Jonathan Mitchell QC
Year of Silk/Call: 1992/1979
"A class act with a very wide range....praised by commentators for his 'great courtroom knowledge’...an elegant, concise and forceful advocate....with a fierce intellect...really thinks outside the box ...provides very creative solutions” Chambers & Partners 2015
Commercial Law | Discrimination & Equality | Employment | Human Rights | Regulatory | Sport and Entertainment
Appeared 14 times in the House of Lords/UK Supreme Court.
Acted in over 200 reported cases and thousands of unreported ones in the Court of Session, the Sheriff Court, EAT, ET and UT
In addition to his court appearances, he has an active opinion practice.
Chambers 2015 says Jonathan is “well respected for his wide-ranging public law expertise, which has a particular focus on issues of civil liberties and human rights. He is also noted for his expertise in issues arising in the context of immigration, mental health and employment. "He has a certain gravitas and presence in court. He is experienced, and with that comes confidence that you can rely on him in high-profile cases." "He is a class act, with a very wide range"’ (Administrative and Public Law); ‘Commands great respect for his civil liberties practice, which focuses on family and employment law, and commercial cases with a pronounced human rights element. He has particular experience in appellate matters. "He is an elegant, concise and forceful advocate. I have a very high opinion of him." "He has a fierce intellect, is easy to get along with and is highly communicative." (Civil Liberties and Human Rights) "He really thinks outside the box. He provides very creative solutions." (Family/Matrimonial). The Legal500 classes him as a leading silk (Band 1) in Civil Liberties and Public Law, in Commercial Litigation, and in Family Law.
He ‘draws praise for his passion and skill for family law, and is regularly involved in complex and unusual cases’… “He is absolutely brilliant and wants to get things settled as soon as possible" (Chambers 2014, Family).
‘An acute ability to identify the constitutional point lying behind an issue’ ; ‘Noted for his willingness to explore different ideas’; and ‘A key figure for family law matters’ (Legal500 2013).
"Praised by commentators for his 'great courtroom knowledge' '' (Chambers 2013).
"A broad practice and a wide range of experience to draw upon. His 'quicksilver intellect' makes him a popular choice for cases with complex international elements" (Chambers 2012).
"An almost photographic memory so is able to recall important details instantly" and "enjoys a fine reputation. He is 'intelligent, quick, and good at structuring financial settlements'" (Chambers 2011).
"Recommended for his sure-footed advocacy" and "a creative and quirky thinker" (Legal500 2012).
Appointments and memberships
Deputy Social Security Commissioner (1994–2002)
Member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission ‘A’ panel of counsel
Publications and training
Many seminars and conferences, including the Family Law Association, the Four Jurisdictions annual conference, the Legal Services Agency.
Evidence to Parliament on a number of occasions
Successful appeal in Inner House as to damages for wrongful use of interdict
Glasgow City Council v Unison, 2014 SLT 716
Successful appeal in Inner House as to local government responsibility for sex discrimination by ALEOs
IA v Home Secretary, 2014 SC (UKSC) 105
Supreme Court case establishing that a greater weight should be given to the decisions and methodology of the UNHCR in asylum cases.
Fox & Partners v Lord Chancellor  EqLR 956 (OH)
Judicial review of the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees regime
Stewart v Stewart’s Trs 2013 CSOH 63
Lengthy proof on challenge to will on grounds of incapacity, followed by successful motion for expenses on agent and client scale
Davies v Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care 2013 SC (UKSC) 186
Successful appeal in Inner House and Supreme Court on transitional provisions as to care regulation
RM v Scottish Ministers 2013 SC (UKSC) 139
Successful judicial review appeal to Supreme Court; a constitutional milestone in declaring Government’s duty to lay regulations before Parliament
Eba Petitioner 2012 SC (UKSC) 1
Successful appeal in Inner House and Supreme Court, leading case on ambit of judicial review of tribunals
City of Edinburgh Council v Wilkinson and others 2012 SLT 211 (IH)
Principles applicable to equal pay claims
Craigdale Housing Association & Ors v Scottish Information Commissioner 2010 SLT 655 (IH)
Freedom of information/personal data
Lynch v East Dunbartonshire Council 2010 ICR 1094 (EAT)
Lis pendens and tribunal jurisdiction
Tuley v Highland Council 2009 SC 456 (IH)
Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and the right to roam