‘Many things in life can cause offence — but we get to choose whether to take offence,’ says Golden. It’s an aphorism his clients should remember when going through the downtrodden moments that senior executives aren’t used to. The co-founder of Golden Leaver advises on all areas of employment law, specialising in negotiating contracts and termination packages for leading individuals, particularly in the financial services, telecoms and technology sectors.
He is sought by professional practices and private equity houses for his discretion and expertise, and he frequently acts to settle partnership, boardroom and shareholder disputes. Such sudden loss of control is typically alien — and unsettling, although not for the good employment lawyer, who gets them back on track. ‘They’re perfectly capable of making choices, and once you’ve laid out [their options] for them, they are back in control,’ says Golden.
The Berkeley philosophy graduate has some decidedly colourful career moments, including a meeting with a secretive witness at a railway station — a computer hacker who claimed responsibility for all the damning emails that had been attributed to a client during a period of many years. ‘Jonathan’s advice and support in keeping me mentally strong was critical… [We] forged a unique and genuine relationship,’ says a senior financial services principal. ‘Highly responsive, pragmatic and supportive… His approach was professional and collegiate,’ says another. ‘I get to ask clients questions that are never asked in polite company’, he has told Spear’s previously. ‘It’s never boring.’