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Matthew Curtis

Year of call 2006, Inner Temple  

Areas of Expertise

Crime: Ranked Legal 500 2024 Edition

Legal 500 2024

"Matthew is an exceptional barrister: meticulously prepared; immaculately presented; considerate to client and witnesses alike; careful in his approach and always diligent in his work. He is a delight to have before a judge and is reliable and always courteous. He stands out above his contemporaries."

Legal 500 2023

"Matthew is always well-prepared and has a strong grasp of the law and procedure. He is able to engage well with all types of client. He is a popular choice with clients who are impressed by his knowledge of their case and his excellent skills as an advocate. He is also able to deal with complex and unusual areas of the law including undertaking judicial reviews in the High Court."

Legal 500 2022


Matthew Curtis is a hardworking and determined advocate who is instructed in a range of serious criminal cases for both the Prosecution and Defence. He prides himself on being able to connect with those involved in the criminal justice system, particularly vulnerable defendants and witnesses, and developing good working relationships at court and beyond.  He has acted as a leading and led junior.  He is passionate about advocacy.


Mr Curtis has particular expertise representing young and vulnerable defendants and questioning young and vulnerable witnesses.  He has a great deal of experience conducting pre-recorded cross-examinations (section 28, YJCEA 1999) and has received praise from Registered Intermediaries and judges for his preparation and advocacy in these cases.

Mr Curtis joined Chambers in November 2020, after practising for 14 years from Chambers in Chester, where he predominantly appeared at Crown Court centres in North Wales and Cheshire/Merseyside.  He has also represented Appellants and Respondents in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Mr Curtis is a Category 4 Prosecutor on the Crown Prosecution Service Advocate Panel Scheme and prosecutes the most serious criminal cases.  He is also on the specialist rape and child sexual abuse list, instructed regularly by CPS Rape and Serious Sexual Offences units.

Mr Curtis also has experience representing interested parties at inquests in Coroner’s Courts.


Matthew Curtis has organised and delivered professional training.  This has included giving a seminar to social workers as part of their training on joint investigations (section 47, CA 1989); to specialist police teams on the prosecution of sexual offences, with a focus on achieving best evidence and suspect interviews (CPS accredited); and also to barristers and solicitors on the prosecution of Youth Defendants.

Matthew has an interest in developing others to excellence in advocacy and is a pupil supervisor.


Rape and serious sexual offences –

R v Omar Alam – Manchester Crown Court
Instructed by CPS North West, the defendant was convicted of kidnap and kidnap with intent to commit a sexual offence. Evidence of the facts of a 2005 previous conviction for rape was adduced at trial, following a successful bad character application. The defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment.

R v Ali Rauf – Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court
Prosecuted a Bury man accused of the rape/sexual assault of a 17 year old female.  The defendant, represented by Nigel Edwards KC, absconded from court (at the University of Bolton Stadium) after the jury retired but before verdicts.

R v SG – Mold Crown Court, December 2020
Represented a man accused of sexual assaults on the 8-year-old child of a family friend.  The child was cross-examined with a Registered Intermediary ahead of trial. The Defendant was acquitted at trial. 

R v Edward Hughes-Jones – Mold Crown Court, August 2020
Prosecuted a millionaire alleged with historic sexual offences against 2 complainants. The defendant was represented by John Cooper KC.

R v Carl Martin – Mold Crown Court, March 2020
After providing pre-charge advice, prosecuted a popular pub landlord from Llanrwst who was convicted of 15 counts relating to sexual abuse of 4 complainants over nearly 3 decades.

R v Callum Maher – Mold Crown Court, April 2019 and March 2020
Represented a former soldier accused of raping a woman, at both the original trial (when the jury could not reach a verdict) and his retrial (at which the Defendant was acquitted).

R v RP (AKA Amy Thompson) – Mold Crown Court, March 2020
Represented a man serving a life sentence, accused of sexual assault on a female prison officer.  At the time of the alleged offences, the Defendant was living as a woman at HMP Berwyn, Wrexham.  The Defendant was acquitted at trial. 

