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Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

APIL President - Jonathan Wheeler

The staff report to an executive committee of elected APIL members, which is led by a team of officers comprising the president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer. Executive committee members work on a voluntary basis, tirelessly striving to achieve APIL’s objectives for the benefit of injured people.

Jonathan Wheeler


Role: President


Further details for Jonathan Wheeler are displayed below.

Jonathan qualified in Liverpool in 1993, cutting his teeth on a caseload of tripping claims against the local council. He joined Bolt Burdon Kemp five years later, becoming a partner in 2003. Formerly head of personal injury claims, he now leads the firm’s dedicated child abuse compensation team.

In 2006, Jonathan was named one of the ‘Hot 100’ lawyers of the year by The Lawyer magazine, recognising his campaigning work for survivors of child abuse.

A PI panel member and an APIL fellow, Jonathan was elected to APIL’s executive committee in 2008, following a stint as the co-ordinator of the Child Abuse SIG. He is now Vice-President of the organisation, and will become President at the 2015 annual conference.   He is also the treasurer of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers, a JPIL editorial board member, a Law Society Council member, and some-time story-line consultant for a well known BBC soap.

Reported cases include:

Y v Wandsworth London Borough Council [2006] All ER (D) 203 (Apr) – established
the vicarious liability of a local education authority in relation to a teacher abusing a
pupil off school premises and out of school time (Court of Appeal).

A v Hoare & related appeals [2008] 1 AC 844 – landmark case on limitation time
periods for child abuse claims (House of Lords).

Pierce v Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council [2009] 1 FLR 1189 – first case
where damages were awarded for the failure to retain a child in care by a local
authority (Court of Appeal).

BJM v Eyre & others [2010] All ER (D) 139 (Nov) – substantial damages awarded in
a case where a child was abducted and sold into prostitution (High Court, Leeds).

Telephone: 020 7288 4837

The elected president is required to:

- preside over EC meetings of the association
- preside at APIL annual conferences
- preside at annual meetings with SIG/regional group co-ordinators and secretaries

(in the event of the president being unable to attend any of the above meetings, the vice-president shall preside)

- act as a leading spokesperson in the media
- host an annual dinner
- attend meetings with MP’s, government officials and other key contacts
- write a president’s page for the APIL newsletter - 6 issues per year
- attend officers sub-committee meetings (4 times per year)
- in the event of an equality of votes at EC meetings, AGM, conferences and EC meetings with co-ordinators and secretaries, the president shall have the casting vote
- act as ambassador for APIL with other organisations, where appropriate, in liaison with the Chief Executive.

Shareholdings: Director – Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL)

Consultancies: None

Other organisations: Amnesty Intenational, Stonewall

  1. APIL members may stand for election for the following:
    - Executive Committee
    - Special Interest Group Co-ordinators
    - Special Interest Group Secretaries
    - Regional Group Co-ordinators
    - Regional Group Secretaries
  2. Nominations shall be put forward to the APIL office at the appropriate time on the required form.

    Nominations must be made on APIL’s prescribed nomination form, obtained from Tanya Benjamin-Edwards, PA to Chief Executive, at the APIL office – Tel 0115 958 0585 or by email at:
  3. An APIL member becomes a registered candidate once their completed nomination form is received in the APIL offices.
  4. Candidates will be asked to submit to the APIL office a biography not exceeding 300 words, together with a photograph (headshot), in support of their candidature.
  5. The details of all candidates in any of the respective elections will be circulated together with voting options/instructions, by the APIL office or in the case of Additional Officers to the Executive Committee, by the Electoral Reform Service, to either the full membership (for EC elections) or to the relevant membership sections (for SIG and Regional Group elections).

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