Matthew specialises in litigating catastrophic injury and large loss personal injury claims. Most of his work concerns damages claims in excess of £1M and he is frequently instructed alone against Leading Counsel. He has a balanced practice of acting for both claimants and defendants.
In addition to his personal injury practice Matthew acts in health and safety crime prosecutions. He is particularly experienced in cases occurring within the transport, healthcare, prison, security and construction sectors. He is often instructed to appear in the Coroner's Court in health and safety matters.
Matthew is a trial lawyer. He is frequently instructed in liability disputes at trial where clinical cross-examination or technical legal submissions are required. Examples of topics covered in cases which Matthew has litigated are:
- Ladder falls and work at heights accidents;
- Road traffic accident reconstruction expert evidence (especially involving children and bicycle helmets);
- Technical motor liability disputes concerning insurance cover, criminal activity, the purpose of use of a motor vehicle and the interpretation of the Road Traffic Act 1988;
- Alcohol and drug toxicity arguments in both motor and EL/PL claims;
- Claims involving defective work equipment with a metallurgic element;
- Stress and psychiatric injury claims resulting in suicide;
- Disputes regarding the training of employee's safe use of heavy or dangerous machinery leading to fatality or amputation injury;
Matthew is an adept negotiator and is regularly instructed to attend joint settlement meetings to negotiate large loss quantum disputes.
Matthew has particular expertise in quantum and causation disputes in the following areas:
1. Spinal cord injury cases involving paraplegic and tetraplegic injuries with consideration of care and case management regimes, periodical payment orders, CCG and local authority funding, short life expectancy and syrinx complications.
2. Acquired brain injury cases including subtle brain injuries as well as severe brain injuries giving rise to consideration of capacity, post concussional syndrome, substantial care regimes (institutional and domestic), periodical payments, deputyship and accommodation claims.
3. Amputation claims (traumatic, surgical, elective and revisionary) involving both below and above knee amputations, arm amputations up to the shoulder joint (including brachial plexus injuries) and total hand/foot amputations.
4. Fatal Accident cases including high value or complicated financial as well as lost parental services claims, accident reconstruction evidence and representation at Inquests with expertise in coronial law.
5. Chronic Pain. The full spectrum of pain cases including CRPS Types I and II, neuralgic pain, nociceptive pain, myofascial pain, fibromyalgia, somatoform pain disorders, factitious disorders, and pain conditions involving treatment by spinal cord stimulator. Matthew has particular expertise in cases involving injured parties who are wheelchair bound.
6. Fundamental Dishonesty concerning TBI, serious orthopaedic and psychiatric injury where there is a dispute over the honesty of the claim advanced usually involving surveillance and social media evidence but also including false accounting claims. Increasingly Matthew is instructed in cases where there is a dispute concerning the circumstances of the accident leading to allegations that the entire claim is fundamentally dishonest.
- Lewin v Gray  EWHC 112 (KB) - Acted for a Claimant builder who suffered a spinal cord injury when he fell through a fragile roof undertaking construction work on a barn. The claim centred around arguments over whether the Defendant, farmer client, owed a duty of care in negligence equivalent to the duty of care imposed upon him by the criminal law under the CDM Regulations 2015, Section 4. See https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/KB/2023/112.html
- AB v MH  - Acted for the Defendant in successfully establishing a finding under CPR 44.16(1) after a 6 day trial that the Claimant had advanced a fundamentally dishonest tripping claim involving false witnesses as to the alleged accident, untrue/exaggerated injuries (demonstrated partly through surveillance) and a dishonest (high value) loss of earnings claim.
- NS v AH  - Acted for the Defendant in maintaining a defence of fundamental dishonesty concerning a Claimant who suffered initially significant injuries in a high-speed road traffic collision but who subsequently recovered and took part in a semi-professional Muay Thai kickboxing fight. The Claimant continued to complain of unremitting chronic pain and psychiatric sequalae. She emigrated to Australia where surveillance was conducted and the Defendant instructing medical experts in Australia who attended a hybrid trial. The Claimant discontinued her claim after 2 days cross-examination with the contribution of a four-figure sum to the Defendant's costs.
- ET v CE  - The Claimant fell from a partially dismantled scaffold tower with no handrail suffering a traumatic brain injury. The case was defended on the basis that the Claimant had been inducted on site on a "Scaff Tag" system which was an industry standard system and he knew not to use equipment without checking first with the site manager. He should not have used the tower in an unsafe state. The Trial Judge found that the Claimant had been using the unsafe scaffolding for a period of at least 1.5 hours which must have been seen by the Defendant but that overall the Claimant bore a greater share of the blame overall because he knew not to use the scaffold tower without side rails because he knew using the scaffold tower without side rails was dangerous and that he ought to have checked with the site manager before using the equipment especially because it belonged to another contractor. The Claimant was found to have contributed 60% to his accident. Matthew appeared on behalf of the Defendant against Leading Counsel acting for the Claimant.