R v PH – Caernarfon Crown Court, January 2020
Represented a father accused of indecent assault on his daughter two decades previously.  The Defendant was acquitted at trial.

R v Philip Railton – Chester Crown Court, October 2019
Prosecuted the family friend of a 9-year-old girl whom he sexually abused.

Offences involving death or homicide and related offences –

R v Sabir Abdulkadir and others – Bolton Crown Court
Prosecuted three males charged with attempted murder. They carried a sawn off shotgun to meet a rival criminal in the early hours of a morning in the Halliwell area of Bolton. The firearm was discharged twice before being hidden and recovered much later. Having prepared the case for trial, which included expert cell-site evidence, one of the men pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, and the other two pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

R v Jack Halliwell – Chester Crown Court
Instructed by CPS Mersey/Cheshire from the outset and led by David Elias KC at trial, prosecuted a 17 year old convicted of attempted murder.  Evidence from witnesses including drug users, a forensic scientist (on bloodstain pattern analysis), and a forensic pathologist (with visual reconstruction).

R v Michael Rawlinson – Chester Crown Court, June 2020
Prosecuted a man originally charged with attempted murder.

R v Ryan Weston – Caernarfon Crown Court, January 2020
Instructed to provide pre-charge advice and subsequently prosecuted a man for the supply of drugs to his girlfriend who later died.

R v Jake Waterhouse – Mold Crown Court, October 2019
Instructed by Strain & Co to represent a Manchester man who admitted causing the death of a woman while driving dangerously on a campsite in Gwynedd.

R v Liam Rosney – Mold Crown Court, December 2018
Prosecuted the man who caused the death of the Carol Boardman. Using collision investigators and other experts we proved the defendant had been using his telephone before he entered a roundabout and killed the victim, who had fallen off her bicycle.

R v Paul Jordan – Caernarfon Crown Court, May 2018
Instructed by Tudur Owen, Roberts, Glynne & Co (led by Gordon Cole KC) to represent man tried for murder.

R v DS, KM and others (Operation Mathis) – Mold Crown Court, November 2017
Prosecuted (led by Simon Medland KC) two youths charged with the murder of a Manchester man and several other defendants charged with violent disorder.

R v Christopher Williams – Chester Crown Court, July 2017
Prosecuted a lorry driver for causing the death of a man by dangerous driving.

R v Melanie Smith (Operation Direct) – Mold Crown Court April 2013.
Prosecuted (led by Ian Murphy KC) a woman who set fire to a flat killing five people in the same family. She denied any involvement and painted herself as a victim. She was found guilty of murder.

Young and vulnerable individuals –

R v Adam Millington – Mold Crown Court, December 2019
Instructed by Quality Solicitors GMA Hopley, Pierce & Bird, to represent a man accused of possessing a firearm with intent, sexual assaults and attempted robbery. Cross-examined seven children under the new s.28 procedure over two days. He was acquitted of all charges at trial.

R v Jack Williams – Mold Crown Court, November 2016
Instructed by JW Hughes & Co to represent a young man who admitted kidnapping, raping and inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on a stranger.

R v Jay Sterling, Ryan Sterling and Stuart Curtis – Mold Crown Court, November 2015
Prosecuted three men accused of arson at Berwyn Slate Quarry, Llangollen. Called the third defendant to give evidence against his friends.

R v Sion Llewelyn Jones – Caernarfon Crown Court, March 2015
Instructed by Tudur Owen, Roberts, Glynne & Co to represent a severely autistic man who caused grievous bodily harm to a teaching assistant.

R v Mark Roberts and others – Caernarfon Crown Court, July 2013
Instructed by Martin & Strain, to represent a man with communication difficulties. Secured the dismissal of a charge of assisting an offender (in a murder) and the defendant gave evidence with an intermediary during the trial on perverting the course of justice.

