Matthew Smith

Year of call:



Durham University, BA Economics/Law (2:1)

Cambridge University, M.Phil


Circuit representative for the International Rule of Law Working Group


Member of PIBA and PBA

‘A fantastic barrister.’ – Legal 500 (2019)

‘He gains the interest and respect of judges for his efficient and well-directed cross-examination.’ – The Legal 500

Matthew has extensive experience and skill in commercial and chancery work, ranging from partnership, professional negligence and property disputes to indemnity.

Matthew specialises in Property Disputes & Civil Fraud.

Property Disputes

Matthew heads the Property Team at PSQB with a particular interest in property related fraud. Matthew has substantial experience in Property disputes ranging from trust issues to rights of way and tracing. This includes boundary disputes, rights of way, riparian rights, adverse possession, restrictive covenants and trusts as well as commercial landlord and tenant (including the Pub Code Regulations 2016).

Matthew also co-founded the Fraud Team at PSQB and utilises his knowledge and skill in many of his Property cases. Appeal Court work is a particular specialism of his in both fields.

Matthew is recommended in Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

He regularly appears on matters before the AHMLR and related matters in the High Court.

Matthew is a member of PBA and regularly lectures on matters surrounding property disputes.

Matthew also undertakes a lot of interim relief work including breach of trust in an employment context, freezing injunctions and delivery up.


Matthew undertakes insurance indemnity work which includes first party fraud, policy avoidance together with common law and contractual recovery. In addition,  1973, 1975 and 1996 Act claims.

Professional Negligence

Matthew undertakes professional negligence work for claimant and defendants ranging from solicitors to surveyors.

International experience

He developed his practice with a sabbatical in New Zealand, working for one of the top-3 commercial firms, where he played an intricate part in a successful internet case involving contingent contracts, copyright and remoteness of damage.

Matthew is a member of the British-Russian Law Association and has a working knowledge of Russian. He takes an active interest in CIS litigation involving issues of cross-border fraud, litigation and arbitration disputes. He has been invited to Moscow as a keynote speaker and has written seminars and mock trials for the Bar Council as part of the Russian Exchange Programme and the Brazilian Exchange Programme.

Matthew speaks some Russian, Italian, French & German and is currently available for international gaming/licensing work.

Notable cases

  • Arshad v Direct Line: first party fraud indemnity case.
  • Pronet v NZ: A NZ$3m internet contract case heard in the High Court of New Zealand, Auckland.
  • Bateman v Morris & a TIB: a High Court case involving trust issues and a bankrupt.
  • Gill v Moss: A boundary dispute involving an informal boundary agreement.
  • Environment Agency v Kirkwood: A licensing and contractual matter involving flood defences in Hull.
  • W A Smith Ltd v Leeds Parcel Company Ltd: A case in the Court of Appeal involving tenancies at will, protected tenancies and equitable tenancies.
  • North Sea Ventilation Ltd v Consafe Engineering Ltd: A TCC case that went to the Court of Appeal on matters concerning waiver and estoppel.
  • Taylor v Knight: A boundary dispute heard by the Property Chamber concerning rectification under The LRA 2002.
  • Clinton v Heslop: a boundary dispute concerning construction, section 62, Wheeldon v Burows, prescription and proprietary estoppel.
  • Audsley v BOS: a loss of profit case involving forensic accounting, loss of opportunity and mitigation of loss.
  • Alton Rowing Club: riparian rights and club constitutions.
  • McCelland v Elvin: a claim for adverse possession over several decades with issues of fraud, company law and estoppel.
  • K9: Interim injunction in a restraint of trade case.
  • Brewis: A multi £million land dispute in the high court spanning several decades involving contract, trust and estoppel issues.
  • Butt v Butt: an historic property fraud involving undue influence and forgery.
  • Muirhead: a local authority property fraud.
  • Lillian: a cross border property dispute involving waiver and estoppel.

Public Access

Matthew Smith may accept Public Access work, where he can be instructed directly by a member of the public rather than a solicitor.

Contact Matthew’s clerks

Business Development Clerk – Andy Reeves on 0113 213 5252

Talia Webster on 0113 202 8609

Joshua Duree on 0113 213 5246

Sonia Kainth on 0113 213 5207

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