Jon Holl-Allen KC

Call 1990 | Silk 2018

Jon Holl-Allen KC | Call 1990 | Silk 2018

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Jon has been a medical lawyer throughout his career at the Bar. In clinical negligence cases he acts for claimants and for defendants on behalf of all the major medical defence organisations and the NHSLA. A substantial part of his practice for the last 15 years has been acting on behalf of the practitioner in professional discipline cases, particularly in the medical and dental fields. He is described in the latest edition of The Legal 500 as “vastly experienced, erudite and articulate.”

Jon is clerked primarily by Lee Johnson, Clare Sabido, Jennifer Pooler and Emma Bell

“Jon is delightful to work with. He is assured, astute and always on top of the issues involved. He conveys authority and can be relied upon to be close to the detail when handling difficult, complex cases.”
Chambers & Partners

Jon acted in General Dental Council v Kirschner

 Experience & Expertise

Jon specialises in clinical negligence and healthcare, professional discipline, inquests and inquiries, police and employment law.

Jon has a complex and high value clinical negligence workload.  On the defence side he has been instructed for 30 years by the major medical and dental defence organisations, by the NHS in Wales, and by the NHSLA since its foundation.  In silk he is regularly instructed in obstetric and other brain injury cases, and undertakes work for NHS Resolution under the Early Notification Scheme.  Throughout his career he has also maintained a substantial practice acting on behalf of claimants, with the majority of his work now being in high value and/or medical complex cases.  Recommended by both the leading directories in his field, he is described in the latest edition of the Legal 500 as “an excellent advocate – thoughtful, measured and unflappable”.

In the professional discipline field Jon’s work is principally in healthcare cases and on behalf of the registrant.  He first appeared before what was then the Professional Conduct Committee of the General Medical Council in 1997, and has been routinely instructed in medical and dental disciplinary cases since that time.  He is the head of chambers’ Professional Discipline and Regulatory Team, and continues in silk to undertake substantial and high profile regulatory cases.  He has represented doctors in internal disciplinary proceedings brought by their employer, often against a background of actual or potential proceedings against them by their regulator.  He is routinely instructed to provide generic advice on regulatory issues of general importance to the profession in question.  In the latest edition of Chambers and Partners he is described as “an excellent leader for complex medical disciplinary cases”.

Jon has appeared in many medical inquests, and is currently instructed to represent the interests of a healthcare body in the Covid-19 Inquiry.  He has a particular and longstanding expertise in the discrete field of police pensions, and has appeared in the Administrative Court and Court of Appeal in cases which have developed and clarified the law in this area.  He has maintained an interest in employment law, especially in cases in which there is both an employment and a professional discipline element, and he has been instructed in discrimination and whistleblowing cases on behalf of police forces.  In silk his practice has developed into the field of public procurement in the healthcare context.

cases & work of note

Kennedy v Frankel [2019] EWHC 106 (QB): clinical negligence claim: consultant neurologist alleged to have provided negligent advice to patient on dopamine agonist medication for suspected Parkinson’s disease who developed symptoms of impulse control disorder.  Jon appeared on behalf of the successful claimant.

GMC v Bramhall [2021] EWHC 2109 (Admin): one of a series of hearings before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal and the courts in which Jon represented a consultant liver transplant surgeon who had marked his initials on patients’ livers during surgery and subsequently pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by battery.

GMC v H [2021] (Medical Practitioners Tribunal): Jon represented a consultant paediatric neurologist alleged to have failed to provide sufficient information to coroner following death of child 20 years earlier: the doctor’s fitness to practise was found not to be impaired.

R (Boskovic) v Chief Constable of Staffordshire [2019] EWCA Civ 676: police pensions case in the Court of Appeal concerning the circumstances in which decisions of the selected medical practitioner or Police Medical Appeal Board should be referred for reconsideration under reg 32(2) of the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006:  Jon appeared on behalf of the successful police pension authority, the CA accepting his submissions as to the nature and purpose of reg 32(2).

R (Goodland and Wright) v Chief Constable of Staffordshire [2020] EWHC 2477 (Admin): Jon represented the police pension authority in litigation arising out of the review of the level of police injury awards under reg 37 of the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006: in joined cases the High Court held that an earlier representation that further reviews would not be carried out did not create a legitimate expectation that an award was guaranteed for life; and further that where pensioners had refused to provide the selected medical practitioner with their medical records the police pension authority itself could proceed with a determination of the case under reg 33.