- Campbell v Advantage Insurance  EWCA Civ 1698 - Acted for the successful party upholding judgment at 1st instance. The appeal concerned the applicability of Owens v Brimmell  QB 859 to an inebriated, severely injured passenger. Issues covered in the appeal were (1) the applicability of the MCA 2005 to D's burden of proof in alleging contributory negligence (2) the permissible range of factual inferences (3) the objective standard of contributory negligence (4) whether a finding of 20% ought to be reduced.
- Andrew Bond v Tom Croft (Bolton) Limited  EWHC 1290 (QB) - Successfully upheld the 1st instance judgment of HHJ Main KC before Morris J in the trial of the matter cited below. Morris J held that the Claimant's criticisms of the Defendant's expert were not valid, the Claimant retained the burden of proof to prove the cause of the defect in the ladder in circumstances where it was alleged that he was at fault and that HHJ Main KC was entitled to prefer the Defendant's evidence.
- SH v SC - Acted for Claimant in a three day trial in a novel highway injury claim concerning the safety of a worn set of metal nosings on an external staircase with a sub optimal handrail. Safety experts attending trial on both sides.
- SA v SC & AV - Acted for Defendant in two day trial concerning a running down case of a young girl where an issue in dispute was whether her Mother waved her across the road from inside her motorcar before she was struck by another motorist and whether this amounted to 'use of a motor vehicle' within s.145(3) of the RTA 1988.
- MM v MZ - Successfully defended a motorist who collided with a pedestrian on a high street in Bradford. The Claimant suffered a severe TBI and lacked capacity. The accident was seen by an alleged independent witness who supported the Claimant's case. Matthew persuaded the Court after cross examination that the independent witnesses account was unreliable and that the damage to the motorcar showed the Claimant had regrettably stepped off the kerb directly into the front nearside wing of the Defendant's motorcar without looking.
- IG v JCG - Successfully defended local gym against allegation that the owner distracted a student during a Muay Thai boxing session by turning on a loud television in his visual field causing him to be distracted and struck by a punch bag resulting in a dissected carotid artery causing a significant stroke with severe long term neurological consequences. The case involved sensitive cross examination of the Claimant who suffered from significant expressive and receptive dysphasia.
- PH v RBL - Successfully defended employer against allegation that the Claimant fell from a ladder whilst undertaking voluntary work causing him to later suffer a dissected carotid artery and serious stroke. The trial lasted for two days of cross-examination by Matthew after which the Claimant discontinued.
- PM v WCC - Successfully defended employer against allegation that head teacher was allowed to return to work prematurely resulting in her suicide on school premises during teacher training day. The case concerned issues of reasonably foreseeability of the Claimant's psychiatric presentation with opposing psychiatric experts.
- AB v TCL - Successfully defended employer in a serious TBI case against allegation that the leg of a step ladder suddenly snapped because it was defective and persuaded the Court that the Claimant caused the ladder to fail through misuse. The case concerned cross examination of the Claimant who was the only witness to the accident and opposing engineering expert evidence.
- RPX v HB - Serious TBI claim concerning a young man who was injured as a pedestrian in an RTA. Liability was denied by the Defendant who also alleged contributory negligence in the alternative. The Defendant contested the extent of the care and case management regime provided to the Claimant. Matthew negotiated settlement on behalf of the Claimant acting against Leading and Junior Counsel in the gross sum of £3.7 million and approved by the Court.
- BH v SP - A multi-million-pound TBI claim, claimed at £4.9 million. The Claimant was represented by Leading Counsel. Case concerned a large loss of earnings claim predicated on the Claimant's contended diminished cognition notwithstanding he had performed reasonably well academically post-accident. The claim resolved after a JSM for the sum of £1.13 million and approved by the Court.
- SM v AI - An 18 year old Claimant suffered a severe TBI which he alleged impeded his capacity to manage his affairs and caused him to a downward spiral of heavy cocaine use. Case turned on medical causation including pre-existing drug use, chaotic home life and whether or not the side effects of the existing drug use explained the Claimant's neurological presentation. C claimed £3.9 million and Matthew negotiated a settlement of behalf of the Defendant of £1 million.
- KF v MIB - Serious TBI claim concerning a young man who was injured in an RTA. Liability issues of whether the Claimant knew the motorcar was uninsured when he was a passenger and whether he knew the driver was inebriated. Pleaded at £4.2M settled for £580,000. Matthew acted for the Defendant.
- AB v MIB - Serious poly trauma including loss of eye sight in 1 eye and life changing orthopaedic injuries concerning a middle rear seat passenger in a motorcar which the Defendant alleged was being driven by an intoxicated and inebriated driver and that the Claimant was actively encouraging reckless driving as part of a joint venture. The case settled for £380,000. Matthew acted for the Claimant against Leading Counsel.
