Jonathan Arkush

Year of Call 1977

General Profile

Jonathan conducts a wide range of commercial and chancery litigation, including contract, real property, company, insolvency and partnership. His practice also extends to estates and trusts including wills, family provision and probate. Clients vary from individuals to banks, building societies, PLCs and major retail operators.

Jonathan is a highly experienced mediator and member of the mediation panels of the Chancery Bar Association, Property Bar Association, Property Law UK, Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Practitioners and Dispute Mediation Limited. He received the ADRg Award 2006 for his contribution to ADR and was cited as one of the group’s most successful mediators. Jonathan is author of the chapter Landlord and Tenant Disputes in ADR and Commercial Disputes (Sweet & Maxwell). Over the years, he has conducted more than 250 mediations concerning a wide range of disputes in all of the practice areas listed below.


Commercial Chancery




Jonathan regularly deals with commercial agreements of many kinds, including the sale and supply of goods (international and domestic), banking, conflict of law issues, disputes as to forum, agents’ claim for commission and commercial agents‘ disputes. He also has experience of claims between employers and employees, past and present, particularly those involving non-competition and non-solicitation covenants and other issues of restraint of trade and intellectual property.




He has experience in a wide range of commercial fraud cases, including a number that have involved international jurisdictions and cross-border enforcement. He is accustomed to working with lawyers in other jurisdictions and is well used to being instructed at short notice on applications for interim injunctions, such as freezing and search and seizure orders. Clients appreciate his very considerable experience in effective cross-examination of difficult witnesses when the matter comes to trial.




Throughout the year, he has been instructed in a wide variety of insolvency matters, particularly with a property aspect. He appeared in the leading case in the House of Lords on the effect of the disclaimer of property under the Insolvency Act, Hindcastle Ltd v Barbara Attenborough Associates Ltd [1997], where he acted for the successful respondent. He also has experience in corporate and individual insolvency, including setting aside statutory demands and questions arising in winding up, receivership and administration. Numerate and accounts literate, Jonathan has the ability to really interpret company accounts.




He has experience in litigation and advice on the drafting and enforcement of employment covenants (including covenants against competition and solicitation) and associated intellectual property issues. He also has wide experience in bringing and defending claims for wrongful dismissal and other breaches of contracts of employment. He is well used to being instructed at short notice on applications for interim injunctions in these areas. The practical and strategic effect of these applications is of major importance to the parties and frequently determines the outcome of the case.


Professional Negligence


His considerable experience includes a wide range of professional negligence cases against accountants, solicitors, surveyors, insurance brokers and others. He acts both for claimants and professional indemnity insurers and has seen many cases through to trial, although effective presentation of the cases usually results in an earlier settlement. His particular experience is in matters that are property-related but also extends to other fields of negligence.


Real Estate Litigation


He has a wide experience in most types of disputes and litigation involving property. These include matters such as vendor & purchaser, conveyancing, title, misdescription and misrepresentation in contracts for the sale of land, auction contracts, rights of way and other easements, boundary disputes, squatters and trespassers, adverse possession, licences and disputes over shares in property between unmarried couples. He has dealt with markets and fairs, both statutory and under charter, and rights to prevent rival markets. He is frequently instructed in relation to mortgage disputes both by lenders and borrowers and has considerable experience of advising and litigation in Barclays Bank v O’Brien and Royal Bank of Scotland v Etridge cases.


Jonathan’s landlord and tenant experience includes disputes and litigation, primarily, but not exclusively, involving commercial property. He is frequently instructed by both landlords and tenants in relation to such matters such as forfeiture and relief from forfeiture, breaches of covenant and the scope of covenants generally, rent review, service charges, questions whether an agreement comprises a lease or a licence. He often deals with business tenancies under Landlord & Tenant Act 1954.


Representative experience:


Eaton Mansions (Westminster) Ltd v Stinger Compania de Inversion SA [2012] EWHC 3354 (Ch): the case raises the developing area of the law of ‘negotiating damages’ for trespass. Also raises the question of whether a company can be awarded aggravated damages, on which there is conflicting authority. The trial Judge gave permission to appeal on the latter. He refused permission on the former issue but Jonathan successfully applied to the Court of Appeal which granted permission. The full appeal is due to be heard in the Autumn. The trial judge awarded damages to the claimant, who Jonathan represented, and the damages stand to be increased if the appeal succeeds.



Ellis v Butler: acted for Defendant resisting claims to re-draw title deeds on grounds of rectification, construction, implied rules about fences, slander of title and adverse possession. Secured the complete dismissal of every claim. 3 day trial in Cardiff. (2012)


G v P-H: dispute between an unmarried couple over their respective shares in property. Acted for the female partner who had built up a successful property business which then became the subject of a claim to one-half when the couple split. His robust defence and approach in interim hearings was instrumental in securing an excellent result at mediation which reflected a substantial defeat of the claim. (2011)


Mourton v Mourton: acted for the successful Claimant in bitter family litigation. After winning a trial in round 1, he went on to obtain a successful result in round 2 in obtaining orders against the Defendant declaring the extent of the parties titles to property in Surrey and recording the much more limited right of way than that claimed by the Defendant.


