Professor Jonathan Harris QC (Hon)
Call: 2006 Silk: 2016
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Wills, Trusts & Probate Profile

Professor Jonathan Harris QC (Hon.) practises in all core areas of commercial and chancery litigation. He has a pre-eminent reputation in the field of private international law and specialises in cross-border disputes (particularly disputes raising issues of jurisdiction, arbitration, anti-suit injunctions, recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and choice of law- both under the European legislation and the common law rules). He also specialises in offshore litigation. He has also drafted firewall and asset protection legislation for a number of offshore jurisdictions.

Jonathan was instructed as junior counsel for the successful appellant in the Privy Council in Hutcheson v Spread Trustees, a case concerning trustee exemption clauses in Guernsey.

He was also instructed as a junior counsel for the successful respondent in the landmark Supreme Court case of Granatino v Radmacher on pre-nuptial agreements.

He has been instructed in landmark offshore cases including Charman v Charman and Mubarak v Mubarak.

Jonathan is joint general editor (with Lord Collins of Mapesbury) of the leading work Dicey, Morris and Collins, The Conflict of Laws (and is also responsible for eleven chapters). He is author of The Hague Trusts Convention and co-author of International Sale of Goods in the Conflict of Laws. He has also contributed to two editions of Underhill and Hayton, Law of Trusts and Trustees and to Benjamin’s Sale of Goods (8th edition). He is co-editor of the Journal of Private International Law and an editorial board member of Trusts and Trustees. He is a member of STEP and honorary member of ACTAPS.

He also holds the position of Professor of International Commercial Law at King’s College, London on a part-time basis; and has been Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore and Visiting Professorial Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Australia.


  • What-the-Directories-Say

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      • "He is a brilliant tactician and is particularly good at analysing problems that relate to complex cross-border issues. He is a leading authority on international conflicts of law work." - Chambers & Partners 2016
      • "Absolutely fabulous; he is terribly intelligent." - Chambers & Partners 2016
      • "Brings invaluable experience to complex trust cases, especially where there are jurisdiction and conflict of law issues." - Legal 500 2015

  • Recent-Experience

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      • Instructed extensively in high value commercial cases, especially where a private international law element is involved.
      • Instructed in numerous international trusts matters in England, Bermuda and Jersey. Has also been instructed in several large-scale ancillary relief cases.
      • Currently acting in a major cross-border insurance dispute.

  • Reported-Cases

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      • Hutcheson v Spread Trustees [2011] UKPC 13 - instructed as junior counsel in the Privy Council on behalf of the successful appellant in a landmark case on trustee exemption clauses in Guernsey and the sources of Guernsey law.
      • Granatino v Radmacher, [2010] UKSC 42. Appeared as a junior counsel on behalf of the respondent in a landmark case heard by nine judges in the Supreme Court. The appeal concerned the weight to be given to a pre-nuptial agreement in ancillary relief proceedings. The appeal was dismissed.
      • Masri v CCIC & Ors (2011 - Commercial Court) - conspiracy claim.
      • Masri v CCIC & Ors (2011 - Commercial Court) - civil contempt of court claim in the Commercial Court.
      • OJSC Oil Co Yugraneft (In Liquidation) v Abramovich & Others [2008] EWHC 2613 (Comm). Involved in successful application for reverse summary judgment.
      • General Motors Corporation v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance [2007] EWHC 2206 (Comm). Instructed in successful application for anti-suit injunction.
      • Sibir Energy Plc v Roman Abramovich & Others (Court Of Appeal, Eastern Caribbean, 2006). Provided advice to defendants on choice of law issues in successful defence of the claim.
      • Re Parmalat Securities Litigation;
      • Re Scor Holding (Switzerland) AG Securities Litigation;
      • Re Alstom SA Securities Litigation.

  • Specialist-Areas

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  • Publications

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      • Dicey, Morris and Collins on the Conflict of Laws. Responsible for eight chapters in the 14th edition (2006) and 15th edition (2012), along with annual supplements.
      • One of the editors of Benjamin's Sale of Goods (8th edition, 2010) and author of Part Eight of the book.
      • Contributor of Conflict of Laws section of Underhill and Hayton, Law Relating to Trusts and Trustees (16th edition, 2003) and 17th edition (2006).
      • The Hague Trusts Convention (2002) - (author).
      • International Sale of Goods in the Conflict of Laws (2005) - (co-authored).
      • Contributor to International Trust Laws.
      • Author of a very substantial number of articles and book chapters in areas of private international law and trusts law.
      • Co-editor and co-founder of the Journal of Private International Law.
      • Editorial board member, Trusts and Trustees.

  • Qualifications-and-Appointments

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      • Professor of International Commercial Law, King's College, London
      • M.A., B.C.L. (Jesus College, Oxford)
      • Ph.D. (University of Birmingham
      • Currently acting as the legal advisor to the Ministry of Justice on the proposed EU Regulation on Cross-Border Succession and Wills