Specialises in public and administrative law cases with civil liberties and human rights crossover. He has considerable experience of cases which arise in the context of prison and criminal law.
Matt, a multi-disciplinary practitioner, is ranked in both the UK Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. The former describes him as “unafraid as novel points of law”, whilst the latter refers to his oral and written submissions as “always excellent” and describes him as an “intense and passionate advocate” and a “very confident, approachable advocate” who is “excellent on his feet”.
Matt began life at the Bar as a criminal practitioner, and has retained a busy Crown Court practice. He has developed a substantial public law practice, focussing on judicial reviews on behalf of prisoners, bereaved families, and cases with a civil liberties angle. He appears at inquests and acts in civil claims against public authorities. He has acted as leading junior in the criminal and civil jurisdictions, including in the Court of Appeal.
Matt has a particular interest in miscarriages of justice work, whether appearing in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division, in human rights claims or actions against the police. He runs a website, appealsbarrister.com, which provides plain English information about the criminal appeals process and occasional blogs on topics of interest.
Matt acts on behalf of defendants in a range of cases before the Crown Court, with a particular focus on sex cases and drugs conspiracies. He regularly acts on behalf of those accused of historical crimes, and has considerable experience of the work involved in seeking to defend such allegations (eg, R v Curran (October 2015) – acting on behalf of a former teacher acquitted at trial). Matt adopts a client-focussed approach, and is always happy to meet with professional and lay clients as frequently as the case demands. He is a trial advocate, and is always happy to run a trial. He is always willing to provide ad hoc advice to professional clients and undertakes regular direct access work.
Matt’s criminal practice is complimented by his specialist appeals practice, both in this jurisdiction and in Northern Ireland. He has been involved in a number of significant cases, including R v Hunter  2 Cr App R 9, the leading case on good character directions. He has acted in a number of CCRC referrals and judicial review challenges to CCRC decisions, He is currently instructed on behalf of miscarriage of justice victim Victor Nealon in his challenge to the miscarriage of justice compensation scheme, which will be heard by the Supreme Court in May 2018.
Matt is instructed to act on behalf of claimants in cases across the public law spectrum, in particular those with a human rights or civil liberties aspect. This includes cases involving prisoners’ rights and the rights of bereaved families: both at inquests and in judicial review proceedings. He was involved in a successful challenge to the application of the sex offender notification requirements (“the register”) in R (NE) v Birmingham Magistrates’ Court. He is acting in an ongoing lead case on procedural fairness in category A prisoner cases (R(Hassett) v Secretary of State for Justice, which is being appealed to the Supreme Court.
Matt appears at inquests.
Matt acts in prison law claims.
Matt runs a website runs a website, appealsbarrister.com, which provides plain English information about the criminal appeals process and periodic blogs on topics of interest. In addition he is a semi-regular contributor to the Justice Gap.
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