Jonathan Owen

Call: 2004

“He has a fantastic legal mind."

Legal 500
Jonathan Owen

Following completion of his undergraduate law studies at Magdalen College, Oxford University, Jonathan was runner up to the Taylor Prize for best performance on the Bar Vocational Course at Nottingham Law School.

He then undertook his first six months pupillage at Essex Court Chambers, London, the Chambers of Gordon Pollock QC. His second six was at Ropewalk Chambers and following successful completion of that pupillage he became a tenant in November 2005, and has practised there ever since.

Jonathan predominantly practices in personal injury, disease, commercial, property and local government work.

In April 2018 Jonathan was appointed to sit as a Recorder on the Midland Circuit and has also been appointed to the Regional B Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown.

Outside of work he is a keen swimmer and enjoys spending time with his family.

Personal Injury

Jonathan undertakes the full range of personal injury work.

His experience includes numerous employer’s liability claims, including the full range of general statutory duties, and more specialist areas of regulation, such as accidents in mines, quarries and docks, and at common law, particularly following the coming into force of Section 69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. In addition to his “pure civil” personal injury work Jonathan has recently prosecuted health and safety offences both in the Crown Court and the Magistrates’ Court. He recently appeared in the Court of Appeal in R v Hudson (trading as Milford House) [2017] EWCA Crim 544 (foreseeability in health and safety offences).

Public liability claims undertaken include highways claims, occupiers’ liability claims and claims against persons in positions of responsibility, in particular the duties of schools to safeguard pupils and the duties owed to detained persons.

He deals with cases of sexual and physical abuse, including historic claims, involving both vicarious liability and alleged systematic and personal breach of duty.

Jonathan often represents clients in claims involving psychiatric injury, both “primary” and “secondary” victim cases as well as cases of stress at work.

He is experienced in vicarious liability, including in relation to workplace assaults, on and off “work time” and work premises, claims.

He has acted in various contribution claims and CPR Part 20 claims for indemnity, both contractual and under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978.

He has appeared in numerous appeals, both as Appellant and Respondent, where he appeared at first instance and where he specifically was instructed in relation to the appeal, equally in relation to determinations at trial and interim hearings. Jonathan has appeared in appeals to the Court of Appeal, both Civil and Criminal Divisions, the High Court and the County Court.

Jonathan regularly advises on policy coverage issues surrounding personal injury cases.

He has a particular understanding of insolvency issues relating to personal injury claims, both corporate and individual.

He has also acted in cases of unlawful detention and alleged human rights violations resulting in personal injury.


Jonathan undertakes the full range of disease work, including mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural thickening and other asbestos-related claims, including the contribution and insurance issues arising for Defendants out of the same. He is experienced in the “show cause” procedure and in relation to trial on liability-disputed cases.

He is also frequently instructed in occupational asthma claims, hand-arm vibration syndrome and work-related upper limb disorders and noise-induced hearing loss claims.

He is experienced in cases involving exposure to substances hazardous to health. He has also acted in stress at work claims.

Catastrophic Injury

Jonathan has particular experience in claims resulting in fatality, both in relation to dust inhalation disease claims, and accidents, and is proficient in the quantum issues which arise. More generally, he is experienced and competent in all issues regarding the Ogden Tables and the calculation of future loss, including loss of earnings, assessing promotion prospects, and pension loss, and provisional damages. He routinely drafts schedules and counter-schedules of loss.

Jonathan is experienced in amputation claims and disabling psychiatric injury. He is well-versed generally in the assessment of disability under the Ogden Tables.


Jonathan has significant experience in multi-party historic abuse litigation. He is experienced in the cross-examination of vulnerable witnesses at trial and with all aspects of the substantive legal issues which may arise, including limitation (including as a preliminary issue) and vicarious liability.

He understands the issues concerning expert psychiatric evidence, both as to causation and limitation and the cross-examination of those experts. He recently appeared in Wilde v Coventry City Council (30/3/2017, Lawtel, dismissal of historic sexual abuse claim at limitation preliminary issue trial, cross-examination of vulnerable witness).


Jonathan acts and appears in relation to higher value Multi Track road traffic claims. He has particular experience in relation to fatal accidents and psychiatric injury.

