For full information in relation to our response to COVID-19, please click here.

Call +44 207 306 0102 or contact us

Jonathan Chew

Call: 2010   

+44 (0)20 7306

Practice Overview

Jonathan is a property, pensions and commercial chancery barrister. He has a specialist professional negligence practice on matters arising from his core work.

Jonathan has advised on issues around contracts of sale and problems associated with completion during the pandemic, and also on landlord/tenant type relationships where services are no longer being provided. As part of the successful team in EMA v Canary Wharf he has specialist expertise on supervening illegality, frustration and the law of unexpected changes in circumstance. On the litigation side, he has been involved in applying (formally and informally) for adjournments, of both trials and interim hearing, and other case management issues arising.

He has been repeatedly recommended in the directories:

“Analytically very strong and as an advocate he is confident, relaxed and assured.” (Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2020)

“An excellent advocate with an engaging way of putting ideas across.” (Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2020)

“A tenacious advocate” (The Legal 500 2020)

“Comprehensive in his approach, an impressive and effective advocate.” (The Legal 500 2019)

“He is excellent at rolling up his sleeves and getting stuck in, he really knows his stuff and he inspires confidence in both solicitors and clients.(Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2018)

His opinions and written submissions were excellent” (Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2017)

He’s very hard-working, bright and a really good team player.” (Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2017)

He has been repeatedly instructed in The Lawyer’s Top 20 cases (2019, 2015 and 2014), and listed in Who’s Who Legal.

Jonathan is as comfortable acting as sole counsel as being led as part of a wider team. He has particular experience of substantial High Court trials. As sole counsel he has appeared  in the Court of Appeal, regularly appears in the High Court (Chancery Division, QBD, Comm Court and TCC),  and before various tribunals including the FTT, UT or Pensions Regulator  DP, often against silks or senior juniors. He is regularly instructed to appear before the DIFC Courts in Dubai, and acts in mediations and arbitrations.

Current ongoing matters include:

  • Re Mitchells & Butlers Pension Plan (ongoing): a major pensions dispute, led by Michael Tennet QC and Edward Sawyer, on rectification, RPI/CPI, and the validity of amendments.
  • Acting for pension fund trustees, led by Michael Tennet QC, on a dispute with the FTSE 250 sponsoring employer over the power to move away from RPI pension increases.
  • Led by Jonathan Seitler QC on a landlord and tenant dispute over a multi-million pound programme of works to a substantial commercial building.
  • Britvic PLC v Britvic Pensions Ltd [2020] EWHC 118 (Ch): Acting for the Britvic Pension Trustee on a dispute over the meaning and effect of RPI pension increase provisions.
  • A multi-million multi-party commercial fraud dispute over the alleged misappropriation of helicopter purchase funds.

Other reported cases include:

  • Canary Wharf v European Medicines Agency [2019] EWHC 335 (Ch): In the much- publicised “Brexit” case, Jonathan acts with Joanne Wicks QC for the landlord Canary Wharf in arguing that Brexit will not frustrate the EMA’s lease. Having succeeded at first instance, the case settled before the appeal was heard in Court of Appeal.
  • Acting for Barclays in a DIFC guarantee dispute.
  • Reedbase v Fattal [2018] 2 P&CR 14: Jonathan appeared as sole counsel in the Court of Appeal for the successful landlord on the first appellate case on a landlord’s obligations to consult and a change in proposed works, and the first in the Court of Appeal for over 25 years on the obligation to make good.
  • Tavira Securities v Point Ventures FCZO [2017] CFI 26: acting as sole counsel against a silk in a jurisdiction challenge in the DIFC in litigation relating to an alleged share transaction.
  • Knapper v Francis [2017] L&TR 20: appearing as sole counsel before the Upper Tribunal on the operation of on-account demands under the terms of the lease and the 1985 Act consultation regime.
  • Matchmove v Dowding [2017] 1 WLR 749: led by Jonathan Seitler QC on a leading recent case relating to constructive trusts.