Jonathan Hough QC


St Hugh's College, Oxford University (First Class in Classics); City University CPE (Commendation); Inns of Court School of Law (Outstanding)

Tel: +44 20 7822 2079
Email Clerk:

Year of Call: 1997
Year of Silk: 2014


Hough, Jonathan

Jonathan’s practice covers several fields of civil and commercial law, in particular 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 by current editions of the main Directories (Legal 500, Legal Experts and Chambers & Partners) in the four fields of insurance / reinsurance, administrative / public law, inquests / public inquiries and consumer law.  He has been described by Chambers and Partners as ‘a fantastic litigator’ and ‘known for his knowledge of the law and for being up to date with the latest developments’; and by Legal 500 as ‘a first-rate legal brain and a 'very effective advocate'. 

Within the area of insurance law, he advises and acts for a range of major insurers 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 insurance, 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 has general experience of commercial disputes, and particular expertise in consumer law, with a focus on consumer credit and financial regulation.

In the area of public and administrative law, he has acted for public and private bodies in judicial review claims, with a particular focus on local government, regulatory and disciplinary fields.  He is also well known for his work in the law relating to coroners.  As well as advising and acting in Administrative Court proceedings in many reported cases, he has appeared as counsel to the inquiry in a number of 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 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.


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 and Partners directory in the field of consumer law, with particular reference to consumer credit.  According to that directory, he “comes to greatest market attention for his command of consumer law, in which role he often advises financial institutions”; and is “a highly responsive barrister who gives clear, succinct advice… a methodical and persuasive advocate.”

Important recent cases in which Jonathan has appeared include:

Other examples of recent work include:

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

Insurance & Reinsurance

Jonathan’s insurance/reinsurance practice covers a wide range of fields and 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, coverage disputes between insurer and insured and commercial disputes between insurers, underwriting agencies and reinsurers. He is recommended by Chambers & Partners, Legal 500 and Legal Experts in this field.  According to the current edition of Chambers & Partners, he “receives praise across the board for his insurance and reinsurance knowledge, responsiveness and versatility”; “works incredibly hard”; and is “thorough, pragmatic and great to work with.”

He regularly acts for insurers in substantial subrogated actions to recover their outlay.

In the non-contentious field, he has drafted a large number of policy documents and other contractual documents, including binding authority agreements.  He is familiar with regulatory obligations of insurers under FSMA 2000 and with advising on the FOS jurisdiction (including pursuing and responding to FOS complaints, and judicial review of FOS decisions).

He also regularly advises professionals on indemnity insurance issues, including notifications of circumstances and claims and on policy coverage.

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 and Legal Experts in the field of administrative/public law.  Chambers & Partners recommends him as a leading individual in the field of inquests and public inquiries.  According to the directories, he “specialises in public and coronial law”; “appears in a variety of inquests and public inquiries”; “is assiduous, covers every angle and looks out for the client’s interests at every turn.”

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 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, as recognised in Chambers & Partners.  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 has acted for insurers, policyholders and brokers in disputes over the adequacy of cover provided, advice given on insurance programmes and notifications of claims.  His work in this field often overlaps with his general insurance/reinsurance practice.

Recent work in this area includes:


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 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.