Industrial and Corporate Finance Ltd v Hadley Bowling Green Properties Ltd: represented a client faced with the imminent enforcement of a warrant of possession (to which the client had consented in ignorance of its legal rights). Obtained successive stays of possession and orders for a range of issues to be sent to trial. (2011)


Traditional Chancery




Jonathan has wide advisory and litigation experience in probate, including interpretation of wills, questions involving disputed wills and other testamentary documents, intestacy, undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity claims, administration of estates, breach of duty by executors and trustees and Court of Protection and mental capacity work. These often involve sensitive family conflicts where strategy and negotiations are vital in ensuring that the case is firmly progressed either to trial or to a resolution of the issues by agreement.




He deal with litigious and non-litigious aspects of charity law. He acts for major charities in relation to a very wide range of contentious probate matters. He is also used to dealing with trust companies and other professional executors.




Jonathan has experience in claims for financial provision under the Inheritance Act - both in bringing and resisting such claims. These frequently overlap with the range of sensitive conflicts and other matters described under probate and demonstrates his multi-disciplinary expertise.


Representative experience:


G v D: Inheritance Act claim by deceased’s boyfriend, strongly resisted by the deceased’s children, for whom Jonathan acts. (Mediation, 2013)


Re Estate of MGE: same sex partner’s claim based on cohabitation and financial dependency. Advised the claimant who successfully obtained a settlement in his favour before the matter went to court. (2012)


R v Executors of HJ: inheritance Act claim by partner of deceased who died suddenly and unexpectedly. Case will raise difficult area of a relationship which was blossoming but which was cut short. Acted for the claimant. Parties agreed to submit it to mediation. (2012)


Estate of T deceased: the deceased married a second time and when he died, a huge dispute over his will and estate erupted between his widow and the first wife and children. The children even suggested that the death of the deceased was the result of foul play, implying that the widow was responsible. Represented the widow at a series of hearings during which it became apparent that the children were intent on ensuring that the administration of the estate was made as difficult and expensive as possible. His determined resistance of the numerous claims launched against the estate by a series of persons and firms encouraged by the children eventually secured a very good outcome for the widow at mediation. (2011)


Re J deceased: cross-border probate dispute ranging over several jurisdictions, following the unexpected death of a deceased who preferred to keep his finances discreet and complicated. Acted for the young child from the deceased’s first marriage. He co-ordinated strategy for litigation which involved inheritance and trust claims in the various foreign jurisdictions.(2011)


Hirst v Hirst: a dispute between brothers over their parents’ estate. One brother had procured the transfer of the parents’ house and a large sum of money into his name at a time when the mother was elderly. Jonathan acted for the other brother who claimed that the transfers were procured by undue influence and that the mother lacked capacity. There were numerous claims and counterclaims alleging improper dealings with the parents’ property. On the third day of the trial in the High Court, and after evidence from his client and medical expert, Jonathan’s opponent surrendered. (2011)


What Others Say


Chambers & Partners recommend Jonathan as a leading in junior in Traditional Chancery and as a Mediator, he was also recommended in Legal 500 as a leading junior in property litigation. The directories highlight:


"An experienced and thorough advocate, who is the man you want when faced with a tough case."  (Chambers & Partners 2019)


"He has a very good approach to clients, and is a strong all-round barrister." (Chambers & Partners 2019)


"ability to immediately connect with parties and gain their trust." (Chambers & Partners 2019)


‘Highly recommended for a range of Chancery work.’
(Legal 500 2017)


"he can turn his hand to pretty much anything in the mediation world"

 (Chambers & Partners 2017)


"He is skilled in court craft"
(Chambers & Partners 2016)


Jonathan has "very good people skills” and is “sensitive to both sides’ feelings and emotions” as a mediator
(Chambers & Partners 2016)


Jonathan Arkush is well known for his excellent depth of expertise in chancery and probate work, receiving frequent instruction in an array of complex mediations. He is also highly regarded for his skill in disputes relating to areas including property and professional negligence. (Mediators: all circuits - Chambers UK 2015)


At 11 Stone Buildings, Jonathan Arkush stands out for his work in the field of mediation. He regularly receives instructions as a mediator and specialises in chancery and probate, property and professional negligence disputes. (Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2015)


“A very strong reputation in the market.” (Private clients: trusts & probate - Legal 500 2014)


Simply put, “Jonathan Arkush is excellent value and gets the job done.” “Thorough and committed to getting resolution,” Arkush is appreciated for his tenacity and for his means of solving disputes imaginatively. (Mediators: UK wide; Mediators: all circuits - Chambers UK 2014)


A much-respected chancery litigator and mediator, whose skills are deployed in property, probate and trust matters. “He gives excellent service and delivers what he promises.” “He is a very strong practitioner in the traditional chancery field.” Recent work: represented the claimant in a sensitive Inheritance Act case. The claimant was party to a blooming romance with the deceased and would, were it not for the sudden nature of his death, have likely stood to inherit much of his estate. (Chancery: traditional - Chambers UK 2014)


A mediator who is renowned for his ability to think inventively to produce novel solutions, Jonathan Arkush maintains a busy practice. Highlights from the past year include the mediation of grievance procedures within a professional services firm and resolving a corporate dispute between embittered family members. (Mediators: UK wide; Mediators: all circuits - Chambers UK 2013


Sources say Jonathan Arkush of 11 Stone Buildings “comes up with solutions others wouldn’t have thought of, often enabling a clean break scenario.” He is regularly instructed on high-value matters, and his recent mediations have included a wrongful dismissal claim and an inheritance dispute. (Mediators: UK wide; Mediators: all circuits - Chambers UK 2011)



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