Jonathan is a very experienced local government lawyer and former senior public sector manager. He trained as a solicitor in Manchester, London and Brussels and in 1991 he joined Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council undertaking prosecutions, social services, corporate and regeneration legal work. In 1993 he moved to Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council as firstly a senior solicitor then a principal legal officer. Initially he undertook planning and corporate work, before managing a litigation and social services legal team under a compulsory competitive tendered contract. He was seconded to the Council's Internal Inquiry team investigating serious corruption and misconduct amongst senior staff and councillors.
In 1999, Jonathan became Secretary and Solicitor to Derbyshire Dales District Council and its monitoring officer. He was appointed an acting chief officer for much of his time with the council. In 2000, he moved to Lincolnshire, becoming a Deputy Clerk and Monitoring Officer, then Clerk to Lincolnshire Police Authority and then in 2004, he left the Police Authority to set up his own firm in Louth called Jonathan Goolden Solicitors. On 1st April 2010, his firm merged with Wilkin Chapman LLP and he is currently based at the firm's main office in Grimsby.
He was a member of the core drafting team for INLOGOV working on the modular constitutions project for English local government and has lectured widely on governance and ethical standards issues.
He is a member of the Council of Law Society, a member of the appeal panel of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and an independent member of Humberside Police Authority's Standards Committee.
Jonathan is a fully qualified civil mediator.