Clinical Negligence

Jonathan has significant experience in professional negligence litigation, including dental, surgical and general practice claims. He knows the limitation, breach of duty, causation, expert witness and costs issues (including with regard to proportionality and the recovery of the ATE premiums) which arise in such litigation.

Counter Fraud

Some personal claims do involve dishonesty and Jonathan is experienced in the “fundamental dishonesty” exception to qualified one way costs shifting. This experience is complemented by his experience of commercial deceit claims, dishonest accessory liability and fraudulent insurance claims.

Property & Real Estate

Jonathan advises, drafts and appears in the full range of property and real estate matters. He is recognised in the legal directories as an expert in this area.

His experience includes land disputes, including the sale of land, boundary disputes and disputes about easements, restrictive covenants, registered title restrictions, land charges, mortgages and adverse possession, proprietary estoppel and leasehold disputes, both residential and commercial, long and short leases, including lease renewal and enfranchisement. He appeared recently in the Court of Appeal in Underwood v Mayers [2014] EWCA Civ 406.

He deals with co-habitation disputes and claims under the Trusts of Land and Appointments of Trustees At 1996 and trusts disputes, including as to the construction of trust deeds, breach of trustee duties and accessory liability.

He is often instructed in company disputes and proceedings under the Companies Act 2006, including in relation to directors’ duties, dissolution, companies charges, unfair prejudice petitions and shareholder disagreements. He is also experienced in partnership disputes, including dissolution.

Jonathan is also instructed in non-contentious matters, including the drafting of agreements,

Wills, Probate & Inheritance

Jonathan acts in relation to the full range of inheritance disputes, including the proper construction of wills and testamentary trusts, the duties of executors and trustees, challenges to the validity of wills, including mental capacity and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

He also undertakes related proprietary estoppel claims arising from lifetime indications as to testamentary intentions.

Commercial Dispute Resolution

Jonathan pleads, advises and appears in the full range of commercial disputes, including breach of contract cases, including sale of goods, the supply of services, consumer credit and dealing with points of contract formation, misrepresentation, mistake, unfair contract terms, contractual construction, breach and termination.

He receives instructions in consumer / trader disputes including as to the incorporation and fairness of contractual terms, misrepresentation and remedies, both of consumer and trader.

He acts in insurance contract disputes, including policy coverage, misrepresentation, disclosure, breach of condition, waiver and estoppel.

He also undertakes construction claims, wrongful interference with goods and torts causing economic loss, including passing off and trademark infringement, and accessory liability.

He is experienced in the range of available remedies, including injunctions, both interim and final (including relating to confidential information and threatened wrongs).

Professional Negligence

Jonathan has extensive experience of professional negligence litigation including claims against surveyors, architects (including design, advice, supervision and certification) and other construction professionals.

He is often instructed in relation to lawyers, both in relation to underlying contentious litigation and non-contentious transactions.

He has also acted for and against insurance and financial brokers, medical professionals and is familiar with the insurance and professional indemnity issues that arise.


Jonathan deals with the full range of insurance disputes, including construction of insurance policies, policy coverage disputes, including exceptions, breaches of warranty, waiver, estoppel and fraudulent insurance claims and contribution issues between co-insurers.


Jonathan deals with the full range of corporate and individual insolvency cases, including injunctions to restrain the advertisement of petitions, and the effect of insolvency on pending and proposed litigation. Jonathan also deals with the insurance disputes arising from insolvency and enforcement disputes, including with respect to security.

Data Protection & Information

Jonathan has advised and appeared in relation to claims for damages and injunctions in relation to the alleged misuse and inaccurate storage of personal data (both threatened and actual). He has advised as to the appropriate response to the freedom of information requests and disputes arising out of the same.

Criminal Regulatory

Jonathan has recently prosecuted health and safety offences and planning enforcement offences in the Crown Court and on appeal in the Court of Appeal (R v Hudson (trading as Milford House) [2017] EWCA Crim 544 – foreseeability in health and safety offences). Jonathan also has experience of prosecuting food safety and housing regulation offences. He has experience of advising on charges, drafting informations and indictments, advising on plea, drafting defence case statements, as well as appearing at trial.

