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Jonathan is recognised for both his wide-ranging employment law expertise, acting for employers and senior executives, and for his deep knowledge and understanding of legal issues impacting schools and the wider education sector. Clients value his thoughtful, considered approach and his ability to seek solutions within the broader context of their organisational aims.

Over a professional career of nearly 20 years, Jonathan has developed two distinct strands to his practice: advising on the full range of employment law issues to organisations and senior executives across multiple sectors, and as a specialist in wide-ranging legal issues facing schools and education businesses.

In his employment practice, Jonathan acts for organisations including media businesses, financial services institutions, charities, non-departmental public bodies, galleries, museums and professional firms, as well as senior executives. He advises on everything from large-scale redundancies and TUPE to team moves, contract changes and employment litigation.

Alongside his employment practice, Jonathan has developed expertise acting for barristers’ chambers on employment law issues and on matters linked to chambers’ constitutions and membership.  

Jonathan is highly regarded for his expertise in the schools sector and recognised as a leading adviser in the field. He advises well-known independent and privately-owned schools, maintained schools, multi-academy trusts and education businesses. His longstanding experience in the sector means he is called upon to provide support on the whole spectrum of ‘people’ issues from safeguarding and child protection, to pupil exclusions, special educational needs and parent complaints; in other words, most matters relating to staff, parents and pupils. He is closely involved with influential organisations at all levels of the sector and speaks regularly at conferences and events around the country. He is a governor and taught for three years before entering the legal profession.  

Jonathan qualified as a solicitor in 2001.


"Jonathan is measured, thoughtful, professional and ultimately, the safe pair of hands we seek." (Chambers UK 2024)

"He stands out because he is very sensible, pragmatic, and knows the law very well." (Chambers UK 2024)

"Jonathan is outstanding. His advice always balances commercial imperatives with risk and legal nuance. He is also quick, diligent and brilliant at avoiding avoidable problems." (Chambers UK 2024)

"It is always reassuring to know that Jonathan is there ... He has excellent sector knowledge" (Chambers UK 2023)

"Jonathan is a valued and high-integrity adviser. He is reflective and methodical."(Chambers UK 2023)

"His experience in the schools sector is invaluable and he provides very reassuring advice." (Chambers UK 2022)

"Jonathan has a great understanding of our needs and is always hugely helpful. We appreciate his calm, thorough approach and attention to detail." (Chambers UK 2023)

"Jonathan Eley has been brilliant on every issue we have engaged her on. Excellent, thorough advice which is both practical and easy to follow.” (Legal 500 2022)

"He makes himself available, offers thoughtful and sensitive advice and is calm in a crisis." "He assists with extremely complex cases and is a great source of support and guidance." (Chambers UK 2021)

"Jonathan Eley’s employment is top-notch with a pragmatic approach." (Legal 500 2021)


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