Jonathan Jones (civil servant)

Sir Jonathan Guy Jones KCB QC (born 21 May 1962) is a British lawyer, appointed in March 2014 and serving until his resignation on 8 September 2020 as HM Procurator General, Treasury Solicitor and Head of the Government Legal Service, and so the Permanent Secretary of the Government Legal Department (until April 2015, named the Treasury Solicitor's Department).[1][2][3]

Sir Jonathan Jones

Sir Jonathan Jones.jpg
HM Procurator General, Treasury Solicitor and Head of the Government Legal Service
In office
1 March 2014 – 9 November 2020
Attorney GeneralDominic Grieve (2014)
Jeremy Wright (2014-18)
Geoffrey Cox (2018-20)
Suella Braverman (2020)
Preceded bySir Paul Jenkins
Personal details
Born (1962-05-21) 21 May 1962 (age 58)
Alma materLlandovery College, Durham University


Jones attended Llandovery College in Carmarthenshire before attending St Chad's College at Durham University where he read a BA in Law, graduating in 1984 with a 2:2.[1][4] He then was called to the Bar in 1985 and served as a legal advisor to the Motor Agents Association for three years before joining the government in the Office of Fair Trading in 1989. In 1993 Jones transferred to the Treasury Solicitor's Department, briefly into the division working with the Department for Transport, then as Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers from 1994 until 1998. In 1998 Jones became deputy legal advisor to HM Treasury.[1]

In 2002, Jones was promoted to be a director, initially serving as the Legal Director of the Department for Education and Skills, and two years later promoted again to be the Director-General of the Attorney General's Office. In 2009 Jones became the Deputy Treasury Solicitor, and after three years moved to the Home Office as their Director-General for Legal Affairs from 2012 until 2014.[1][2]

In 1 March 2014, Jones was appointed the Treasury Solicitor, replacing Sir Paul Jenkins on his retirement.[5] In April 2015, the Treasury Solicitor's Department was renamed to be the Government Legal Department, and with it, parts of Jones's job title.[3][6] As of 2015, Jones was paid a salary of between £160,000 and £164,999, making him one of the 328 most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time.[7]

In January 2019, Queen Elizabeth II approved Jones's appointment as one of six new Honorary Queen's Counsel.[8]

Jones was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2020 New Year Honours for public service.[9]

On 8 September 2020 it was reported that Jones had resigned in protest against the government's plans to reinterpret the special Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland, through the UK Internal Market Bill, in contravention of international law.[10] A spokesman for the Attorney General's Office confirmed the resignation but refused to comment.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d A & C Black (2015). JONES, Jonathan Guy. Who's Who 2016 (online ed.). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Jonathan Jones". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b "New name for Whitehall legal as it strives to cut overlap". Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Durham University gazette, 1983/84". Durham University. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Jonathan Jones appointed Treasury solicitor". Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Treasury Solicitor's Department to get face lift | Solicitors Journal". Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Senior officials 'high earners' salaries as at 30 September 2015 – Government of the United Kingdom". Government of the United Kingdom. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Lord Chancellor welcomes promotion of new silks". 10 January 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  9. ^ "No. 62866". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 2019. p. N3.
  10. ^ O'Carroll, Lisa (8 September 2020). "Government admits new Brexit bill 'will break international law'". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  11. ^ Elgot, Jessica; Syal, Rajeev (8 September 2020). "UK's top legal civil servant quits over Brexit deal changes". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2020.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Legal Director,
Department for Education and Skills

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Attorney General's Office

Succeeded by
Peter Fish
Preceded by
David Pearson
Deputy Treasury Solicitor
Treasury Solicitor's Department

Preceded by
David Seymour
Director General, Legal
Home Office

Preceded by
Sir Paul Jenkins
HM Procurator General,
Treasury Solicitor and
Head of the Government Legal Service

Permanent Secretary,
Treasury Solicitor's Department

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Chief Executive,
Government Legal Department