Jon is recommended by both The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners for clinical negligence and professional discipline and regulatory law.

Recent directory editorial has included the following:

  • his cross-examination is incisive and very effective;
  • absolutely superb;
  • he is totally unflappable under significant pressure from opponents;
  • excellent at getting to the bottom of complex issues;
  • one of the most meticulous barristers you could hope to instruct;
  • his biggest strength is his eye for detail;
  • he has exceptional advocacy and client handling skills;
  • he is incredibly thorough and never misses a thing;   
  • he has a very shrewd mind and advises on novel areas of law with confidence and enthusiasm. He is fantastic with clients, judges and panels;
  • he has an excellent grasp of detail;   
  • vastly experienced, erudite and articulate;   
  • Jonathan is calmness personified and a brilliant advocate;
  • he is very intelligent and meticulous;
  • very user-friendly and sensible;
  • careful, methodical, well prepared and I think a really classy and considered counsel;
  • a thoughtful, steady hand, who instils confidence and has good judgement;    
  • he impresses with his academic grasp of case law;
  • an absolute pleasure to work with;
  • produces penetrating and well-considered commentary;   
  • identifies issues quickly and provides advice in a direct albeit customer-friendly way;
  • an absolutely excellent advocate;
  • he is very measured and very deliberate;
  • he’s extremely experienced, knowledgeable and great with clients;
  • he is extremely methodical and logical;
  • a very good lawyer who is calm and unflappable;
  • clients are reassured by his pragmatic advice;
  • he thinks about every word he’s going to say;
  • has been extremely effective when putting forward a client’s position;    
  • he approaches cases logically, methodically and thoroughly, which means no stone is left unturned;
  • Jon is delightful to work with;
  • a very accomplished barrister and a master of detail;
  • his depth of knowledge in healthcare matters, particularly in professional discipline and regulation, is impressive;
  • he has a calm, sensible, methodical;
  • very professional approach;
  • he is very well prepared on all aspects of his case and advises effectively and comprehensively, quickly gaining the confidence of clients and solicitors alike;
  • he is assured, astute and always on top of the issues involved;
  • he is very good at being robust when he needs to be, but also at pouring oil on troubled waters;   
  • he’s incredibly nice and very thorough; 
  • perfect for guiding clients through the process;   
  • he is calm, collected and totally unflappable; 
  • he has unrivalled expertise at all levels combined with a cost-effective and practical approach;    
  • thoroughly pleasant;
  • very easy to work with;
  • extremely sure-footed;
  • very analytical;
  • straight as an arrow;
  • he pulls no punches and can gains the trust of opponents and decision-makers through his charm;
  • thorough knowledge of the authorities;
  • very knowledgeable and thorough in his approach;
  • he’s also an excellent advocate;
  •  he puts in a lot of hard work – you can trust his advice;    
  •  calm and considered approach;
  •  an excellent advocate;   
  • highly professional, very steady and adept at advising across a range of issues;     
  • readily grasps the issues at stake; 
  • conscientious, fair and even-handed;
  • is a fine courtroom performer who gets good results;
  • his calm and methodical approach lends authority to his advocacy; 
  • his judgment in presenting cases both orally and in writing is excellent;
  • can be relied upon to be close to the detail when handling difficult, complex cases; and
  • his advocacy is truly exceptional.


Jon is a Contributing Editor to the Medical Law Reports. He has reported recently on the following cases:

