Jonathan Cheal

Solicitor, Agriculture Wells

I am an Agricultural Property Solicitor with over 40 years’ experience of advising farmers and landowners on a broad range of legal and property issues.


My specialism is in public rights of way and access to land: guiding clients in the management of existing public access on their land, in the protective steps available to prevent public rights, and in dealing with claims to add new public rights. This is an area of practice rarely encountered in solicitors’ firms.

As well as that specialist work, I also have cases involving private rights of way, easements, and cases involving common land; and have had much experience in agricultural holdings work, town & country planning, and farm conveyancing.  In addition to the above, I had six years practising in Hong Kong, and five years at the CLA’s London office as a legal adviser and lobbyist.

My work has come from all over southern and central England, as well as many cases in Wales.

For two decades the two main legal directories, Chambers UK and The Legal 500, have ranked me in the “Leading Individuals” lists and since 2018, I’ve been named in the Legal 500 “Hall of Fame”.

Set out below are examples of testimonials published by the directories:

“Jonathan Cheal is an asset to any rural company. His knowledge about law and history of the law and the locations he has advised us on is staggering”

“A first-rate, hugely respected, agricultural lawyer of long-standing”

“His knowledge on rights of way is vast and his manner impeccable; you always feel you’re getting the maximum value for money with his time and experience”

“He manages to distil his accrued knowledge into easily understandable advice and guidance; very personable and responsive, he is a trusted confidant.“

Memberships: IPROW (The Institute of Public Rights of Way and Access Management); GLEAM (Green Lanes Environmental Action Movement, of which I am an hon legal adviser); ALA (Agricultural Law Association); CLA (Country Landowners Association) (including ten years as President of the Somerset Branch Committee); The Royal Bath & West of England Society; Prayer Book Society; Royal Society of St George; Royal British Legion; P G Wodehouse Society; entry in Debrett’s People of Today since 2008.

Interests Outside Work: Include classical and choral music; military history; books the author of two published books (under the pen-name Pelham Witherspoon); cricket (including some ‘live’ BBC commentary); leading Matins services in village church; stage experience, appearing in over 40 productions; after-dinner speaking, An inveterate wearer of bow ties.