Matthew was appointed as Queen’s Counsel this year. He specialises in commercial and commercial chancery litigation and arbitration. He is ranked by the legal directories as a leading practitioner in the fields of (1) commercial disputes (2) civil fraud (3) commercial chancery (4) company & partnership & (5) product liability law.
Further areas of focus include offshore work and professional negligence disputes. He has a particular interest and significant experience in economic torts and conspiracy claims. Much of his work is international in nature, often involving conflicts of law and jurisdictional issues. Commendations from commentators in the legal directories include:
Advocacy – “An exceptional advocate, with a flair for cross-examination; he really knows how to tease a response from a witness”; “an excellent advocate who knows how to read a courtroom”; “a superb cross-examiner”; “an eloquent advocate and fierce in cross examination”; “nothing less than superman in cross-examination and mediation”; “An assassin in cross-examination and clearly bound for the very highest echelons of the Bar”.
Analysis – “intellectually very strong and a good strategic thinker who always puts his client’s objectives front and centre”; “technically very strong”; “His advice is absolutely brilliant. You can give him a very complicated set of facts and he just takes control and guides you through what you need to do”; “innovative with his ideas”; “strong on paper with an eye for detail”; “demonstrates excellent commercial know-how”.
Paperwork – “a wordsmith, both in settling pleadings and penning correspondence”; “an excellent junior, whose advice is amazingly coherent and concise”; “turns stuff around really, really quickly and his paperwork is great.”
Working Style – “a pleasure to work with”; “a really responsive, affable barrister who’s commercial in his outlook, and who will bend over backwards to get things done.”; “impresses with his enthusiasm and his willingness to go the extra mile.”; “Extremely user friendly and very much works in partnership with the instructing solicitor”; “Friendly, approachable and easy to speak to”.
He relishes trials and has extensive trial advocacy experience as sole counsel. He also acts in a variety of mediations and other forms of ADR. He is regularly instructed, often at short notice, to deal with applications for interim relief such as freezing injunctions and Norwich Pharmacal orders. He speaks French, German and Spanish.
The following cases provide a flavour of his most recent practice:
- Vale S.A. & Ors v Steinmetz & Ors  EWHC 343 (Comm) – successfully acting over 2019 to 2022 for defendant to US$1.8 billion claim by Brazilian mining company re joint venture in Guinea (bribery, deceit, unlawful means conspiracy, proprietary claims, freezing injunctions). Claim dismissed mid-trial.
- Pedriks v Grimaux  EWHC 3448 (QB) – successfully establishing oral contract and estoppel by representation in trial of c.€2m breach of contract claim.
- Martin v Hochanda Ltd & Ors  EWHC 1988 (Ch) – successful preliminary issue trial in ongoing unfair prejudice petition.
- Flowcrete UK Ltd & Ors v Watson & Ors  EWHC 2023 (Comm) – successfully resisting applications for springboard relief and computer imaging orders in confidential information / restrictive covenant claim against former employees.
- Re Aston Martin Owners Club Ltd  EWHC 1309 (Ch) – defending declaratory relief claim and representative proceedings; claim dismissed with indemnity costs.
- Sytner & Ors v Vaughan  (Chan Div) – successful strike out of c. £5m claim (fraudulent breach of fiduciary duty etc.) against investment manager; resisting Norwich Pharmacal relief; indemnity costs.
- Grantham Capital v Langham & Ors  (Comm Ct) – acting for defendants in c.£8m claim for fraudulent breach of warranty arising out of the sale of a company.
- ICC mediation (202o) – international sale of goods dispute in energy sector.
- Ang v Reliantco Investments Ltd  3 WLR 161 – jurisdiction challenge under Brussels regime; consumer status under Art.17. 2020 Commercial Court trial of claim and counterclaim (defence of deceit and claim to set aside previous judgment for fraud).
- Acting for well-known German manufacturer in multimillion pound dispute concerning defective supply of oil isolation valves for use in domestic boilers.
- Palmer Birch v Lloyd & Anr  4 WLR 164;  180 ConLR 50;  BLR 722 – successfully representing claimant in economic torts trial (procuring breach of contract, unlawful means conspiracy). Significant decision: economic torts overcame effects of a company insolvency.
- Syndicate Bank v Dansingani & Ors  EWHC 3439 (Ch) – successful undue influence defence; rescission of personal guarantee and mortgage entered into 13 years apart; indemnity costs (2020).
- Goknur v Organic Village Ltd  EWHC 2201 – defending Turkish company at trial of claim re adulterated fruit juice: claim in deceit defeated; no substantive damages awarded to claimant.
- Naqvi v Harris Cartier & Ors  EWHC 3042 (QB) – successful summary judgment application for solicitors facing £10.2 million claim for allegedly negligent conduct of litigation.
- LCIA arbitration in Russian oil and gas sector – arguments as to force majeure and the effects of “take or pay” obligations.
- Kupeli & Ors v (1) Kibris Turk Hava Yollari Sirketi  EWHC 930 (QB),  4 Costs LR 747 – representing as sole counsel 837 claimants in trial of test claims for breach of contract against Turkish airline. Costs appeal in Court of Appeal, reported at  4 All ER 434;  1 WLR 1235.
- Multi-Jurisdictional trusts dispute re BVI/Cayman/Curaçao trust companies, worth many millions. Questions of foreign law, fraud, conspiracy, dishonest assistance, knowing receipt & double derivative actions.
- Pilgrim Rock Ltd v Iwaniuk  GCCR 17013;  E.C.C. 8;  C.T.L.C. 96 – successfully appearing in unfair relationship challenge under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 in which trial judge re-wrote a loan agreement, relieving Matthew’s client of some £1.3m in interest – upheld on appeal.
- Combination Hip Prosthesis Litigation – Defending consultant surgeons alleged to have become a “producer” of metal-on-metal hip implants within the meaning of the Consumer Protection Act 1987.