  • Iddon v Warner [2021] Med LR 384 Fundamental dishonesty – Clinical negligence – Dishonesty in respect of quantum of claim – Successful application by defendant for dismissal of claim on ground of dishonesty.
  • Simawi v GMC MLR 2020 36 [2020] Med LR 487 General Medical Council – Sanction – Suspension for nine months with a review following findings of dishonesty – Whether period of suspension excessive – Whether review direction an appealable decision under Medical Act 1983, section 40.
  • Paul v The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust [2020] EWHC 1415 (QB) [2020] Med LR 267 Clinical negligence – Secondary victims – Nervous shock – Proximity – Relevant event for purposes of establishing liability under control mechanisms – Collapse and death of deceased from heart attack at time and place remote from allegedly causative breach of duty.
  • OX v Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2016] 9 WLUK 315 [2020] Med LR 458 Clinical negligence – Obstetric brain damage – Breach of duty in midwifery care – “Conventional model” of time frames of brain damage preferred to “extended model” in analysis of causation.
  • O’Connor v The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust [2015] EWCA Civ 1244 [2016] Med LR 11 Clinical negligence – Intraoperative damage – Sufficiency of evidence – Res ipsa loquitur – Rhesa Shipping heresy – Permission to adduce expert evidence.
  • Cambridge Uni Hospitals NHS Foundation v BF[2016] EWCOP 26 [2016] Med LR 314 Court of Protection – Mental illness – Capacity – Best interests – Life-sustaining treatment causing infertility.
  • NAT v Sec of State for Health [2016] EWHC 2005 (Admin) [2016] Med LR 487 Judicial review – Allocation of NHS budgetary responsibility – Power to commission preventative treatment – Preventative treatment for HIV/AIDS – National Health Service Act 2006, section 1H(2).
  • Border v Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust [2015] EWCA Civ 8 [2015] Med LR 48 Clinical negligence – Trespass to the person – Consent – Causation – Amendment of statement of case.
  • A v East Kent Hospitals NHS Found. Trust [2015] EWHC 1038 (QB) [2015] Med LR 262 Clinical negligence – Consent – Material risk – Wrongful birth – Chromosomal abnormality – Anonymity order.
  • R (Chaudhuri) v GMC [2015] EWHC 6621 (Admin)[2015] Med LR 440 General Medical Council – Time limits – Jurisdiction – Mistake of fact as to dates of events giving rise to allegation – Power to correct decisions vitiated by fundamental mistakes of fact – General Medical Council Fitness to Practise Rules 2004 (SI 2004 No 2608), rule 4(5).
  • Krebs v NHS Commissioning Board [2013] EWHC 3474 (Admin) [2014] Med LR 70 General dental practitioner – Contract – Contract for the provision of dental services under the NHS – Breach of contract – Termination of contract – Whether private and public law remedies available to dental contractor – Whether article 1 of First Protocol to ECHR engaged by termination of contract.
  • R (Blue Bio) v Secretary of State for Health [2014] EWHC 1679 (Admin) [2014] Med LR 233 Pharmaceuticals – Medicinal products – Food supplements – Meaning of “medicinal product” for the purposes of the Medicines Directive (2001/83/EC) – To what extent products containing glucosamine “medicinal products” for purposes of Directive – Whether MHRA policy in respect of such products unlawful.
  • Chakrabarty v Ipswich Hospitals NHS Trust [2014] EWHC 2735 (QB) [2014] Med LR 379 Employment – Breach of contract – Contractual disciplinary procedures – Capability – Maintaining High Professional Standards in the Modern NHS (“MHPS”) – Relationship between NCAS assessments, GMC Fitness to Practise procedures and internal disciplinary process – Injunctive relief.


When I started in chambers I did the full range of common law work – everything from crime to landlord and tenant, consumer credit to family law.  With hindsight this was an excellent foundation for the specialist work which followed, and I have always tried to retain diversity in my practice, to be adaptable in accepting instructions in areas related, but not necessarily central, to my core areas of practice, and to appreciate the overlap between those areas, such as professional discipline and employment law and the potential implications of one set of proceedings for another.

Not every area of practice provides the same opportunity for advocacy, in particular oral advocacy, but expertise in advocacy is critical in most areas of practice at one time or another, and advocacy is a skill which needs constantly to be practised. I have been heavily involved in professional discipline work for about 20 years and the regular experience of cross-examination of factual and expert witnesses in that field has been invaluable on the occasions on which such questioning has been required in clinical negligence or other trials.

I believe that the experience that I have had in acting for one side to a type of dispute has made me a better advocate when acting for the other.

One of the strengths of an independent advocate is perspective, the experience of having seen disputes from different, and often opposing, angles. A clinical negligence dispute is of the utmost importance to the injured claimant and those who care for him or her, who are likely to have much invested in it emotionally as well as financially; so too is it important to the clinician accused of causing injury by negligent care, whose confidence may be shaken to the core by a single case and who may be devastated by the suffering of the claimant. I believe that the experience that I have had in acting for one side to a type of dispute has made me a better advocate when acting for the other.

I think that the most important attribute of an advocate is clarity. Our job is to listen, analyse, assess, explain and ultimately to persuade, but you can’t persuade if you are not clear.


Jon adopts and adheres to the provisions of his privacy notice which can be accessed here.

further information

For further details of Jon’s practice please click on the links to the left or contact a member of the clerking or client service team.

Bar Council Membership No: 26371
Registered Name: Jonathan Guy Holl-Allen
VAT Registration No: 524424272