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Jonathan Polnay

'A masterful advocate; he makes winning look easy.’Legal 500 2021

Call 2000

Practice Profile

Jonathan is a specialist criminal and appellate advocate with a wide experience of serious and complex cases, often involving complex financial organised crime. He is regularly instructed by Complex Casework Units and Headquarters Divisions as well as corporations and individuals. Jonathan is ranked as a leading junior in Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide 2018 (Band 1) and the Legal 500. Jonathan was appointed Junior Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court by the Attorney General in November 2017. 

He is particularly experienced in dealing with the issues arising out of cases that involve intelligence-led policing and RIPA-regulated activity and is often instructed pre-charge to advise law enforcement agencies as well as a leading junior at trial, often against silks. Jonathan has a wealth of experience in dealing with financial crime, corruption, direct and indirect taxation and money laundering as well as restraint and confiscation.

Having previously worked in the computer industry, Jonathan is particularly at ease when conducting cases involving the internet, computer, electronic or mobile phone evidence. He has developed a particular specialism in cases with a cyber angle, including corporate blackmail. Jonathan has lectured on the GDPR.

Jonathan accepts instructions from all specialist divisions of the Crown Prosecution Service, Solicitors and when appropriate Direct Professional Access "DPA". Instructions in privately funded matters are accepted subject to The (New) Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Authorized Persons 2012. Jonathan's Privacy Notice can be downloaded here.

Reported Cases:

  • McIntyre [2020] 4 WLR 144 – Sentencing powers of Court-Martial on an elected trial
  • Riley [2019] EWCA Crim 816 – Role of the Attorney General as guardian of the public interest
  • Zaheer [2019] 1 Cr App R (S) 14 – Appropriate level of adjustment in sentence for attempts
  • James [2018] 1 WLR 2749 – Special Court convened to consider procedure on renewed applications to appeal
  • Thompson [2018] 1 WLR 4429 – 5-Judge Court of Appeal considered extended sentence provision
  • Muss [2018] 1 Cr App R S 17 – Level of sentence for large-scale DDoS attacks
  • Bala [2017] MHLR 375 – Historic manslaughter appeal
  • Dorling [2016] EWCA Crim 1750 – CCRC reference on murder conviction 
  • Barre [2016] Crim LR 768 – When manslaughter should be left as an alternative to murder 
  • Hamilton [2016] 2 Cr App R S – Approach to be taken to drug smuggling in prison
  • Bhatti [2016] 1 Cr App R 1 – Special procedure warrants in relation to credit reference 
  • Henry [2015] 2 Cr App R 1 – Double jeopardy trial, definition of ‘new’ evidence 
  • Patel [2013] Med LR 507 – Actus reus in offence of ill-treatment of mental patients
  • King [2012]  EWCA Crim 805 – Covert surveillance involving breaches of PACE 
  • A, B, C, D [2011] 2 WLR 647 – Parasitic accessory liability, pre-Jogee 
  • Jordan  [2009] EWCA Crim 953 - Single act propensity/coincidence in bad character


Essex lorry deaths sentencing begins

8 January 2021

Jonathan Polnay opens the prosecution case at the start of the sentencing... Read More

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