Jonathan Hough QC


St Hugh's College, Oxford University (First Class in Classics); City University CPE (Commendation); Inns of Court School of Law (Outstanding); Queen Mother major scholarships for CPE and Bar School.

Tel: +44 20 7822 2079
Email Clerk:

Year of Call: 1997
Year of Silk: 2014


Jonathan has a civil, commercial and public law practice, with a particular focus on insurance / reinsurance; professional liability; commercial and consumer law; and administrative law.  He has considerable experience in each of those fields and has appeared in numerous reported and important cases.

He is recommended as a leading silk by the current editions of the directories (Chambers UK Bar, Legal 500 and Legal Experts) in the four practice areas of (i) insurance / reinsurance; (ii) administrative / public law; (iii) inquiries and inquests; and (iv) consumer law.  Recent comments in the Directories include the following:

“He is bright and solution-oriented.  He has an ability to present arguments in a clear and concise way, both on paper and on his feet, and is a very effective advocate.” (Chambers UK 2015, Insurance)

“He’s very impressive… strengths are thorough presentation, attention to detail and ability to react quickly to changing circumstances.” (Chambers UK 2015, Inquiries)

“He has an ability to get to the root of issues”; “A steady hand and… incredibly hard working” (Chambers UK 2015, Consumer Law)

“Extremely impressive.” (Legal 500 2014, Administrative and Public Law)

“Very accessible and responsive.” (Legal 500 2014, Insurance and Reinsurance)

“He is excellent.  He provides a clear strategy to meet the client’s needs, prepares assiduously for every matter and works incredibly hard…”; “He’s thorough, pragmatic and great to work with.” (Chambers UK 2014, Insurance)

“He is assiduous, covers every angle and looks out for the client’s interests at every turn.” (Chambers UK 2014, Inquiries)

“[A] methodical and persuasive advocate.” (Chambers UK 2014, Consumer Law)

“Very effective advocate.” (Legal 500 2013, Insurance and Reinsurance)

In the area of insurance law, he acts for a range of major insurers, reinsurers and underwriting agencies in litigation and arbitration.  He also has experience in advising on, and drafting, policy wordings, agency agreements, binding authority agreements, etc.  He has particular expertise in the following classes of risk: general commercial liability (EL/PL/Products); property; motor; professional indemnity; legal expenses; trade credit; D&O; title insurance; personal accident / disablement; and financial risk. 

His professional liability practice covers a range of professions, including lawyers, insurance professionals, surveyors and financial professionals.  He is very experienced in substantial litigation for and against professionals, and in related insurance matters.

He has general experience of commercial dispute resolution in a wide range of business fields.  In addition, he has particular expertise in consumer law, consumer credit and financial regulation.

In the field of public and administrative law, he has acted for public and private bodies in judicial review claims.  His work includes local government, commercial regulation and professional discipline.  He is also well known for his expertise in the law relating to coroners and inquests.  As well as appearing in many reported cases in the Administrative Court and Court of Appeal, he has appeared as counsel to the inquiry in various important inquests, including those concerning: the death of Diana, Princess of Wales; the shooting of Jean-Charles de Menezes; the Potters Bar and Grayrigg rail disasters; the explosion on HMS Tireless (nuclear submarine).  He is currently one of two leading counsel to the inquiry in the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster inquests, having been appointed by Lord Justice Goldring.

Jonathan is a member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association, the London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association, COMBAR and the Administrative Law Bar Association.  He is an editor of the current edition of Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability.


Commercial Dispute Resolution

Jonathan has considerable experience of a wide range of business disputes, from financial and professional services to heavy industry.  His work in this area overlaps with his practice in insurance, consumer credit / financial regulation and professional liability.  He is familiar with jurisdictional disputes and claims for urgent interim relief.

Current and recent work in this field includes the following:

Consumer Credit

Jonathan has special expertise in consumer credit law and has appeared in a number of important reported cases in this field.  He regularly advises on consumer credit agreements and credit schemes in various commercial contexts. 

He is recommended by Chambers UK Bar directory in the field of consumer law, with particular reference to consumer credit.  Recent comments in the directory include:

“An expert in consumer credit and credit hire matters”; “If anything is a bit out of the ordinary, he is the man to go to.  He has an ability to get to the root of issues”; “A steady hand and someone who is incredibly hard-working” (Chambers UK 2015, Consumer Law)

“[C]omes to greatest market attention for his command of consumer law, in which role he often advises financial institutions”; “A highly responsive barrister who gives clear, succinct advice… a methodical and persuasive advocate” (Chambers UK 2014, Consumer Law)

Important recent cases in which Jonathan has appeared include:

Other examples of current and recent work include:

Advising a medical agency on consumer credit agreements to be used in rehabilitation scheme.

