The leading law directories have described Matthew as “an incredible all rounder. His analysis of the law is spot on and his tactical ability is awesome; he is a master of the trial process”; “intellectually brilliant…his ability to argue cases in a coherent and persuasive way is second to none.” Over many years he has been consistently listed as a top practitioner in his chosen fields.
Matthew’s specialisms cover serious and complex criminal work and its overlap with civil litigation:
• crime (including fraud, terrorism, national security and international crime)
• policing, surveillance, RIPA, abuse of process, search warrants and production orders
• media (including privacy and freedom of expression, both nationally and internationally)
• criminal related judicial review and public law (including IPCC and CCRC)
• human rights
Matthew is experienced in leading teams through every level of litigation from the early stages of pre-charge investigation and trial, through to the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court. He is one of a very small number of advocates who has been instructed in both the European Court of Human Rights and the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He is frequently instructed in cases because they are factually complex and / or involve novel or unusual points of law.
In 2010 he was one of only three barristers recognised in both civil and criminal fields when appointed Queen’s counsel. He has been leading counsel in major fraud and terrorist trials; large civil claims for damages; public law challenges to policing and government powers, financial, regulatory and disciplinary proceedings (including sports tribunals); challenges relating to freedom of expression and political protest.
Matthew’s trial experience in high profile cases has included cross-examining police officers accused of serious misconduct, Al Qaeda supergrasses, MI5 and MI6 operatives, politicians, tabloid editors and journalists, as well as a wide range of scientific, medical, financial and academic experts.
Clients and Cases
Matthew’s clients have ranged from well known cases of individuals or families seeking justice - such as the parents of Stephen Lawrence and the wife and children of Ian Tomlinson - to senior executives and public figures involved in litigation or the subject of investigation. He has represented individuals facing allegations of widespread financial or business misconduct (e.g. by the SFO, FSA, HMRC, BIS, SEC) and those accused of the most serious forms of terrorism and organised crime. Other bodies within the legal profession, including the Bar Council, have sought Matthew’s expertise or asked him to make submissions on their behalf.
His recent clients have included:
• companies and company directors;
• solicitors firms and partners;
• the victims of police misconduct and miscarriages of justice;
• political and environmental activists
• former police officers, senior government officials and political leaders (both nationally and internationally);
• media celebrities and public figures;
• persons required to give evidence before inquiries (including the Leveson Inquiry);
• journalists under obligation to disclose sources;
• NGOs (e.g. Fair Trials Abroad, World Wildlife Fund; Animal Defenders International and a range of environmental groups)
• private individuals
(A list of recent cases is included in Matthew’s CV)
Other activities and appointments
• Recorder of the Crown Court
• Sports disciplinary tribunal chair
• Co-author of “Criminal Justice and Human and Rights” - Emmerson & Ashworth (2nd Ed); Co-author of “Blackstones Guide to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005”
• LLB – Cambridge University; LLM Columbia University, New York (LLM)
• Qualified at both English and New York bar.
Matthew is also co-founder and criminal editor of UKSCBlog and is an independent advisor on the criminal justice policy review being conducted by the shadow Justice Secretary.
Matthew accepts instructions under the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.