Matthew Smith

Year of call:



Whitby School

Durham University

Cambridge University



Member of PIBA and PBA


Matthew specialises in Casualty & Property Fraud and is ranked in Chambers and Partners (2024) for Motor Insurance Fraud.

“He is a tenacious and able barrister.” – Chambers and Partners (2024)

In Casualty Fraud, Matthew heads the team in which he exclusively defends and has been at the forefront in the development of this ever-expanding area of law. This includes the following:

  • Forster v RSA (2022): a successful and reported appeal case concerning the DPA 2018, call recordings and misrepresentation.
  • Pervaiz et al (2021): a multi-handed fraud ring in which Matthew obtained a finding of fraud against the ringleader of the conspiracies.
  • Pegg v Webb (2020): Matthew successfully appealed a first instance decision to the High Court on the issue of fundamental dishonesty and costs setting an important and functional precedent; which now also features in the White Book 2022.
  • R v Ashraf (2019): this was the first Private Prosecution of a Public Liability fraud following the successful civil Trial Matthew defended in.
  • Howlett v Ageas (2018): the Court of Appeal scrutinised with approval one of Matthew’s Defences providing important guidance for future such defences.
  • Marwaha v Thaper (2018): a High Court committal of a claimant and his putative independent witness who were both sentenced to immediate custodial sentences thereby creating a major precedent and deterrent for other such cases.
  • Draper v NCC (2017): a successful and reported appeal regarding surveillance evidence that ultimately led to the claimant discontinuing her claim.

Matthew is also known for his effective and thorough cross-examination skills and has been consistently recommended in Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, including Tier 1.

In large loss cases Matthew’s focus is in cases involving allegations of fundamental dishonesty and/or disputes on liability.

The Property Fraud side of Matthew’s practice focuses on dishonest property transfers; claims to and rights over land as well as the fraudulent construction, sale of property and first party fraud. Notable cases in this regard include the following:

  • Wark v Sankey (2022): a successful residential property and land dispute concerning rights to services, rights of way and boundaries.
  • Gibbon (2021): a commercial land dispute concerning several boundary issues; rights of way; rights to services and a dishonest claim for damages to which Matthew successfully defended.
  • Lillian (2021): an international property dispute concerning fitness to occupy; misrepresentation and waiver.
  • Muirhead (2020): a residential property fraud involving a Local Authority and a Developer in which Matthew successfully represented the owner occupiers.
  • Butt (2020): a High Court property fraud concerning the fraudulent transfer of a large number of residential and commercial properties.
  • Brewis (2018): an historic multi £million land dispute involving an Estate and centring on s.2 of the 1989 Act; variation; estoppel and allegations of dishonesty heard over several months and resulting in victory for Matthew’s client.
  • Arshad (2018): a successful first party fraud indemnity claim for Direct Line.

Matthew’s practice is based upon Trials & Appeals. He is also happy to be instructed for CCMCs, interim injunctions and other contentious and substantive applications.

Matthew focuses on a client led service and is keen to expedite paperwork for pleadings, skeleton arguments and applications as and when required.

Matthew is a member of PIBA & PBA and regularly provides training in these areas.

If you would like to book Matthew for Court or paperwork, please see below.

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