Year of Call: 2002
Clerks: James Watson / Lee Fifield
Matthew is a specialist family law practitioner with an interest in all aspects of Children Act work, matrimonial and cohabitee disputes. He has been appointed a Deputy District Judge on the Western Circuit and a Fee-Paid Judge of the First Tier Tribunal (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber).
Matthew is recommended by The Legal 500 2021 reporting that "he is an exceptionally good advocate in court and has a very easy and approachable manner from a client facing perspective which is a valuable skill in this area of legal work."
Previous editions of the The Legal 500 comment that "he is an excellent advocate who instils confidence in clients," who is "knowledgeable on financial remedy cases," “adept in Children Act cases and equally strong in financial remedy matters.” "He is absolutely excellent - a skilled advocate with an acute brain."
Chambers UK 2020 reports that he is a well-regarded advocate focusing on financial remedy proceedings, as well as handling complex private law children issues and cases involving physical abuse. He has gained significant experience in cases that combine civil and family law, such as Inheritance Act matters and cohabitee disputes. He has undertaken advocacy at the highest levels, including High Court and the Court of Appeal. Moreover "Excellent on financial matters."
Previous editions had commented "Matthew has a strong presence in court and takes a targeted and proactive approach to cases. The advice he provides is always focused on the best achievable outcomes for the client" and "he has an excellent manner with clients and is fantastic in court" and that "he is excellent on his feet and gets to grips with cases very quickly," that "he has a wide-ranging practice with an emphasis on financial remedies relating to divorce and cohabitation. He is also highly sought after for childcare work, regularly assisting local authorities with complex care matters," and that he is "very highly regarded for a mix of work.
Matthew is also a qualified family law arbitrator (one of the first in Wales) and has been admitted as a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb). Matthew is able to hear, decide and provide a binding solution for all financial and property disputes arising from marriage, civil partnership and cohabitation as covered by the FLBA and Resolution approved scheme. Click here for more information on family arbitration.
Matthew is a popular choice of Barrister for a variety of local law firms and local authorities. He increasingly handles cases which overlap the family and civil jurisdictions dealing regularly with cases pursuant to the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act, Inheritance Act matters and third party intervener applications in matrimonial finance cases. He is also regularly instructed in serious Children Act cases for local authorities, guardians and parents, and high value matrimonial finance cases where he has a considerable practice in representing high-profile and high net worth clients.
Some of Matthew’s most notable recent cases include:
Re L&F : successfully representing a Grandfather alleged to have sexually abused his grandchildren
Re J&K : successfully representing the Local Authority in a case involving numerous incestuous relationships in the family
H v H : securing the Wife a share in disputed assets in a multi-million pound ancillary relief proceedings
P v P & Ors : successfully representing interveners in removing their assets from the matrimonial pot following a full contested hearing in a ‘big-money’ ancillary relief case
Re W : Securing a Shared Residence Order for a father following a bitterly contested 10 day private law dispute
Matthew is a highly dedicated and committed lawyer who studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and the Inns of Court School of Law, Gray’s Inn. Before joining 9 Park Place Chambers in 2002, he worked as a research assistant at the House of Lords and as an intern in the House of Representatives, Capitol Hill, Washington DC. He is a member of the Family Law Bar Association. Matthew is Secretary to the Chambers Pupillage and Tenancy Committee.