Matthew specialises in clinical negligence, professional negligence, personal injury and general insurance work. In all his fields of practice, he acts mainly for defendants on instructions from insurers and medical defence organisations. He has established a reputation defending high-value clinical negligence claims.
Matthew has acted for barristers, accountants, receivers, architects, valuers and insurance brokers, though solicitors’ negligence claims make up the bulk of his professional negligence practice. He has extensive experience dealing with claims by mortgage lenders against solicitors and valuers. He also deals with large numbers of claims against solicitors arising from earlier clinical negligence and personal injury litigation. At present he is acting for several firms of solicitors involved in the litigation arising from the British Coal VWF compensation scheme. He appeared for the solicitor defendants, led by Michael Pooles QC, in the Court of Appeal case of Thomas v Hugh James  PNLR 5 and in the Supreme Court case of Edwards v Hugh James  1 WLR 6594.
He also regularly advises insurers about coverage issues, including dishonesty and aggregation.
Matthew acts mainly for defendants, on instructions from NHS Resolution, the MDU, the MPS and insurers. He has dealt with claims arising from wide range of clinical practice, including: obstetrics, orthopaedics, neurosurgery, oncology, cardiology, and general practice, ranging from relatively modest plastic surgery cases up to fully contested cerebral palsy claims.
He is frequently instructed to defend claims un-led where the claimant is represented by leading counsel. His recent trials include Rafie v East Cheshire NHS Trust (against Winston Hunter QC), Leigh v London Ambulance Service (against Christopher Gibson QC) and JAH v Burne and Others (against Gordon Bebb QC).
Personal injury work for EL, PL and RTA insurers remains a significant part of Matthew’s practice, with an emphasis on high value claims involving head and/or spinal injuries.
Edwards v Hugh James  UKSC 54,  1 WLR 6549. Solicitors’ negligence – whether necessary for Claimant to establish that a claim under the VWF compensation scheme had been settled at an undervalue.
JAH v Burne & Others  EWHC 3461 (2019) 166 BMLR 157 (Martin Spencer J.) Clinical negligence – general practice – whether appropriate to draw an inference favourable to the Claimant in the absence of direct evidence – causation.
Thomas v Hugh James  EWCA Civ 1303,  PNLR 5. Solicitors’ negligence – nature and extent of the duty of care owed by solicitors dealing with high volume, fixed cost claims.
Leigh v London Ambulance Service  EWHC 286 (Globe J.) Delay in arrival of ambulance – whether the negligent part of the delay made a material contribution to the development of the Claimant’s psychiatric injury.
Ganz v. Kingston Hospital NHS Trust  EWHC 13 (Foskett J.) Clinical negligence – paediatrics – admitted negligence by paediatricians held not to have caused the Claimant’s severe brain damage.
Cabvision v. Dean & Dean  EWHC 3400 (Ch.) (Norris J.) Solicitors’ negligence – limited retainer – no breach of duty where solicitors retained solely for the purposes of a completion meeting.
Braithwaite v. Homerton University Hospitals Foundation Trust  EWHC 353 (Stanley Burnton J.) Clinical negligence – application for interim payment – the effect of the periodical payments regime on the limit imposed by CPR 25.7(4) (a decision later applied by the Court of Appeal in Cobham v. Eeles).
Sweetman v. Shepherd and Others  EWHC 137 (Irwin J.) Solicitors’ negligence – whether a claim commenced in 1997 should be struck out for want of prosecution.
“He’s the fount of all knowledge on coal VWF compensation scheme cases; he knows the subject inside out. He is really good to work with, happy to discuss things and always meets deadlines despite being so busy.” Chambers UK, 2022
“He is incredibly client-focused and hard-working.” “Phenomenal on his feet – he is calming and engaging. It’s incredible to see him in action in court.” Chambers UK, 2022
“An incredibly bright and experienced senior junior.” Chambers UK, 2022
“An excellent senior junior; he is very bright and affable, but with an inner core of steel which is deployed to great effect in settlement meetings, where he achieves great results.” Legal 500, 2022
“Matthew has a very good eye for detail and provides comprehensive advice.” Legal 500, 2022
“Extremely bright and absolutely fearless when dealing with opponents.” Legal 500, 2021
“He thinks through the commercial consequences to the client.” Legal 500, 2021
“Wise, calm, cool and flexible.” Chambers UK, 2021
“Excellent technically and as good a trial advocate as any silk. He’s just brilliant.” Chambers UK, 2021
“He’s excellent on his feet and is an exceptionally good orator. He drafts meticulously, presents absolute masterpieces and is a go-to barrister for really really difficult cases.” Chambers UK, 2020
“A cracking advocate who is incredibly thorough, bright and forensic. His cross-examination is superb.” Chambers UK, 2020
“He is fantastic to deal with” Legal 500, 2020
“Robust in negotiation without being aggressive” Legal 500, 2020
“Extremely bright and very well prepared” Chambers UK, 2019
“Exceptionally able, incredibly bright and extremely helpful with the most difficult legal issues” Chambers UK, 2019
“Very Strong” Legal 500, 2019
“He has an ability to see and drive through novel solutions” Legal 500, 2019
“Very experienced and well prepared. He has the ability to comprehend vast amounts of complicated information and use it at the appropriate time” “Very bright and good to work with” Chambers UK, 2018
“He is very experienced and knowledgeable in this area of work” “He displays intellectual rigour, fantastic attention to detail and the ability to explain complex matters clearly” Legal 500, 2017
“He is incredibly absorbed by what he does and he is a brilliant communicator with clients, experts and judges.” “He’s very thorough, provides solid, practical advice, and knows the area very well.” Chambers UK, 2017
“He is a persuasive and likeable advocate and negotiator.” “He has tremendous clarity of thought and is able to explain complex arguments so that they are readily understood.” Legal 500, 2016
“An excellent cross-examiner who gives robust advice.” “He has encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject and always tells you what he thinks the strict legal position is. He thinks practically and commercially.” Chambers UK, 2016
“He is incredibly thorough in his preparation and leaves no stone unturned, no matter how complex the subject matter. He is also gifted in cross-examination.” “He is a superb advocate and negotiator in difficult cases.” Chambers UK, 2016
“Very thorough, always well prepared and helpful in assessing how a claim will play before a judge.” Legal 500, 2015
“He is excellent on his feet and with witnesses and experts.” Legal 50 2015
“An excellent cross-examiner who is very intellectually able and gives robust advice. He has a good handle on the realities of litigation and gives commercially aware advice.” Chambers UK, 2015
“Immensely knowledgeable and diligent.” Legal 500, 2014
“A strong presence in the clinical negligence market, particularly thanks to his impressive intellect and thoroughness.” Chambers UK, 2014
“Absolutely excellent; he is probably better than most silks in terms of his understanding of law and attention to detail. He is absolutely someone to have faith in.” Chambers UK, 2014
Winchester College (scholar); Trinity Hall, Cambridge (scholar); first class degree in law; awarded Harmsworth scholarship by Middle Temple; Accredited mediator.
Professional Negligence Bar Association.
ICO Data protection registration number: ZA070175.
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