An Interview with Jonathan Coad, Senior Media Lawyer at Keystone Law

Posted in Interviews on 6 Dec 2018

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am husband to the wonderful Charlotte, and father to my epic kids Emily (17) and Benjy (15).

I am a member of St Marks Battersea Rise, where I play bass in the worship band, and volunteer for some of the brilliant community work they do there.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in the legal sector?

When I was born in Cambridge my parents lived in Jesus Lane, about 250 yards from Jesus College. My father looked down into my cradle and declared that I was going to study law there and then… which I did 18 years later.

I had originally feared that Cambridge was out of my intellectual depth. When I managed to get there I finally had to accept that I was, by inertia, going to become a lawyer when I achieved a good result in my Part 1 exams.

Tell us about your role.

As a media lawyer it has been my unusual privilege to act for claimants and defendants; which I think has meant I do a better job for both. I also do copyright work and commercial litigation.

I am currently suing a leading high street bank for £30m+. This has been a fascinating exercise in getting to know Noel Edmonds, fighting yet another David-and-Goliath battle – this time with a bank – and having to build a civil fraud case from the ground up with the assistance of the excellent ‘Team Noel’ (as we call ourselves) made up of very committed barristers, enquiry agents and a forensic accountant.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

  1. Helping those who have been wronged by those that are more powerful than them, such as newspapers and banks.
  2. Fighting David-and-Goliath battles.
  3. Righting wrongs and achieving justice.

What’s the most challenging element of your job? / Have you faced any crossroads in your career so far and if so, how did you manage that?

Two powerful newspaper groups (News UK and Associated Newspapers) tried to wreck my career by way of revenge because I had held them to account. That was scary.

I was supported by top experts who believed that I had done nothing to warrant these attacks, and the prayers and support of my wife and church.

So far, what has been your career highlight?

Probably this wonderful work for Noel; a combination of detective work and an epic underdog battle.

Who or what has had the biggest influence on your professional career so far?

My devout Christian faith.

What do you think the emerging skills are which will best equip lawyers for the future?

The key attributes for a lawyer will never change: integrity, moral courage, determination to do your best for your client, a commitment to excellence, and never losing sight of what is right and wrong.

Do you have any advice for new trainees or paralegals beginning a career in law?

Commit yourself to those principles, and stand out as lawyers of the highest standards.

What could you see yourself being or doing if you had not pursued a career in the legal sector?

I am a failed ex-professional musician. I was so successful I am now a lawyer.

What do you do to relax outside the office?

Spend time with my family, play music and volunteer at my church, play jazz, and walk my dog Daisy.


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