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Jonathan Kirk QC
Jonathan Kirk QC

Jonathan Kirk QC specialises in financial services regulation and consumer law. He has particular expertise in acting for companies facing regulatory proceedings, regulated lending and the defence of civil mis-selling claims.

For 22 years he has been the general editor of the main legal textbook on consumer law, ‘The Pink Book’ (Consumer and Trading Standards: Law and Practice published by Lexis Nexis, now in its 10th (2022) edition). He is an author of the textbook Mis-selling Financial Services, published by Edward Elgar Publishing and one of the two general editors of the Encyclopaedia of Financial Services, published by Thomson Reuters.

He is currently ranked as the star individual silk in Chambers & Partners for consumer law and a tier-1 QC in consumer law in the Legal 500.

Jonathan often defends companies when they are investigated by regulators, in particular the Competition and Markets Authority, Financial Conduct Authority, Civil Aviation Authority, Food Standards Agency, the Advertising Standards Authority and trading standards. He also defends businesses facing private civil claims and those claims brought using the ombudsman services. His practice frequently involves bringing or defending judicial review claims.

He has acted for national companies in most UK consumer-facing sectors, including: banking, consumer finance, supermarkets, energy, food produce, technology, motor-trade, online retail platforms, pension administration, ticket-reselling, auctions, estate agents, mobile phone, sportswear, furniture, kitchen installation and other high-street retailers.

He advises NTS (‘National Trading Standards’), the Law Society, the Bar Council and the CTSI (‘Chartered Trading Standards Institute’) on consumer law matters. He advises various Government departments in relation to regulated lending. He was the legal adviser and draftsman for the 2017 CTSI Guidance for traders on pricing practices.

He has been an approved Bar Advocacy Trainer for 16 years and was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2010. In 2017 he was made an honorary member of the CTSI for services to consumer law and practice.

