Jonathan Owen

Call: 2004

“A very impressive advocate who provides a first-class service.”

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 enjoys spending time with his family.

Personal Injury

Jonathan undertakes the full range of personal injury work:-

  • Employer’s liability claims (the full range of general statutory duties, and more specialist areas of regulation, 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 prosecuted health and safety offences both in the Crown Court and the Magistrates’ Court. He 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 (including highways claims, occupiers’ liability claims and claims against persons in positions of responsibility – and in particular the duties of schools to safeguard pupils and the duties owed to detained persons).
  • Cases of sexual and physical abuse (including historic claims), involving both vicarious liability and alleged systematic and personal breach of duty. Jonathan has dealt with all of the issues which arise, including limitation, the fact of the alleged abuse, vicarious liability, and medical issues at trial, both in the High Court and the County Court.
  • Psychiatric injury, both “primary” and “secondary” victim cases as well as cases of “stress at work”.
  • Vicarious liability, including in relation to workplace assaults (on and off “work time” and work premises) and alleged physical and sexual abuse.
  • Contribution claims and CPR Part 20 claims for indemnity (both contractual and under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978).
  • Appeals, both as Appellant and Respondent. Jonathan has dealt with appeals, both 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.
  • The insurance issues surrounding personal injury cases. Jonathan regularly advises on policy coverage issues.
  • Insolvency issues relating to personal injury claims (both corporate and individual).
  • Unlawful detention.
  • Alleged human rights violations resulting in personal injury.


 Jonathan undertakes the full range of disease work, including:

  • Mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural thickening and other asbestos-related claims, including the contribution and insurance issues arising for Defendants out of the same. Jonathan regularly pleads and advises in these claims, and is experienced in “show cause” and other interim hearings before the Masters. Jonathan is well-versed in the limitation, duty of care, statutory duty and medical causation issues that arise, as well as the quantification of damages, both in living and fatal cases, including the medical issues which arise (such as the assessment of disability, the potential impact of future treatment and the question of comorbid health conditions).
  • Occupational asthma claims (including aggravation or exacerbation of constitutional and conditions allegedly induced by workplace exposure).
  • Exposure to substances hazardous to health (both under the “COSHH” Regulations and at common law).
  • HAVS and work-related upper limb disorders.
  • Stress at work.
  • Noise induced hearing loss.

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, both in relation to infant and adult claims. More generally, Jonathan 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 (both in the High Court and the County Court) and with all aspects of the substantive legal issues which 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 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 multi-track road traffic claims. He has particular experience in relation to fatal accidents and psychiatric injury. He is experienced in the costs arguments that can arise in multi-party litigation, including “Bullock” and “Sanderson” order and is experienced in cross-examining accident reconstruction experts.

Clinical Negligence

Jonathan has significant experience in professional negligence litigation, including dental, surgical and general practice claims, including in relation to (1) failure to diagnose, (2) delay in diagnosis, (3) failure to refer and (4) failure to carry out treatment with reasonable care and skill. He knows the limitation, breach of duty, causation, expert witness and costs issues which arise in such litigation.


Some personal claims do involve dishonesty and Jonathan is experienced in the “fundamental dishonesty” exception to qualified one way costs shifting and with pleading and pursuing to trial arguments under Section 57 of the Courts and Criminal Justice Act 2015 that the entirety of claims should be dismissed due to dishonesty even when the dishonesty relates to only part, but not the whole, of the evidence. This includes seeking the dismissal of the whole claim on the basis of dishonesty in relation to single heads of loss (such as loss of earnings or care and assistance) This experience is complemented by Jonathan’s 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, including:

  • 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 in the Court of Appeal in Underwood -v- Mayers [2014] EWCA Civ 406.
  • Co-habitation disputes and claims under the Trusts of Land and Appointments of Trustees At 1996.
  • Trusts disputes, including as to the construction of trust deeds, breach of trustee duties and accessory liability.
  • Companies disputes and proceedings under the Companies Act 2006, including in relation to directors’ duties, dissolution, companies charges, unfair prejudice petitions and shareholder disagreements
  • Partnership disputes, including dissolution.
  • 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.
  • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
  • 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.
  • Insurance contract disputes, including policy coverage, misrepresentation, disclosure, breach of condition, waiver and estoppel.
  • Construction claims.
  • Consumer / trader disputes including as to the incorporation and fairness of contractual terms, misrepresentation and remedies (both of consumer and trader).
  • Remedies, including injunctions, both interim and final (including relating to confidential information and threatened wrongs).
  • Wrongful interference with goods.
  • Torts causing economic loss (including passing off and trademark infringement) and accessory liability.

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.
  • Solicitors, both in relation to underlying contentious litigation and non-contentious transactions.
  • Insurance and financial brokers.
  • Medical professionals.
  • The insurance and professional indemnity issues that arise.


Jonathan deals with the full range of insurance disputes:-

  • Construction of insurance policies.
  • Policy coverage disputes, including exceptions, breaches of warranty, waiver, estoppel and fraudulent insurance claims.
  • Contribution 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 & Freedom of Information

Jonathan has advised, pleaded 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), both in relation to public and private sector organisations. This is complemented by his experience of High Court breach of confidentiality litigation and Human Rights Act 1998 claims against public sector Defendants for alleged breach of Article 8. 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 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.
  • Detailed assessment.
  • Proportionality.
  • Solicitor-own client disputes.
  • 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).
  • Allegations of compromise of costs disputes
  • 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.
  • Enforcement notices (including human rights issues)
  • Section 106 agreements and planning conditions
  • Compulsory purchase orders
  • Costs in relation to planning
  • Criminal enforcement. 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
  • Tenancies granted by local authorities, both residential and commercial
  • Local authority statutory requirements and rule-making powers, including byelaws
  • Local authority statutory duties, including to the homeless and in relation to highways and education
  • Local authority criminal prosecutions in both the Magistrates’ Court and the Crown Court.
  • Recoupment of the costs of care provided to private individuals and the charges used to secure those liabilities
  • Charities, including the responsibility of directors, the use and misuse of charitable funds and litigation by charities


  • 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 (22/09.2016, Lawtel, strictness of statutory duty under Regulation 4(3) Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998).
  • Wilde v Coventry City Council (30/03/2017, 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).


"Jonathan has a very approachable manner. Jonathan is clear in the advice he provides and puts clients at ease in conference. A very sharp mind."

"Jonathan is extremely intelligent. He has the ability to make the most complicated cases appear straight forward. He is a very skilled advocate - brutal in cross examination."

Legal 500 2022 - Personal injury and property and construction

“A very impressive advocate who provides a first-class service.”

Legal 500 2021 - Property & construction and commercial litigation

"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

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