R v BW – High Court, March 2013
Instructed by Martin & Strain to represent an 11-year-old who pleaded guilty in the Youth Court to rape of a 6-year-old and was committed for sentence. Secured an adjournment and successfully challenged the committal in the Administrative Court.
[Reported as R (BW) v Caernarfon Youth Court and Crown Prosecution Service [2013] EWHC 1466 (Admin) –]

Conspiracies –

R v Ryan Hamid and other (Operation Blue Elixir) – Mold Crown Court, October 2020
Prosecuted a seven-handed ‘county lines’ class A drugs conspiracy (Liverpool to North Wales). Four defendants pleaded guilty and the remaining were all convicted of conspiracies at trial.

R v Steven Cowell and others (Operation Samurai) – Liverpool Crown Court, January 2019
Instructed by Strain & Co to represent a man previously convicted of drugs supply in a conspiracy to supply class A drugs from Merseyside and Cheshire into North Wales.

R v Craig Eagles (Operation Tyke) - Chester Crown Court, August 2018
Prosecuted as a leading junior a ‘county line’ class A drugs conspiracy. All defendants charged were sentenced for involvement in the transport and supply of heroin and cocaine from Liverpool to Congleton.

R v Larry Morrison and others (Operation Zonal) – Caernarfon Crown Court, June 2018
Prosecuted on his own a convicted murderer who conspired with a fellow prisoner and others to blackmail a businessman. They recruited men from London to threaten the victim. The second defendant pleaded guilty after the Opening. The principal defendants were convicted after trial.

R v Mark Vaughan Jones and others (Operation Yonside) – Caernarfon Crown Court, March 2015
Instructed by Martin & Strain to represent a close associate of the lead organiser in a conspiracy to supply cocaine from Liverpool and Manchester into North Wales. Acquitted of all charges after a 6-week trial.

R v Simon Howard and others (Operation Barometer) – Chester Crown Court, October 2012
Prosecuted (led by Owen Edwards) a class A drugs conspiracy.

Terrorism –

R v Keegan Jakovlevs – Mold Crown Court, September 2017
Prosecuted on behalf of the CPS special crime and counter-terrorism division

Fraud –

R v John Hulme – Caernarfon Crown Court, March and September 2016
Instructed by Bone & Payne to represent a man of previous good character charged and tried on two separate Indictments and in subsequent POCA proceedings.

R v Eamonn Canavan – Guildford Crown Court, March 2016
Instructed by Gray & Co to represent a hotel manager accused of a complex fraud. At trial, after lengthy cross examination and expert evidence, the Prosecution were required to revise their case and amend the Indictment.

Other reported cases –

R v Craig Williams – Caernarfon Crown Court, January 2013.
Prosecuted the man who drove his 4x4 up Snowdon. He admitted driving once but denied it was dangerous. He denied driving a few weeks later when the vehicle reached the summit.

North Wales Police v O’Leary International – High Court, May 2012
Represented the police at magistrates’ court hearings in applications for deprivation orders in relation to vehicles used in criminal offences. Then on appeal before a divisional court of the of the High Court.
[Reported as O’Leary International Ltd (Appellant) v Chief Constable of North Wales & Crown Prosecution Service [2012] EWHC 1516 (Admin) –]


Inner Temple Mentoring Scheme
Rape and Child Sexual Abuse Panel, 2014
Category 4 Prosecutor on the Wales and Northern Circuits, 2016
Registered Pupil Supervisor with the Bar Standards Board, 2019


Wales and Chester Circuit (former member of the Circuit Management Board)
South Eastern Circuit
Criminal Bar Association


MA (Hons) Jurisprudence, Keble College, University of Oxford
Catholic Parliamentary Internship, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales
Bar Vocational Course, Manchester Metropolitan University
Keble Advanced Advocacy Course, South Eastern Circuit

Prescribed Information

Matthew Curtis is a practising barrister, regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB). The information held by the BSB about him can be found here.

Matthew's clerks will provide no obligation quotations for all legal services that he provides. It is most common for Matthew to undertake Court and Tribunal work for a brief fee plus refresher days, although fixed fees are available. Matthew also accepts instructions on legal aid rates where those are available, details of which can be found here. For paperwork, Matthew most commonly charges at an hourly rate, although fixed fees are available. Matthew will typically return paperwork within 10-14 days, however professional commitments, complexity and volume of documentation can affect these approximate timescales.

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