  • CFL Finance Ltd v Bass, Gertner & Others [2021] EWCA Civ 228 | [2021] 4 All E.R. 717 | [2021] 2 WLUK 315 Court of Appeal decision on the application of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 to contractually binding settlement agreements.
  • Competition and Markets Authority v British Airways plc [2021] Defended BA in the CMA investigation concerning Covid 19 refunds for passengers unable to travel because of public health restrictions.
  • Competition and Markets Authority v A National House Builder [2021] defended house builder in the CMA investigation into escalating ground rents for leasehold properties
  • Competition and Markets Authority v An anti-virus software provider [2021] defended a second anti-virus software provider in the CMA investigation into that sector.
  • Regina (on the application of Tesco Stores Limited) v Birmingham Mct, Birmingham CC [2020] EWHC 799 (Admin) | [2021] 1 All E.R. 158 | [2021] 1 All E.R. (Comm) 240 Acted for Tesco in judicial review on the application of EU law deeming provision to food with an expired use by date.
  • Competition and Markets Authority v An anti-virus software provider[2020] defended a company in the CMA investigation into the anti-virus software sector.
  • Competition and Markets Authority v Bijou Weddings Group [2020] Defended wedding venue provider in CMA investigation into cancellation of weddings due to Covid 19 public health restrictions.
  • In the matter of CBD oil, novel foods and the Commission of the European Union [2019] Represented CBD (cannabidiol) oil suppliers and manufacturers before the EU Commission (DG Sante) inquiry on the categorisation of CBD oil as a novel food for the purposes of the EU Novel Foods Regulation.
  • R (Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Ltd) v Financial Ombudsman Service, Charlton and the Financial Conduct Authority [2019 Bus LR 437] Acted on behalf of SIPP administrator in judicial review claim against FOS decision considered to be a test case for financial services sector in relation to the Ombudsman’s right to impose duties on the basis of the FCA’s general Principles for Business (PRIN Sourcebook).
  • In Re Device Performance Litigation: [2018-9 California ND DC] Instructed to act as expert witness on UK consumer law in the US courts by US technology company in relation to a global class action concerning the performance of older models of mobile telephones.
  • CMA v An online dating platform [2018] Defence of online dating platforms in CMA investigation and Part 8 Proceedings brought in relation to alleged misleading practices in the computer dating sector.
  • CMA v An online ticker re-seller [2018]: Defended two online ticket re-sellers during the third phase of the CMA investigation and Part 8 proceedings into misleading pricing and a failure to provide material consumer information.
  • Christian Littlewood v Powys County Council [2018] CTLC 293 Appeal to the Upper Tribunal against a Estate Agency prohibition order made against an estate agent convicted of insider dealing.
  • CMA v An online gaming provider [2018] Defended online gaming business in CMA and Gambling Commission joint investigation, under Part 8 EA 2002, into misleading and unfair practices in the provision of online gambling facilities.
  • ASA v A sports goods retailer [2018] Represented national sports goods retailer in defence of ASA complaints concerning misleading price promotions in advertisements.
  • Mohammed Arif and 175 others v BBSAL Ltd [2017]] EWHC 3108 (Com) Defence of SIPP administrator in group litigation concerning allegedly mis-sold financial products.
  • Civil Aviation Authority v An online package holiday provider [2017] represented package holiday provider in Part 8 CAA investigation concerning alleged misleading advertising practices in the comparative sale of packaged flights and accommodation.
  • ASA v A contact lens manufacturer [2017] acted for complainant business in ASA adjudication on misleading comparative advertising by competitor.
  • BBSAL v Charlton, Brown and Financial Ombudsdman Service [2017] EWHC 2396 (Comm); [2018] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 337; [2017] 10 WLUK 33; [2017] 2 C.L.C. 410; [2018] CTLC 1: Acted for pension administrator in litigation on the application of the Arbitration Act 1996 to the FOS jurisdiction.
  • R (On the application of the Consumers’ Association) v Peterborough CC, Whirlpool [2017] acted for the Primary Authority in judicial review and regulatory product safety enforcement proceedings concerning defective tumble dryers that caused domestic fires.
  • Surrey CC v Zenith Staybrite Ltd and 7 others [2017] represented double glazing manufacturer in criminal enforcement proceedings under CPUTR 2008 in relation to misleading sales practices.
  • R (on the application of Stephanie Hudson) v Liverpool City Council (High Court, QBD, 2016): contempt proceedings against the Council for breaching its undertaking to review its decision to restructure its consumer protection services.
  • R (Kingston upon Hull City Council) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Newcastle City Council and Greggs plc (High Court, Admin, 2016): represented Greggs plc, an interested party, in a judicial review of the endorsement by BIS’ Better Regulation Delivery Office (‘BRDO’) of advice given under the Primary Authority Scheme to Greggs plc, concerning provision of sanitary facilities.
  • Competition and Markets Authority v Various Supermarkets (2016): defended a supermarket in the CMA investigation into the Consumers’ Association (Which?) super-complaint about pricing and promotional practices in the groceries market.
  • Makdessi v Cavendish Square Holdings BV; Beavis v ParkingEye Ltd [2016] AC 1172; [2015] 3 WLR 1373 acted for parking company in appeal to Supreme Court concerning an £85 parking charge; case is now the leading decision on penalty clauses, re-examining the scope of the common law doctrine and the approach to challenges to unfair terms in consumer contracts.
  • Competition and Markets Authority v Seatwave, Viagogo, StubHub! and Get Me In! (2015): defended the Getmein! website in the CMA investigation into the ticket re-selling market.
  • R (Hudson) v Liverpool City Council (High Court, Admin, 2015): acted in judicial review proceedings against Liverpool CC in relation to the claim that it had drastically reduced its trading standards capacity and therefore breached its European and domestic consumer protection responsibilities.
  • Torfaen County Borough Council v Tesco Stores Limited (2015) defended Tesco in allegation of mis-selling of peanuts under the Price Marking Order 2004.
  • British Parking Association v A Private Parking Enforcement Company (2015) defended a private parking company in disciplinary proceedings brought by the British Parking Association in relation to allegations of fraud by parking wardens falsely issuing parking tickets.
  • R (Wren Kitchens Limited) v Advertising Standards Authority (2015): acted for Wren Kitchens Limited in ASA adjudication on price comparisons and in subsequent judicial review proceedings.
  • Av B Ltd (High Court, Ch Div, 2015): represented corporate defendant in a  fraudulent misrepresentation trial concerning land in the Cayman islands.
  • OFGEM v Various Energy Companies (2015): acted for OFGEM in allegations against energy companies under Part 8 EA and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (‘CPUT’).
  • Office of Fair Trading v Carpetright PLC, SCS, Dreams, Furniture Village Limited, Homestyle Operations Limited, Harveys and Bensons for Beds (2014): defended Carpetright PLC in the OFT’s investigation into alleged misleading reference pricing in the furniture retail sector.
  • Hertfordshire County Council and London Borough of Brent v Wendy Fair Markets Limited(High Court, Ch Div, 2014): claim under Part 8 EA 2002 for injunctive relief against market operators concerning consumer law infringements in relation to counterfeit goods.
  • Torfaen CBC v Douglas Willis Ltd [2013] UKSC 59 (Supreme Court): food standards and minimum durability labelling.
  • R v X Limited [2013] EWCA Crim 818 (Court of Appeal): first consideration of the meaning of ‘commercial practice’ under CPUT.
  • Birmingham CC v Tesco Stores Limited (2013): Defended Tesco in allegation of misleading price promotions under CPUTR (strawberries).
  • Cheshire East v Salsa Enterprises Limited and Sean Ellman (2013): defence of company accused of breaching CPUT by selling ‘legal highs’.
  • R v Blake (2013): defence of managing director of finance company prosecuted for breach of financial conduct provisions.
  • OFT v First Step Finance Limited (2013): representation of company in relation to the revocation of its consumer credit licence.
  • House of Cars Ltd v Derby Car and Van Rental (2012): first private prosecution under CPUT.
  • East Riding of Yorks v UK Parking Control Ltd (2012) (CC, HC (QBD) and CofA): first trading standards enforcement of CPUT in private car parking enforcement.
  • R (LOCOG) v Sportsworld Limited, Events International Limited and International Corporate Events Limited (2012): defence of national ticket sales company prosecuted under the provisions of the 2006 Olympic Act.
  • Brighton & Hove CC v Towers Property Developments Ltd (High Court, Ch Div, 2011): first Part 8 EA 2002 and CPUT trading standards enforcement against land banking company.
  • General editor of Consumer and Trading Standards: Law and Practice (‘the Pink Book’), Jordan (7th Edition, 2019)
  • General editor of the Encyclopaedia of Financial Services, published by Thomson Reuters
  • Co-author of Mis-selling Financial Services (Edward Elgar, 2019)
  • General editor of Modern Financial Regulation, Jordan (2013)