- MJ v SL - Significant lower tibia and fibula fracture resulting in chronic neuropathic pain exacerbated by psychiatric state. Matthew, acting for the Claimant, successfully resisted the Defendant's application to adduce care evidence late before trial. The case settled for £660,000.
- SD v BS - Matthew successfully resisted an application by Leading Counsel for the Claimant to adduce expert statistical evidence on the controversial issue life expectancy of a young Claimant who suffered a TBI subsequent to being born with a congenital neuro-developmental disorder.
- AA v DW - A claim for £2.35M for a Claimant who by reason of severe fibromyalgia and CRPS in her leg was settled for £350,000 at a JSM following exchange of expert medical evidence which contended that the Claimant's fibromyalgia was already on a downward spiral, the CRPS diagnosis was not valid and the Claimant suffered from a pre-existing somatoform disorder.
- MH v KD - A claim for £2M by the family of the Deceased who was a front seat passenger in a motorcar which spun off the motorway whilst he was taking his jumper off (without his seatbelt on) inside the motorcar distracting and blocking the driver's vision. Matthew acted in the case throughout including at the JSM against Leading and Junior counsel at which the matter resolved and was subsequently approved for £435,000 net of liability (being apportioned at 1/3:2/3 in the Claimant's favour).
- JK v PA - A multi-million-pound claim acting for a Claimant classified as C5 Asia C incomplete quadriplegia who was a tetraplegic from C4 (shoulder tip) downwards with very little movement below his neck and only partial use of his left arm. The case focused significantly on short life expectancy arguments and disagreement over the payment of a periodical payment order in respect of care and case management as opposed to the ongoing provision of both by the Claimant's local clinical Care Commissioning Group (CCG). (With Tim Horlock KC)
- RM v SB - A severe TBI claim pleaded at £7.3 million involving a Lowe v Guise  EWCA Civ 197 claim for the cost of care of the Claimant's severely disabled wife who he had met and married after the accident. Matthew acted for the Defendant and the claim resolved subsequent to a JSM for £3.5 million. (With Chris Kennedy KC).
- MW v WBD - Multi-million pound claim for a farmer worker who lost his arm through the shoulder involving a claim for a targeted muscle re-innervation prosthetic and a LUKE arm prosthetic from the USA. (With Chris Kennedy KC).
- LP v MA - Multi-million pound claim for a female teenager who suffered catastrophic brain injuries following a road traffic accident. (With Tim Horlock KC)
- AL v WP - Substantial claim involving a medical doctor who suffered post concussion syndrome following a road traffic accident. (With Chris Kennedy KC)
- AK v RA - Multi-million pound claim for a male teenager who suffered catastrophic brain injuries following a road traffic accident. (With Gerard McDermott KC)
- BS v RB - Seven figure settlement sum for Claimant who suffered an above knee amputation following negligent surgery. (With Tim Horlock KC)
- Riley v Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 2417 (KB): Quantum case note concerning a lower limb amputation injury award of damages.
- 'Intoxication and Inebriation: Another Later Night' Journal of Personal Injury Law 2015 (with Chris Kennedy KC)
- 'We Need To Talk About Katie' Personal Injury Brief Update Law Journal Dec 2012 (with Michael Lemmy)
- 'Lights out for Excitement' New Law Journal 25.02.11
- 'Jelic v CC S.Yorks' - ELA Briefing 01.10.10
- 'Financially Entwined' New Law Journal 13.08.10
- 'Crash course in LVI claims' New Law Journal 27.01.06 (with Boyd Morwood)
- 'Proving it in Reverse' New Law Journal 13.03.09 (with Tim Horlock KC)
- 'Restoring Disorder' New Law Journal 08.12.06 (with Boyd Morwood)
Matthew enjoys trail running, fell running, ultra marathons, mountain marathons and orienteering. He is a keen skier both on and off piste.
Personal Injury Bar Association,
Health and Safety Lawyers Association
BVC, Inns of Court School of Law. LLB (Hons), University of Manchester. King Edward VI Grammar School, Stratford upon Avon
Matthew Snarr is a practising barrister, who is regulated by the Bar Standards Board. Details of information held by the BSB about Matthew can be found here.
Matthew's clerks will happily provide no obligation quotations for all legal services that he provides. Their contact details can be found here. It is most common for Matthew to undertake court work and negotiation engagements on a fixed fee and advisory, paperwork and conferences at an hourly rate. Conditional Fee Agreements and Damages Based Agreements will be considered in cases with favourable prospects of success. Matthew has a busy paper practice but will typically return paperwork within 21 days, however, professional commitments, complexity and volume of documentation can affect these approximate timescales.
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