Getting to know… Jonathan Payne

With a passion for cricket, you’ll want our senior partner and corporate and commercial lawyer Jonathan Payne batting for you. He has real Animal Magic!


What do you do?

As a corporate and commercial lawyer, I specialise in mergers and acquisitions – handling some complex and high-value contracts… and actually anything that nobody else fancies doing! For the past 12 years, I’ve been the firm’s senior partner, representing other partners and providing support to the Managing Partner Simon Holdsworth and the management board.

Why did you decide to become a lawyer?

My first job after leaving school was at the Inland Revenue. I worked there for two years and hated every single moment of it! I can’t remember when my head was turned by law, but I knew I needed something else to do - so I took a law degree. After a year at Chester College of Law, I joined Townsends in Swindon in 1989, and I’ve been part of the Thrings family ever since.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I probably spend 40 weekends a year in sports halls around the UK and Europe. My son, Ed, is the number one ranked fencer in the country in the u17 (Cadet) division, so I happily fulfil my role as proud dad, taxi driver and chief cheerleader (I shout a lot).

As for the remaining 12 weekends, I enjoy gardening and cooking with my daughter, Katie – she does a mean banoffee pie!

Tell us one random fact about yourself.

I once acted for BBC children's television presenter, Johnny Morris. I’m showing my age now – but he used to present the iconic ‘Animal Magic’, a programme fondly remembered for animals using human voices. One afternoon we were in his kitchen discussing his business affairs when his silver tabby cat jumped up onto the table. For the next 45 minutes Johnny, ever the consummate professional, proceeded to give me his legal instructions through his cat (using his best and funniest cat voice). Hilarious and definitely one of the high points of my career.

What is the best place you have ever travelled to and why?

Mauritius. We first went there when the children were under the age of 10. The Mauritians are very family-orientated people, and they love kids. We were therefore always able to find willing childminders to look after Katie and Ed…which they did for almost the entire time we were there. I also gained my PADI diving qualification in Mauritius. The coral reefs are sublime, the water is a beautiful temperature and there are so many different types of tropical fish, rays, turtles and sharks to feast your eyes on.

If you could go back in history for one day, when would it be and why?

One of my great passions in life is cricket. I’ve followed England through thick and thin, but the one match that stands out above all others is the third Test between England and Australia at Headingley in 1981. The game is best remembered for the contributions made by Ian Botham (6 for 95 and 149 not out) and Bob Willis (8 for 43). The Aussies only needed 130 to win, but thanks to Willis, they were skittled out for just 111. It was thrilling stuff.

Describe yourself in three words.

Passionate about Thrings


Find out more about Jonathan Payne and his professional experience on his profile here - or email

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