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Jonathan Gavaghan

"He puts the client at ease through his knowledge and strategy."
(Legal 500 2018)

Jonathan Gavaghan has a busy chancery and commercial practice with particular experience in partnership / LLP disputes, commercial disputes and property law. Company law (including breach of fiduciary duty claims and shareholder disputes) is a further area in which he specialises.

He was called to the Bar in 1992 and appointed as a Recorder (Crown Court) from April 2018, allocated to the Northern Circuit.

He studied law at Oxford University where he obtained a first class degree. Top of his year in Land Law, he subsequently obtained a BCL and returned to Worcester College Oxford as a visiting tutor in constitutional law.

Commercial Chancery

Jonathan is recommended in both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading junior in commercial chancery work.

He has extensive experience in appearing in contractual disputes including those with an international dimension, shareholder disputes and actions for and against directors of companies. He has also appeared as an advocate in many civil fraud cases obtaining or opposing urgent interlocutory relief including freezing injunctions and related relief.

“Frequently acts on large scale multi-jurisdictional disputes heard in the Chancery courts…Quick, slick, and has a tremendous ability to grasp the real issues”: Chambers UK 2015 (Commercial Chancery).

“Attracts considerable praise for his strength in commercial litigation generally. He often handles substantial commercial frauds involving international freezing orders…He is good at explaining what is going on to clients… Recent work: Acted in RBS v Ocean Tankers, a high-value claim relating to the mortgages of numerous supertankers: Chambers UK 2014 (Commercial Chancery).


“Truly sophisticated, Jon possesses a keen intellect, ready knowledge of the practice area and a reassuring manner that is the envy of his peers.”

Chambers UK 2019 - Partnership

“Very clever, engaging and hardworking.”

Legal 500 2018 - Commercial Litigation

“An exceptionally intellectual barrister.”

Legal 500 2018 - Partnership

“Extremely imaginative and forthright in his strategic thinking.”

Legal 500 2018 - Agriculture

“He puts the client at ease through his knowledge and strategy.”

Legal 500 2018 - Property Litigation

The “standout” Jonathan Gavaghan “receives praise for his skills in dispute resolution” and “is recognised for his superb work handling partnership exits, team moves and breach of fiduciary duty”.

Who's Who Legal UK Bar 2018

‘Attracts special praise for his blend of deep knowledge, client-friendliness and particularly high degree of accessibility”.

“Incredibly thorough, forceful when required and very good in court, he always operates with a view to getting the result you want.” “Very bright, utterly charming and a very popular choice with lay clients.”

Chambers UK 2018 - Partnership (Band 1)

“Attracts special praise for his blend of deep knowledge, client-friendliness and particularly high degree of accessibility. He is noted for his handling of issues affecting individual solicitors or their firms, and offers extensive experience as arbitration counsel in partnership disputes.” “As bright as you could wish: authoritative, thorough and reliable.” “Very practical, down to earth and knows his stuff.”

Chambers UK 2017 - Partnership (Band 1)

Esteemed junior who handles shareholder disputes and fraud work in the UK and abroad. “Clients love him – he hits the button, gives them value for money, and they have faith in his analysis.”

Chambers UK 2017 - Chancery: Commercial

“A clever and approachable barrister, who achieves the balance between being assertive and sensible in court.”

Legal 500 2016 - Company & Partnership

“He is technically excellent, very knowledgeable and builds a good rapport with clients.”

Legal 500 2016 - Commercial Litigation

“An extremely intelligent barrister, who is highly effective in court and effective in his cross-examination.”

Legal 500 2016 - Property

“Sharp, charming and absolutely devastating in cross-examination.” “Very, very good and really knows his area.”

Chambers UK 2016 - Partnership

“He is able to produce work of the highest standard in a fast turnaround time. Extremely good at getting to the heart of a case, he provides guidance on the bigger picture, and keeps the client constantly aware of the costs implications of decisions. He’s also excellent at drafting ‘high-impact’ letters.”

Chambers UK 2015 - Partnership

“An extremely strong advocate; able to cross-examine to devastating effect.”

Legal 500 2015

“He is quick, slick and has a tremendous ability to grasp the real issues.”

Chambers UK 2014 - Chancery: Commercial

“He has a fantastic brain and never misses a trick. He is utterly charming and makes clients who are ill at ease feel comfortable. The complete package.”

Chambers UK 2014 - Partnership


  • MA (First Class): Worcester College, Oxford University.
  • BCL: Worcester College, Oxford University.
  • MCIArb
  • Martin Wronker Prize Winner for best University Performance in Land Law, Oxford University (1990)
  • Henriques Prize-winner, Worcester College, Oxford University (1990)
  • Holder of Inns of Court Studentship
  • Eastham Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Hardwicke Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn


  • Recorder (Crown Court), Northern Circuit (April 2018)
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
  • Former Elected Member of Bar Council (2 terms).
  • Former Chairman of the Young Barristers’ Committee.
  • Former Member of Professional Standards Committee of the Bar Council.

Associations & Memberships

  • Member of the Association of Partnership Practitioners
  • Member of the Chancery Bar Association
  • Member of the Property Bar Association

For more information and advice

Call: +44 (0)20 7405 0758


Jonathan Gavaghan

Jonathan Gavaghan is a self-employed, independent barrister whose practice is governed by the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales. He is registered with The Bar Standards Board [Bar Ref 29030] and is fully insured with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund [BMIF Ref 2360/025] to provide legal services, please refer to the BMIF website for full details of the world-wide cover provided. He is registered for VAT under the reference 648945679.

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