2015 – Fee Paid Deputy District Judge (Northern Circuit)
Matthew was called to the Bar in July 2011 following eleven successful years as a solicitor dealing with family law matters. Throughout those years, he has dealt with both complex public and private family law proceedings on behalf of children, parents and local authorities. He prides himself on his ability to communicate honestly and effectively with clients with empathy and sensitivity regarding their case. He provides excellent feedback to those who instruct him.
Matthew has a considerable knowledge of a huge range of public child care issues and has dealt with a wide range of cases as a barrister and at a senior level within the local authority and private practice. Th is allows him to assist applicant local authorities and have a good understanding of the challenges and complexities of local authority work. He has an excellent insight into the advice and assistance parents require whilst dealing with both public and private Children Act proceedings. As a barrister and solicitor Matthew has represented children in difficult cases. He has advised and represented Children’s Guardians in a wide range of child care applications including when guardians are appointed under Rule 16.4.
Matthew has been commended on occasions for the manner in which he has acted for clients. In 2005 he was complimented in a High Court judgment for the manner in which he had assisted and advised a parent with signifi cant learning disabilities in what was a very difficult public childcare case. In 2009 he was again commended for his work in a case involving a disabled child with a limited life expectancy. In 2010 Matthew was nominated for Manchester City Council’s unsung hero award for his efforts within the child care team.
EXPERIENCE Whilst at the Bar, Matthew has provided specialised legal advice in all areas of family law. He has dealt with complex public and private child care cases in the High Court and Family Court. He has experience in contested adoption and placement matters, secure order applications, special guardianship and fostering, emergency protection orders and cases involving factitious induced illness.
Matthew has undertaken a number of complex finding of fact hearings relating to sexual abuse and physical injury on behalf of local authorities, parents and children. He has experience of acting on behalf of the Official Solicitor and considerable understanding when dealing with cases involving those suffering from mental ill health or who have learning difficulties.
He is developing his ancillary relief practice and has acted in a number of FDA and FDR hearings together with final hearings and interlocutory matters.
Matthew has provided training and advice regarding the writing of local authority policies, guidance documents (for example around specialist social work assessments) and drafting agreements regarding inter agency working.
He continues to provide legal advice to Local Authorities on policy writing including for example special guardianship and residence order allowances policies.
Matthew was one of the Principal Solicitors at Manchester City Council before joining the Bar. Prior to this, Matthew was the Managing Solicitor at Tranters Family Law Practice during which time he was a member of the Law Society’s Children’s Panel. Matthew has dealt with general civil legal matters such as personal injury and consumer disputes.
Matthew provides regular training to social workers and legal professionals, providing legal updates and training in court skills. He works with Kim Doyle (KD Training) facilitating court skills training to newly qualifi ed social workers and other professionals such as police officers and medics in the North West.
The training aims to provide the group with an understanding of how to write effective statements, how to behave in a court setting, experience of cross examination and how the court service and court room is structured.
Matthew has previously provided training on the Public Law Outline, Education Appeals and appropriate adult training for PACE interviews. Matthew is an Associate Lecturer for the Open University on the LLB Law course, which requires him to keep up to date with changes across a wide range of legal issues to effectively teach students.
Matthew has experience of the media, providing legal advice on radio and was part of the Granada television series Wythenshawe Law.
Member of the Family Law Bar Association Member of the Child Concern
Diploma in Legal Practice, 1999 BA (Hons) Law & Business, 1996
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