Jonathan Elfer


“Will do his very best for his client” – Instructing Solicitor

“One of the best barristers I have ever worked with” – Instructing Solicitor

Able to pick up a case very quickly, understand the issues and deal with it positively to the highest level of competence,”  – Instructing Solicitor

Jonathan is a determined and approachable advocate, regularly praised for his persuasiveness in court and his rapport with clients and legal professionals alike. Clients often comment on his ability to get to the heart of a case quickly and to explain complex issues concisely.

He has a busy, mixed practice across chambers’ areas of work, with a particular emphasis on criminal, family and personal injury cases. His broad expertise means he can often look at a case from numerous angles and ensure clients are fully advised on the whole picture.


Criminal Law

Jonathan’s practice spans all aspects of criminal work, with a particular emphasis on sexual and violent offending. He has represented clients accused of fraud, drugs offences, sexual offences and assaults of varying severity and often receives repeat instructions and referrals from satisfied clients.

Although his practice focuses on criminal defence, Jonathan has experience of prosecuting, including on behalf of railway companies, and is also instructed to prosecute private prosecutions.

R v S (2024) – unanimous acquittal of homeless client charged with “stranger rape” of an underage complainant in an underpass, successfully arguing reasonable belief in consent.

R v B (2024)unanimous acquittal of client in s.18 GBH, successfully arguing self-defence in a case where 4 knife wounds had been inflicted on the client’s unarmed brother

R v O (2023) – led by Jeminipe Akin-Olugbade, defending a client alleged to be part of a historic sexual exploitation ring, spanning nearly 20 years involving multiple charges of rape by numerous complainants

R v B (2023)led by Stephen Kamlish KC, defending a legal professional charged with historic rape and indecent assault of their former foster daughter.

R v W (2021) – unanimous acquittal of man charged with ABH against a woman met on Tinder raising self-defence

R v D (2021) – defence of client charged with s.18 GBH for stabbing an unarmed man 5 times in a street fight; not guilty of s.18 GBH but guilty of s.20

R v D (2021) – county lines drug case alleging a conspiracy to supply class A drugs, involving over 60,000 pages of phone material. Secured a plea to supply of class B drugs and the immediate release of the client.

R v A (2021) – defence of client charged with a £220,000 fraud on a national bank following the takeover of an account, involving hundreds of thousands of pages of phone, banking and computer evidence

R v B (2019) – co-defending in a murder trial at the Old Bailey as Junior Alone, client charged with attempting to pervert the course of public justice.


Family Law

Jonathan receives instructions in public and private law children matters as well as domestic abuse cases involving applications for non-molestation and occupation orders. He has particular expertise in cases involving allegations of neglect, sexualised behaviour of children, substance misuse and of representing parents with cognitive and psychiatric conditions.

O v O (2024) – acted for the respondent in final hearing of non-molestation and occupation order proceedings involving allegations of coercive and controlling behaviour and physical and psychological abuse of the parties’ children.

O v B (2024) – acted for the applicant mother in private law Children Act and non-molestation order proceedings concerning the rape and infection of the mother by the father with HIV

LBL v J (2024) – instructed for father in public law children case involving 7 children, the eldest of whom was alleged to have sexually abused his siblings. Case concerned allegations of substance abuse, neglect and physical abuse of the children.

LBC v M (2023) – acted for the mother opposing a final care plan of adoption, in a case concerning allegations of neglect, substance misuse and exposure of the child to domestic abuse.

D v F (2022) – acted for the mother in fact finding in private law family proceedings concerning allegations of non-accidental injury by a father of an infant child, resulting in delayed development.

LBE v B (2020) – acted for the mother in public law children case involving the admitted sexual abuse of multiple children by the father, and allegations of neglect and failure to protect the children made against the mother.

LBC v M (2020) – acted for an underage mother, who herself was the victim of child sexual exploitation and trafficking, opposing local authority care plans of placement for adoption.

DCC v C (2019) – acted for the mother opposing a final care plan of adoption, in a case concerning allegations of neglect, substance misuse and exposure of the child to serious domestic abuse.


Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Claims

Jonathan acts for both claimants and defendants at all stages, including in Multi-Track trials concerning permanent and serious injury. He also regularly attends Fast Track trials and Small Claims hearings, particularly those arising from road traffic accidents and often involving claims for credit hire. He also handles the full range of procedural and interlocutory hearings before the High Court and County Courts.

Jonathan has extensive experience in drafting pleadings, schedules of loss and written applications in a variety of proceedings and in providing advice on quantum and liability.

W v A (2022) – acted for the claimant in a clinical negligence action for failure to diagnose cervical cancer leading to unnecessary treatment and significantly poorer prognosis. Six figure settlement sum secured in compensation for permanent physical and psychiatric injuries.

B v E (2021) – represented the claimant in a multi-track personal injury claim involving  a cyclist hit by a car. Six figure settlement secured in compensation for a permanent elbow injury causing significant disability on the labour market.

B v D (2021) – acted for the claimant, a former student at the defendant school in a multi-track claim for damages for personal injuries and future handicap on the labour market following a permanent, degloving hand injury suffered during a leavers’ day prank.

L v W (2020) – fatal accident claim, acting for the claimant widow of a scaffolder in an action against a home-owner and contractor: six figure settlement secured, including damages for loss of future dependency.

M v C (2018) – appeal against the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority’s decision to withhold an award of compensation in a case of historic sexual abuse of a 7-year-old child.


Inquests and Public Inquiries

Following his work on the Infected Blood Inquiry, Jonathan has a growing practice in inquests and inquiries, which compliments his Criminal and Personal Injury expertise.

Infected Blood Inquiry – extensive work assisting the legal team representing over 1,000 core participants in the Contaminated Blood Inquiry, particularly in the gathering of evidence from victims and members of their families.

Re SD  (2022) – Inquest into the death of a victim of the Contaminated Blood scandal who received contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.


Data Protection and General Civil Law

Having experience across the spectrum of legal disciplines, Jonathan accepts instructions in a wide a range of civil claims, including contractual disputes and disciplinary proceedings. He has also acted for a number of clients in so-called “data breach” cases, notably where extremely sensitive identifying data has been disclosed in the context of confidential court proceedings.

H v S (2021) – successfully represented claimants in a data breach claim brought by adoptive parents whose details were wrongly disclosed to the birth family by the local authority during care proceedings, securing settlement for parents and children

J v E (2020) – represented the respondent former-head-teacher in disciplinary proceedings advancing robust fitness to stand trial and abuse of process arguments

W v L (2018) – claim for Judicial Review arising from a challenge to a Legal Aid Capital Contribution Order for over £140,000.00.


Housing Law

Jonathan has represented claimants and defendants in a wide range of housing cases and has particular expertise in claims alleging trespass where a valid tenancy or other interest in land is claimed.

Prior to commencing pupillage, Jonathan worked for a number of years as a self-employed Advocate, appearing on a daily basis in the County Courts and High Court predominantly in housing claims where possession orders were sought.

B v K (2019) – successful claim for unlawful eviction securing damages at trial in a case where the Defendant had unlawfully sublet his council property before illegally evicting the terminally ill claimant.

B v L (2018) – advised on prospects of appeal against a discharge of the local authority’s duty to house on the grounds of intentional homelessness.

D v D (2018) – successful claim for possession brought against a trespasser who had overstayed a lodging agreement.



Criminal Bar Association

Family Law Bar Association

Personal Injury Bar Association

Honourable Society of the Inner Temple

South Eastern Circuit


Jonathan is also pupil supervisor and qualified to accept direct access instructions.