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Jonathan Eley

Work 020 3375 7275
Farrer & Co

Work Department



Jonathan advises employers and senior executives on the full range of legal issues connected with employment, including large-scale redundancies, TUPE, team moves, contract changes and employment litigation. His employer clients include media organisations, charities (including schools), NDPBs, galleries and museums and professional firms (including other law firms, accountancy practices and barristers chambers).


Jonathan spent three years teaching at a leading independent school before joining Farrer & Co in 1999 as a trainee solicitor. He qualified in 2001 and became a partner in 2008.


Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge.

London: Human resources

Employment: employers and senior executives

Within: Employment: employers and senior executives

As 'one of the top names in the market for senior executive work', Farrer & Co is notably active in the financial services sector and benefits from the 'excellent reputations' of group head David Smellie and William Dawson; the team recently advised on the appointments and departures of senior executives and directors for a wide range of businesses including HSBC, Tesco and Deutsche Bank. On the employer side, recent mandates include David Hunt defending the British Airline Pilots' Association in the High Court against Thomas Cook Airlines' application for an injunction to stop strike action by its pilots, Kathleen Heycock advising Natura Cosmeticos on the employment components of its acquisition of The Body Shop from L'Oréal, and assisting several international schools with implementing safer working practices for teaching and non-teaching staff. Other key individuals include Rachel Lewis, Eleanor Rowswell, Katie Lancaster, Jonathan Eley and senior associate Serena Nicholls.

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London: Public sector

Education: schools

Within: Education: schools

'Market-leader' Farrer & Co 'provides excellent value for money, legal acumen and sector knowledge'. Practice head Sam MacDonald is highlighted for his 'excellent, pragmatic advice' and is noted for his blend of charities and education expertise. David Smellie has 'unrivalled knowledge of safeguarding' and is also a key name for contentious employment matters. Head of the schools practice Jonathan Eley's work ranges from child protection and special needs matters to disciplinary and exam administration cases. Paul Jones advises independent schools on a range of commercial matters including international joint ventures. The team is advising a number of boarding schools on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and in other work, a multi-disciplinary team assisted King's College School in Wimbledon with the sale of the business and assets of pre-preparatory The Rowans School to Shrewsbury House School.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Media and entertainment (including media finance)

Within: Media and entertainment (including media finance)

Farrer & Co¬†delivers a ‚Äėhigh-quality service, with excellent turnaround times and good insight‚Äô. The team stands out for its ‚Äėstrong‚Äô publishing practice and acts for a range of international broadcast production and rights companies; music estates and leading news generators and syndication houses; and radio, film, culture and sports clients. Department head Paul Jones¬†advised the British Library on digitisation projects relating to its online newspaper archive. Jones and Henry Sainty¬†advise Bauer Media on a range of matters including on infrastructure contracts supporting its print and digital supply chains. Peter Wienand¬†advises The Economist Group on a range of IP, commercial and reputation management matters. Sainty and Richard Lane, who leads on media sector M&A matters, act for Sage Publishing Group on a range of issues such as GDPR, and also advised on its acquisition of Wichtig International from its shareholders. Employment partner Jonathan Eley¬†and Sainty regularly advise Telegraph Media Group. Associates Owen O‚ÄôRorke¬†and Alan Baker¬†are also key members of the group, as is litigator¬†Ian De Freitas, who joined in 2017 from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP. Michael Patrick has left the firm for an in-house role.

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