At the end of July 2020, Jonny was appointed as Director of Service Prosecutions and took up his new role on 2 November 2020. Please read more about this announcement here.
Currently listed by both Chambers and the Legal 500 in the first division of criminal silks, Jonathan has developed an enviable reputation for his courtroom manner and his ability to communicate effectively with judges and juries alike.
During his 13 years as Treasury Counsel at the Old Bailey, he developed a wealth of experience prosecuting some of the most notorious cases of the day including, for example, the ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ scam, the ‘Freddy Krueger’ killer, the murder of Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common, the murder of PC Patrick Dunne, various terrorism cases, cases involving infanticide, gang-related murders, police corruption and misconduct in public office.
Since relinquishing his appointment as Senior Treasury Counsel at the end of 2015, Jonathan has concentrated on using his formidable experience of serious and complex cases to develop his criminal defence practice. With a background in science, he has particular expertise in cases involving DNA evidence and edits a chapter devoted to this topic in the leading text book on sexual offences.
Jonathan is currently instructed for the prosecution and the defence in a wide range of cases featuring allegations of murder, terrorism, white-collar fraud and historic sexual abuse. Many of his cases continue to attract national media attention. Recent cases include Honey Rose, an optometrist charged with gross negligence manslaughter; Stephen Port, the ‘Grindr’ serial killer; Damon Smith, the student who planted an IED on a tube train; Rolf Harris, the entertainer; Darren Osborne, the man who carried out the Finsbury Park terror attack; the rape and murder of 14 year old Viktorija Sokolova; and the murder of Tashan Daniel on the London Underground. In addition, Jonathan has experience of inquests, appearing on behalf of the family of the deceased.
Jonathan was chosen to be one of a panel of three experts who went to China to provide advice to the Supreme People’s Court on the reform of their People’s Assessors System. He is committed to ethnic minority achievement and is a governor of a large secondary school in Southall, West London.
Jonathan accepts Direct Access instructions and is a member of the Private Prosecutors’ Association.
What others say:
“He makes impressive submissions, and juries listen to him very closely.” “Jonathan carefully prepares and knows what he is doing.” – Chambers UK 2022
“Jonathan is one of the best Leading Counsel in criminal litigation. Highly adept in Court, his key strengths are thorough preparation, strategy, and ability to steer the course of proceedings in the most favourable way. He has the respect of courts and prosecutors for his clarity of legal argument where no word is wasted. There is no flannel nor bad points taken. Jonathan has been incredibly effective in my cases achieving outstanding acquittals or otherwise optimising the best outcome.” – Legal 500 UK 2022
“There are few to match Jonny Rees QC: he works incredibly hard, and has great judgement. Being led by him is like being chauffeur driven in a Bentley. A charming jury advocate” – Legal 500 (2021)
“Jonathan has an impressive ability to master voluminous and complicated information and present it in a highly persuasive manner. He is completely unflappable and extremely jury-friendly. Quite simply one of the most impressive jury advocates out there.” – Chambers and Partners (2020)
“ A class act – he commands the court like no other advocate.” – Legal 500 (2020)
Shortlisted for Crime Silk of the Year – Legal 500 (2018)