Jonathan Chamberlain practices employment law because it takes him right inside the client's organisation, understanding their culture, their values, their processes - how they do what they do and how they need their people to do it. He combines that understanding with his more than 20 years' experience to deliver solutions that take the organisation forward, not just solving that day's problem.
He has worked with clients of every size and at every level, from the shop-floor to the boardroom and from a loft in Clerkenwell to the C-suite in Michigan. Although he has covered every sector of the economy over the years, nowadays he tends to work mainly in tech, financial services, life sciences and advanced manufacturing. He has not seen it all before, just most of it or something very like it. This helps him to get to a better solution for clients, more quickly.
He has a particular focus on business protection. Recent cases have involved safeguarding clients' confidential information in Formula 1 racing and high-value consumer goods, as well as dealing with team-moves in financial services.
He has substantial experience of international employment work, including cross-border restructurings and outsourcings as well as litigation. As a member of the firm's US Desk, he works a great deal with USA Inc (and LLP) across Europe as well as the UK.
Recent highlights include:
- Working within PRA/FCA rules to reach a successful resolution in a boardroom dispute in a financial services company, including advice on governance and managing investigations into alleged whistleblowing.
- Advising on the dismissal of the chief executive of a high-profile company, including the PR/legal interface, and devising and implementing a very aggressive strategy to deliver a successful conclusion
- preventing an engineer from taking highly confidential information to a rival Formula 1 team by keeping him out of F1 for an entire season;
- recovering damages for a major stockbroker as a result of an unlawful team-move
- assisting a global construction equipment manufacturer on a major restructuring exercise
Jonathan chaired the Legislative and Policy Committee of the Employment Lawyers' Association, giving him privileged access into legislative and regulatory changes as they affect all aspects of employment law. He can see what's coming over the employment law horizon. He is a thought-leader in Corporate Governance issues, in 2017 giving evidence on behalf of ELA to the BEIS Strategy Committee and seeing a key ELA's recommendation adopted in the Committee's report, in which he is quoted.
As part of the Firm's commitment to corporate social responsibility, Jonathan chairs the Audit and Risk Committee of Worcester College, Oxford. He is a member of the Board of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Helping a global car manufacturer to secure a positive result following a race discrimination claim. Like many organisations, the client faced a claimant backed by his trade union in what was a wider campaign against the company. They chose Jonathan, having worked with him before, because they knew that Jonathan would give them a view rather than sit on the fence. In a tense situation, they wanted a lawyer as committed to the fight as they were. Thanks to Jonathan's advice and support, they resolved the matter quickly and without going to court.
Ensuring one client could enforce a restrictive covenant against a former design engineer, but also helping another client to 'poach' a team of consultants while avoiding litigation to enforce their contractual restrictions.
Completing the successful restructuring of the European operations of a US software house.