“A very strong leader who is highly astute, picks up issues quickly and is technically outstanding. The expert at the Bar on consumer law.” Chambers and Partners, 2022 (Star Individual Silk)

“An outstanding advocate who can distil the most complex of cases to something so straightforward.” Legal 500, 2022 (Tier 1 QC)

“A formidable adversary who knows the business inside out.” “He’s brilliant and a force to be reckoned with.” Chambers and Partners, 2020 (Star Individual Silk)

“Has a wealth of experience in the consumer law field” Legal 500, 2019 (Tier 1 QC)

“Jonathan Kirk QC Regularly defends high-profile corporations against claims of mis-selling and is an expert at advising companies nationwide on their regulatory and enforcement concerns.” (Band 1 Leading Silk, Chambers and Partners 2018)

“He is a real heavyweight. His strategy is phenomenal – he could pick a path through a minefield”. (Band 1 Leading Silk, Chambers and Partners 2018)

“He’s respectful when working with solicitors and very practical with clients; he understands the law and gets the commercial reality.” (Band 1 Leading Silk, Chambers and Partners 2017)

“He’s like a fine wine, and represents a real mark of quality. He’s so accessible, and has a very easy manner which helps.” (Band 1 Leading Silk, Chambers and Partners 2017)

‘A Rolls–Royce silk; exactly who you need on tricky consumer issues.’ (band 1 Leading QC in Consumer law, Legal 500 2016)

“He is truly exceptional.” (Chambers and Partners 2016)

“A consumer law specialist who…  has acted for some of the biggest household names especially within the food industry, and is adept at handling pricing and trading standards investigations.” (Chambers and Partners 2016)

“He is able to give us clear and practical guidance on what we need to do to ensure that we would be in the best possible position to succeed.” (Chambers and Partners 2016)

‘Clearly exceptional in consumer law; he will be any lawyer’s first-choice counsel.’ (Legal 500 2016)

Jonathan Kirk QC is “particularly known for his expertise in food law, pricing issues and Trading Standards investigations. He is commended for his strong advocacy and noted for his superior communication skills when dealing with clients, judges and opponents.” “He gives very pragmatic, commercial advice. He sets out the risks and offers practical solutions.” “Always well prepared and on top of the case.” (Band 1 Silk, Chambers and Partners 2015)

Jonathan Kirk QC is A top–notch, fluent advocate’, ‘Acclaimed for his inventive approach to disputes, and his smooth and convincing in–court performance’, ‘He sees arguments one doesn’t think of’ (Chambers and Partners 2014)

The best silk for high–pressure cases’, and ‘knows his area of law so much better than anyone else in court’ (Legal 500, 2014)

The ‘current silk of the moment in consumer law and the one to use in substantial cases’ (Legal 500, 2013)


Jonathan Kirk QC is a member of the Bar European Group, CTSI (honorary member) and the Food Law Group.


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