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Fee Earner Q&A with Jonathan Berkson

Jonathan Berkson, (pictured) joined Bermans in June 2013 and is a Senior Partner in our Asset Based Lending and Litigation teams. We spoke to him to learn more about him and his work.

  1. Can you give us a brief summary of your career so far?

My career started at a high street practice but after 3 years there (1991), I moved to Hill Dickinson to specialise in acting for business clients.

I joined Bermans in 2013 to allow me to focus on client care.

2. What area of the law do you specialise in and why?

Having gained a wide range of experience from the high street, I focused on commercial law. I specialise in contract law covering many sectors, but I have a niche in finance and general litigation, dispute resolution and recoveries.

3. Is there a case or a particular piece of work you were proud to be involved with, if so why?

I have been lucky enough to have enjoyed many important and ground-breaking litigation cases but to choose one to stand out, I choose Jivraj v Hashwani (2011 UKSC 40). This is an international arbitration case where I represented the winning party (for whom I acted on a Conditional Fee Agreement and so, got paid). The case ended up being litigated before the Supreme Court in England (having been decided in the High Court and Court of Appeal prior). Having attended the hearing in the newly renovated Supreme Court on Parliament Square, London, I was able to be one of the first to watch live on TV the Supreme Court handing down its judgment. The benefit of this was that we could celebrate the result there and then without being held in contempt of court.

4. Away from the law what are your interests and passions?

I have a passion for playing golf and am fortunate enough to be a member of the Royal Liverpool Golf Club and the International Captain of the Liverpool Law Golf Society. Given golf is my passion, one would expect me to have a lower handicap than 19.6 which I currently play off. I need to now knuckle down and put time in to work on that.

Bullet Round

Sports & Teams Supported:

Royal Liverpool Golf and Snooker teams, European Ryder cup team, England and Liverpool football teams and England Rugby and Cricket teams.

Films (Top 3):

Inglorious Basterds for its surprise ending, Saving Private Ryan, what great action scenes and the Big Lebowski (just so cool).

Music (3 tracks/albums to take on Desert Island):

I am not musical – you can ask anyone who has heard my karaoke to confirm that and have radio 4 on in the car but if pushed my 3 songs would be: “Wish you were here” (Pink Floyd) – you can get lost in the music of that tune, Californication (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) and Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen).


The Office (US) – just so funny, well written with real characters, Modern Family as great family viewing and House of Cards (US) (shame about the last series) – I do love a political drama.

Meal: This is my favourite hobby and whilst I eat practically everything I love fresh, simple food best (no fast food please!) My favourite meal is oysters (following a visit to Ile De Re- 5 Euro for 6 Oysters and a glass of Chardonnay) , Lobster with fries (simple but excellent) – best served in Cornwall or the northern USA and New York cheesecake – this speaks for itself and served best in Lindy’s New York.

Holiday destination:  Italy (Rome and Positano) where Maria and I honeymooned and returned on our 25th wedding anniversary.

Favourite book: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari – an easy read of the story of life and The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal which is just a fascinating true tale depicting 20th century history

3 people for a dinner party and why?

  • Barak Obama – he has a common sense, world view
  • Nigella Lawson – Food and fun
  • Jack Whitehall – comedy – Fresh meat and Travel with My Father were brilliant – I have seen him live twice and he is simply brilliant. As a boarding school graduate I am sure he will be well trained for dinner conversation..

To get in touch with Jonathan


w: Jonathan Berkson web profile

t: 0151 224 0523