Matthew’s has a strong private client practice and is instructed in cases involving children’s welfare and the division of married and unmarried couples’ property after separation. Matthew has a unique background in professional rugby union and is instructed to represent players from a wide range of sporting backgrounds before disciplinary panels and in other regulatory environments. He also accepts instructions in cases concerning the welfare and finances of adults who cannot make decisions for themselves.
He has appeared at all levels including the Court of Appeal without Queen’s Counsel and the High Court. He appears against senior family barristers and has appeared against Queen’s Counsel without being led himself. Matthew is very familiar with making urgent out-of-hours applications to the High Court for professional and non-professional clients.
Matthew advises and represents clients in all these cases without them needing a solicitor.
Matrimonial Finance and Divorce
Matthew has a very busy practice representing husbands and wives in proceedings to divide their assets after separation, including in negotiations, in mediations and multi-day final hearings. Matthew has a particular interest in the forensic nature of this work. He acts in cases of alleged fraud and those involving third party or trust issues. His experience includes successfully arguing for the non-recognition of nuptial agreements and resisting extensive findings of fraud and asset dissipation in multi-day hearings. He advises foreign domiciled clients on the settlement of their financial disputes in England and recently appeared in the High Court for a German national, successfully securing her permission to apply for a financial remedy in this country.
He can provide his advice on the prospects of success in writing and is available to meet with clients by video facilitates where that is preferred.
Matthew is an expert in advising unmarried couples on the division of their property when they separate and assisting them in making or responding to civil claims. He also advises couples on living together, including the preparation of cohabitation agreements to decide how property should be divided if they separate in the future.
Matthew has expertise in high conflict cases between parents, especially those involving extreme hostility from one parent towards the other where the Court contemplates changing where children live. He regularly acts for mothers and fathers in fact finding hearings. His experience includes sensitive cross-examination of children. Matthew also receives instructions to represent children in these complex cases.
He enjoys cases with international dimensions where one parent wishes to relocate a child to another country and has extensive experience of such applications from relatively local relocations within the European Union to jurisdictions further afield, such as New Zealand.
Sports Law Specialist
Matthew combines his work as a barrister and his experience at the top end of professional rugby union as an Aviva Premiership referee to provide a full range sports disciplinary and regulatory sports law service. He can be instructed to advise and represent players across a range of sports and a range of experience, from renowned professional sportspeople to amateur athletes, in local and national hearings or arbitrations, with an obvious strength in rugby union. He is very aware of the significant time pressures in these cases and players and clubs can instruct him at short notice without needing a solicitor.
He has a keen understanding of the needs of professional sports men and women experiencing separation and is often instructed to represent them in their family proceedings.
Expertise in Other Areas
Matthew receives instructions in welfare cases as well as finance cases in the Court of Protection. His practice in forced marriage protection has included representing local authorities in the High Court and advising on cross-jurisdiction issues involving the Court of Protection.
- Family Law Bar Association
‘Shared Parenting: Keeping welfare paramount by learning from mistakes’  Fam Law 448
‘How has the UK’s approach to terrorism since 2001 impacted on fair trial rights?’  1 GISLJ 77
2009 Bachelor of Laws, LLB (Hons) – University of Bristol
2010 BVC, ‘Very Competent’ – University of the West of England
2010 Cynthia Terry Scholarship, Gray’s Inn
2010 Called to the Bar (Gray’s)
Matthew is a member of England Rugby’s Professional Match Officials Team. When not in Court he can often be spotted officiating on live television. He referees in the Aviva Premiership and Greene King IPA Championship. He has officiated at the very highest levels of European Cup rugby, one of his most memorable occasions being Connacht’s dramatic and historic win over Toulouse in the European Champions Cup. Amongst his officiating highlights are his involvement in Rugby World Cup 2015 and his overseas trips including to; Japan, South Africa, USA, Malaysia and the Dubai 7s.
An expert in all areas of Family Law and a Sports Law specialist, with a unique background in elite rugby union.