Details of practice

Jonathan Ashley-Norman is a specialist in law enforcement in a corporate setting, defending, prosecuting and advising those ensnared in the complexities of business crime. He has advised and defended people from all walks of corporate life and all manner of businesses, from oil traders to corporate raiders, from mobile phones to mobile homes, from rural industrial waste to city centre Compulsory Purchase Orders. He is Standing Counsel to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and a member of the Attorney General’s A List of Prosecutors, and consequently is instructed to prosecute in the most serious of cases.

He brings vast business and commercial experience to his criminal and regulatory practice, both defending and prosecuting. He has acted for the OFT in competition and consumer credit related matters, and advised those under investigation by the OFT in respect of alleged cartels in the motor and drugs industries. He has defended in joint MHRA and Customs prosecutions in respect of counterfeit Viagra, and prosecuted for both agencies as well. He has acted for nationwide companies following deaths in industrial accidents, and prosecuted companies of similar size on the instructions of the Health and Safety Executive. He has defended businesses charged with over quota fishing, and advised on the prosecution of fishing businesses for levy evasion. He understands Anti Dumping Duty, MTIC fraud and commercial reality. He has an extensive off shore practice, in particular on matters concerning the Isle of Man, and is familiar with off shore structures, resulting trusts and securing or tearing aside the corporate veil.

His criminal work leads him to other tribunals. Recently he has appeared in the High Court, the Lands Tribunal, the Employment Tribunal and the VAT tribunal. He has acted and advised in various insolvency proceedings and Company Director Disqualification proceedings.

He has extensive experience of confiscation work, both defending and prosecuting, including successfully resisting the repatriation of offshore funds, and the protection of the interests of third parties.

Directory recommendations

“Absolutely top-class – he’s very sharp indeed and really quick to pick things up.” Chambers UK 2016: Financial Crime

“He is knowledgeable, helpful and a good advocate.”  Chambers UK 2016: Health and Safety

Has a wealth of confiscation experience and particular expertise when it comes to asset forfeiture involved in regulatory and fraud investigations. “Prepares things very well and is very good tactically.”  Chambers UK 2016: POCAT

A bold and tenacious advocate.The Legal 500 2015: Fraud

Very bright and understanding.’ The Legal 500 2015: Health and Safety

‘He is one of the most tactically astute barristers around.’ ‘He is hugely committed and open to ideas and different approaches. ‘He has good leadership skills and takes a decisive approach to the case.’ Chambers UK 2015: Financial Crime

‘He displays a great attention to detail. He pitches cases just right and doesn’t overcomplicate them.’ Chambers UK 2015: Health & Safety

‘Excellent on his feet, hard-working and quick to respond. A silk in the making.’ ‘He’s very polite and very eloquent, and gets his point across very well.’ Chambers UK 2015: POCA

‘A go-to counsel when dealing with more obscure or arcane legal points.’ The Legal 500 2014: Fraud

‘Highly skilled at summarising complex technical matters.’ The Legal 500 2014: Health & Safety

“Praised for his decisive and incisive approach as well as his intelligent and erudite advocacy, he is a popular choice for both defending and prosecuting complex fraud cases.”  “A class act.  He’s a very good fraud barrister who is measured and meticulous.”
Chambers UK 2014:  Fraud

“A barrister with a strong pedigree who advises on a wide range of health and safety matters, including rail regulatory work.”  “A very thorough advocate, he is knowledgeable and a great team player.”
Chambers UK 2014:  Health & Safety

“I couldn’t distinguish between his strength on paper and as an advocate.  He’s top tier when it comes to both of them.” 
Chambers UK 2014:  POCA

‘an impressive advocate, who is able to think on his feet, and deal with the most challenging of tribunals’.  The Legal 500 2013:  Fraud

The “very impressive” Jonathan Ashley-Norman appears on behalf of both the defence and the prosecution.  This “excellent advocate” has recently been providing advice to clients in the motor and drugs industries facing cartel investigations, and has been defending a senior Post Office executive charged with fraud against the Post Office.  Chambers UK 2013:  Fraud

One barrister said that Jonathan Ashley-Norman, “a persuasive court advocate with a good brain,” is “very good with factually complicated cases.  He is very effective, a man who is able to assemble a mountain of facts into something that is highly attractive.”  As a prosecutor he represented the Office of Rail Regulation in ORR v Network Rail Infrastructure Limited, a case involving deaths on the railway.  His defence clients include a major public school being investigated by the HSE following the death of a pupil.
Chambers UK 2013:  Health & Safety

‘well respected’.   The Legal 500 2012:  Fraud

“argues on his feet as strongly as he does on the page”.
The Legal 500 2011:  Fraud

Jonathan Ashley-Norman is “a very eloquent and skilled advocate” according to commentators.  He is “extremely diligent” and admired for his smooth handling of fraught negotiations, his capacity to digest massive amounts of information in rapid time, and his “tenacious and hard-working approach”. “a very popular advocate.”
Chambers UK 2011:  Fraud

“A very capable advocate’ who is particularly effective on complex inquests”.
Chambers UK 2011:  Health & Safety

Education/professional qualifications

Exeter University

LLB, Bar finals


Standing Counsel to Department of Business Innovation and Skills
‘A’ List of the Attorney General’s Unified List of Prosecuting Advocates
Recorder of the Crown Court 2010 and sits regularly
SFO List of Counsel (A panel) 2013
SFO PoCA List (A Panel) 2013
Queen’s Counsel 2016

Other information

Member of:

Criminal Bar Association
Health and Safety Lawyers Association
Licensed advocate (for particular purposes) on Isle of Man
Regularly writes and lectures on diverse criminal law topics, especially concerning fraud, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and the Proceeds of Crime Act

Direct access

Jonathan Ashley-Norman is qualified to accept instructions direct from clients under the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme. This means that members of the public who seek specialist advice can come direct to him. In addition, he welcomes instructions from solicitors, in-house law departments, qualified foreign lawyers, and clients licensed by the Bar Council to give instructions direct to barristers under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme.  Jonathan frequently undertakes direct access work.

For further information please contact our Clerks.