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust  EAT/213/19 – this age discrimination claim concerned a pre-populated Talent pool, set up for ease of recruitment into an emergency service, and discriminated against older employees.
- Russ v Custom Insulation Ltd  – acting for a Respondent who dismissed the Claimant following an altercation with his manager. He asserted that his dismissal was unfair and an act of victimisation and harassment on the grounds of his Polish nationality.
- B v EI  – securing the successful dismissal of all claims for the Respondent in a complex claim of breach of contract (non- payment of bonus), ordinary unfair dismissal, automatic unfair dismissal and detriment claim for making a public interest disclosure.
- U v CAT  – a very challenging unfair dismissal and disability discrimination case, appearing for the Respondent. The Claimant had PTSD and depression and was clearly adversely affected by those conditions.
- White & Others v Dudley MBC  1303446/2014 – acted for 56 Claimants in a ground breaking Holiday Pay case (adding voluntary overtime to the types of payment to be included in the calculation of holiday time).
- Lawrence v Birmingham City Council  UKEAT/0311/16 – Reasonable Adjustments.
- Bahi v Coventry Cyrenians & Salvation Army  UKEAT/0120/16 – Service Provision Change.
- Post Office v Aldous  UKEAT/0593/13 – this concerned when a contract can be disapplied due to a misrepresentation.
- Anderson v G&G Plc  UKEAT/0221/13 – this concerned whether costs awarded in Tribunal can be set off against damages awarded in the same case.
- Ansar v Lloyds Bank Plc  IRLR 11, CA on apparent judicial bias.
- Prakash v Wolverhampton City Council  LTL 19.9.06, EAT – this concerned whether a Claim Form can be amended after a Claim has started.
Working with Jonathan
Known for his attention to detail, Jonathan’s clients have come to rely on his thorough preparation. Whilst Jonathan ‘understands the case inside out’, he also provides a holistic overview of the issues, including commercial, reputational and tactical factors in his analysis. A consequence of decades working for prominent public sector bodies and high-profile private sector clients, Jonathan is acutely aware and highly skilled in dealing with reputational risk.
Personable, mild-mannered and described as ‘a pleasure to deal with’, Jonathan’s vast expertise and experience means he is not only in regular and sustained demand in the most serious cases, but that his skills are also valued by professional clients outside of the courtroom. As examples, he is regularly asked to prepare and present mock tribunals, deliver off-site training at client premises and deliver focused training to some of the major in-house teams and national firms.
Justifying Age Discrimination – the Law after Seldon and Homer -St Phiips Newsletter February 2013
Bias in Tribunal – ELA Briefing – April 2009
Walking the Reference Tightrope – New Law Journal – September 2001
Connected Lender Liability – New Law Journal – May 2006
Appointments and Memberships
Employment Lawyers Association
Employment Law Bar Association