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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

‘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 and property disputes to indemnity.

He has appeared successfully in the Court of Appeal on large commercial disputes including matters of proprietary estoppel and breach of fiduciary duty.

Matthew has a national reputation for thorough and effective cross-examination.

Property Disputes

Matthew has a particular interest and specialism in property disputes.  This includes boundary disputes, rights of way, riparian rights, adverse possession, restrictive covenants and trusts as well as commercial landlord & tenant (including the new Pub Code Regulations 2016).

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.

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;
  • 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;
  • AKA v Mazza: a commercial dilaps case involving oral variations and estoppel;
  • 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.

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

Francine Kirk on 0113 202 8605

Jordan Millican on 0113 213 5207

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