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 to argue 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 he has retained a busy Crown Court practice. Over time he has developed a substantial public law practice focussing on judicial reviews on behalf of prisoners, bereaved families and other cases with a civil liberties angle. He appears at inquests and acts in civil claims against public authorities, most frequently the police. He has acted as leading junior in the criminal and civil jurisdictions, including in the Court of Appeal. He has also appeared in a number of recent cases in the Supreme Court.
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 accepts public access instructions from members of the public in cases across the range of his practice areas.
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, where he acted 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. 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 Criminal Cases Review Commission (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 was heard by the Supreme Court in May 2018.
Matt is instructed to act on behalf of claimants in cases across the public law spectrum, but in particular those with a human rights or civil liberties aspect. He has been involved in a number of recent and high profile cases, including at the highest level. Notable cases include:
Matt has experience of appearing at inquests, usually in the context of deaths in custody where he draws upon his substantial experience of prison law and practice to uphold the rights of bereaved families. He appeared on behalf of the family of Mohammed Naveed Zaber, who died at HMP Stoke Heath, in which the actions of the prison authorities were criticised by the jury. He has particular experience of cases involving allegations of medical negligence.
Matt has been representing prisoners for more than 13 years and has substantial experience of prison law and practice. He continues to act at parole hearings in complex, sensitive or high profile cases. He is regularly involved in judicial review claims in prisoners’ rights cases, and has appeared in such cases at every level including the Supreme Court. He is currently acting for Charles Salvador (formerly Bronson). For further details of his notable cases please see the Public Law section of this profile.
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.
Matt’s Privacy Notice may be viewed by clicking here.
Our mailing list is dedicated to professionals with an interest in our work.