Insurance & Reinsurance

Jonathan’s practice covers insurance and reinsurance of most classes of risk, including general commercial liability (EL/PL/products); professional indemnity; property; motor; legal expenses; trade credit; D&O; property title; personal accident / disablement; financial risk. 

He regularly advises on, and acts in, substantial coverage disputes and in business disputes between insurers, underwriting agencies and reinsurers. He acts for insurers in substantial subrogated actions to recover their outlay.  Non-contentious work includes drafting policy wordings and other contractual documents, including binding authority agreements.  He is familiar with regulatory obligations of insurers and intermediaries under FSMA 2000 / ICOBS and with advising on the FOS jurisdiction (including challenges).  He also advises professionals on indemnity insurance issues, including notifications and coverage.

He is recommended by Chambers UK and Legal 500 as a leading silk in this field.  Comments in recent editions include the following:

“Has a highly focused insurance practice that one solicitor described as being ‘consistently outstanding.’  Interviewees highlighted the excellence of his advice, and his responsiveness in the face of a heavy caseload.” (Chambers UK 2015)

“Receives praise across the board for his insurance and reinsurance knowledge, responsiveness and versatility.” (Chambers UK 2014)

“Very accessible and responsive.” (Legal 500 2014)

“Very effective advocate.” (Legal 500 2013)

Examples of his current and recent work include the following:

Public Law and Human Rights

Jonathan has a wide range of experience in public and administrative law, advising and acting for public bodies, companies and private individuals in judicial review claims.  He has almost unrivalled experience and expertise in the law relating to coroners and inquests. 

He is recommended by Legal 500 as a leading silk in the field of administrative and public law.  Chambers UK Bar recommends him as a leading silk in the field of inquests and public inquiries.  Comments in recent editions of the directories include the following:

“Extremely impressive.” (Legal 500 2014, Administrative and Public Law)

“He’s very impressive, partly because he applies the law in a practical way”; “His strengths are his thorough preparation, attention to detail and ability to react quickly to changing circumstances”; “Has a strong reputation for his consummate expertise in coronial law” (Chambers UK 2015, Inquiries)

“He is assiduous, covers every angle and looks out for the client’s interests at every turn.” (Chambers UK 2014, Inquiries)

He has appeared in several important cases on the scope and application of Convention Rights.  For example, he appeared for the successful intervening insurers in the House of Lords in Wilson v First County Trust [2004] AC 816, the leading case on the compatibility of domestic consumer credit law with the ECHR.  He also appeared in the case which decided that domestic law of self defence is compatible with Article 2 of the ECHR (R (Bennett) v HM Coroner for Inner South London [2006] HRLR 22) and in the case which set the balance between a news organisation’s source protection rights and the need for thorough public inquiry by a tribunal.

His current and recent work includes the following:

Professional Liability

Jonathan has considerable experience in professional liability claims against a range of different types of professional, including lawyers, financial services professionals, insurance professionals and surveyors.  He also has some experience of acting in litigation against construction professionals and in clinical negligence proceedings.  Professional indemnity insurance disputes form a significant part of his insurance practice.  He is an editor of the current edition of Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability.

Financial Services Professionals

Jonathan is instructed in relation to disputes concerning various different fields of financial services.  He is very familiar with the statutory and regulatory framework established under FSMA 2000 and with a range of types of claim.  His recent work in this area includes the following:

Insurance Brokers & Agents

Jonathan acts for policyholders, brokers and insurers in disputes over the adequacy of cover arranged by brokers, advice given on insurance programmes and notifications of claims.  He also acts in disputes between underwriting agents / coverholders and their capacity providers.  His work in this field often overlaps with his general insurance/reinsurance practice, in which he is ranked as a leading silk.  He is experienced in a wide range of classes of risk and is very familiar with the regulatory framework governing insurance intermediaries.

Examples of work in this area include:


Jonathan has considerable experience in professional liability claims against solicitors and barristers arising in a variety of professional contexts including, for example, lost litigation, conveyancing (including lender claims), commercial drafting.  He also regularly advises on lawyers’ indemnity insurance, including notifications of circumstances and claims and on policy coverage.

The following is a sample of current and recent work:

Surveyors & Valuers

Jonathan has experience of advising and acting in claims against surveyors and valuers concerning domestic and residential property, including property portfolios.  His work in this area has included disputes concerning the accuracy of valuations and the reliability of surveys.  He is familiar with surveyors’ professional indemnity insurance and issues arising with insurers, such as late notification, allegations of dishonesty and aggregation of claims.