Professional information

  • 2017: Appointed silk
  • 2008-2017: Standing junior to Scottish Ministers
  • 2010-2017: Junior bar’s representative on Inner House Users Group
  • 2003: Called to the Bar
Professional experience

Jonathan specialises in commercial and construction cases, property law and professional negligence. He is ranked in each of these practice areas and has earned a reputation for his comprehensive and detailed approach to litigation. He is often instructed in multimillion-pound, reputationally sensitive disputes, and is particularly active in cases concerning renewable energy and infrastructure projects.

Jonathan’s clients include energy companies, utility providers, financial institutions, developers, and local authorities. He represented the Scottish Government in the public inquiry into the Edinburgh Tram Project and is instructed for NHS Lothian in the upcoming Hospital Inquiry.

Jonathan is currently instructed by telecommunication operators in a number of applications to the Scottish Lands Tribunal under the new Electronic Communications Code. He is also regularly instructed in shareholder disputes and obtained the first “Wallersteiner” order ever granted in the Scottish courts to allow his client to pursue a claim for unfair prejudice at the company’s expense.

Jonathan has appeared in courts and tribunals at all levels, including the Supreme Court, and is regularly instructed in adjudications and arbitrations.

Notable cases

Construction and Engineering

  • The Public Inquiry into the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Children [2020] – instructed as leading counsel for NHS Lothian in the Inquiry.
  • Field Systems Design Ltd v MW High Tech Projects UK Ltd [2020] CSOH 17 – instructed for the pursuer to enforce an adjudicator’s decision where it was claimed that the adjudicator had not addressed a substantial part of the defence.
  • SSE Generation Ltd v Hochtief Solutions AG [2018] SLT 579 – instructed from 2012 to 2019 for the pursuer in an extremely large claim arising out of the collapse of a tunnel forming part of a hydro-electric scheme. The court awarded £108m on appeal.
  • Queensferry Crossing [2018] – representing temporary works designers in claims (adjudication and litigation) relating to the construction of the Queensferry Crossing.
  • Ayr Environmental Services Ltd v Amec Capital Projects Ltd [2018] – instructed for pursuer in relation to the construction of three wastewater plants under PFI arrangements. The central issue related to the construction of settlement tanks.
  • West Reg. Street Property Limited v Central Demolition Limited [2018] CSOH 98 – instructed for the defender in an action about whether unforeseen asbestos removal work should have been treated as a variation to the contract.


  • Gardner Young and Kaim Investments Ltd v Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Plc 2020 SC 467 – instructed for the defender insurers in relation to a claim under an insurance policy after a fire destroyed city centre premises. The defender resisted payment on the basis of material non-disclosure. This was the first case in the UK to look in detail at the provisions of the Insurance Act 2015.
  • Tweed Homes Ltd v Clydesdale Bank [2020] – representing the pursuer developer in relation to an alleged promise of further funding given by the Bank.
  • Brendan Hyland v GKFF- Ennovo Holdings LLC [2019] – instructed for the defender in respect of numerous claims, including unfair prejudice proceedings, arising out of a shareholders’ agreement relating to a company with specialised equipment and technology.
  • Sommerville v 1051 GWR Ltd 2019 Hous. L.R. 66 – instructed for defender director in an action for reduction of agreement based on an allegation of breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland v O’Donnell 2015 SC 258 – instructed for the defender in resisting enforcement of a bank guarantee with a counterclaim for reduction and damages for negligent misrepresentation.
  • Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland v Lloyds Banking Group Plc 2013 SC (UKSC) 169 – instructed as junior counsel in a dispute concerning the proper interpretation of a deed of covenant where a subsequent change in accounting standards had significant consequences for the correct application of the deed.

Commercial Property

  • Electronic Communications Code [2020] – representing telecommunication operators in numerous applications to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland for rights under the Code.
  • Leafrealm Limited v Edinburgh City Council and others [2020] CSOH 34 – instructed for the Council in an action relating to a disputed ransom strip arising out of historic agreements.
  • Shell UK Limited v Stichting Greenpeace Council 2020 SLT 235 – instructed for the pursuer to seek interdict against protestors from accessing various offshore installations.
  • Transocean Drilling UK Ltd v Greenpeace UK Ltd 2020 SLT 825 – instructed for the pursuer seeking the removal of protestors encamped on a mobile drilling platform en route to its offshore location. Thereafter, representing the pursuer in contempt proceedings when the terms of the interim interdict were breached.
  • Gateway Assets Ltd v CV Panels Ltd 2018 SCLR 736 – instructed for the pursuer in dispute relating to the service of a break notice.
  • Demolition Orders – representing a local authority in respect of 276 demolition orders served relating to an estate that the local authority wished to demolish.

Professional liability and regulation

  • Green Energy Trading Limited v Renewable Design and Development Ltd [2020] – instructed for the designer of a hydro electric scheme in relation to allegations that the design did not produce a specified amount of energy.
  • John Graham Construction Limited v Scott Wilson Scotland Limited [2019] CSOH 41 – instructed for the defender structural engineers in relation to a claim arising out of allegedly defective drainage design.
  • Mazur v Scottish Legal Complaints Commission [2018] CSIH 45 – instructed for the SLCC in defending its determination in relation to the applicant’s complaint.
  • Trustees of X Pension Fund v Y Asset Managers Ltd and others [2017] – instructed for the defender in relation to a claim for damages by the trustees on the basis that the defender had breached the terms of its discretionary investment mandate.
  • Rex Procter & Partners Retirement Benefits Scheme’s Trustees v Edwards [2015] CSOH 83 – instructed for the defender in a claim against an actuary for advice connected with the transfer out of a pension scheme.
  • Chambers – Recommended as leading silk in Construction (Band 2); Commercial Dispute Resolution (Band 2); Professional Negligence (Band 2); and Real Estate Litigation (Band 1)
  • Legal 500 – Recommended as leading silk in Commercial Litigation (Tier 2); and Property Planning and Construction (Tier 2)
  • Who’s Who Legal – Recommended in Professional Negligence