Costs & Litigation Funding

Jonathan pleads, advises and appears in the full range of costs disputes, including costs budgeting and costs and case management conferences.

On detailed assessment, he has dealt with conditional fee agreement validity challenges and challenges to ATE premiums, including block-rated premiums and proportionality, and its significance both in relation to base costs and additional liabilities.

He is also experienced in securing the proper order for costs between the parties, including arguments of misconduct, exaggeration and the effect of offers, Part 36 as well as “Calderbank” offers, as well as costs disputes between multiple parties (including Bullock and Sanderson orders).

He has appeared in solicitor-own client disputes, allegations of compromise of costs disputes and appeals against costs orders.

Planning & Environmental

Jonathan advises and appears in relation to a wide range of planning matters, including public local inquiries concerning the refusal of planning permission.

His experience includes residential housing estate developments and windfarms, judicial review of planning decisions, including with regard to protective costs awards relating to the same and enforcement notices, including human rights issues.

He has been instructed in matters of Section 106 agreements and planning conditions and compulsory purchase orders.

He is familiar with the costs arguments in relation to planning.

Jonathan has prosecuted planning and other closely analogous regulatory offences in the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court.

Public Sector & Not for Profit

Jonathan acts in relation to the full range of public sector and not for profit disputes, including local authority statutory regulatory schemes, including in relation to environmental health and public safety, planning control, building regulation, houses in multiple occupation, street trading, and taxi regulation.

He is experienced in local authority statutory requirements and rule-making powers, including byelaws and also local authority statutory duties, including to the homeless and in relation to highways and education. He deals with tenancies granted by local authorities, both residential and commercial.

He has acted in cases of the recoupment of the costs of care provided to private individuals and the charges used to secure those liabilities. He also has experience of charities, including the responsibility of directors, the use and misuse of charitable funds and litigation by charities.

Jonathan has undertaken local authority criminal prosecutions in both the Magistrates’ Court and the Crown Court.


  • Appointed as a Recorder on the Midland Circuit
  • Attorney General's Panel of Counsel - Regional Panel B


  • Personal Injuries Bar Association


  • BA (Hones) Jurisprudence, Magdalen College, Oxford University

Notable Cases

  • Underwood v Mayers [2014] EWCA Civ 406: Boundary and easements dispute.
  • Ryan v Hackney London Borough Council 2016: Lawtel, strictness of statutory duty under Regulation 4(3) Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
  • Wilde v Coventry City Council 2017: Lawtel, dismissal of historic sexual abuse claim at limitation preliminary issue trial, cross-examination of vulnerable witness.
  • R v Hudson (trading as Milford House) [2017] EWCA Crim 544: Foreseeability in health and safety offences.


"His practice includes Chancery, professional negligence, and contractual disputes."

Legal 500 2020 - Commercial, banking, insolvency and chancery law

"He has a fantastic legal mind."

Legal 500 2019 - Commercial, banking, insolvency and chancery law

"A decisive barrister, who builds rapport with clients."

Legal 500 2017 - Commercial, banking, insolvency and chancery law

"An experienced junior with broad experience in chancery and real estate matters. He has a significant record representing his clients in boundary disputes, possession claims and trespass issues." "He is exceptionally intelligent."

Chambers & Partners 2016 - Real estate litigation

"He has a broad practice encompassing professional negligence, contract enforceability and breach of fiduciary duties."

Legal 500 2016 - Commercial, banking, insolvency and chancery law

"Well-recognised barrister particularly highlighted for his strength in boundary disputes. His other strengths include adverse possession, rights of way, easements and trespass. 'He is very thorough, technically very good and has a very fine appreciation of the facts and the law.' 'He is incredibly methodical and writes in a fashion judges pick up on quickly'."

Chambers & Partners 2015 - Real Estate Litigation

"A specialist in business disputes."

Legal 500 2015 - Commercial, banking and insolvency

"Jonathan Owen is extremely good value - working well beyond his call."

Legal 500 - Chancery, commercial, insolvency and banking

"Jonathan Owen is recommended for insurance, business and property matters."

Legal 500 - Chancery, commercial, insolvency and banking

Subscribe to receive our latest publications and news updates