Matthew joined Chambers in October 2013. He has a thriving practice which is equally divided between commercial disputes and private client litigation. As a result he is as comfortable in a heavyweight banking claim as he is disputing the validity of a will or litigating about an offshore trust.

He is an advocate in demand, appearing regularly in the English courts and as counsel in arbitral proceedings. He has particular experience in international litigation and has acted or advised disputes in the Channel Islands, the United Arab Emirates (including the DIFC, ADGM and onshore courts), Gibraltar, Singapore, Bermuda, the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands.

Matthew’s commercial practice is broad and spans international sale of goods, banking and finance, security, company and insolvency disputes. His wide international practice gives him particular experience with jurisdictional and conflicts of law issues. Recent highlights include:

  • Emirates National Bank of Dubai & Ors v KBBO CPG Investment LLC & Ors [2020] DIFC CFI 045 and ongoing: Matthew led by Tom Montagu-Smith QC acts for a banking syndicate in a $300m DIFC claim to recover sums under a loan facility from nineteen defendants.
  • Re an ICC Arbitration [2020] and ongoing: Matthew is instructed as sole counsel in an ongoing multi-million dollar arbitration relating to the termination of an oil rig contract.
  • Macquarie Capital (Europe) Limited v Nordsee Offshore MEG I GmbH [2019] EWHC 1655 (Comm): Matthew acted, with Andrew Spink QC, for the defendants in this multi-million euro claim for commission relating to the project finance raised for a substantial offshore German windfarm.

Matthew commercial practice has a particular focus on the Middle East, in particular the UAE. He frequently appears as counsel in the DIFC Courts and in arbitrations seated in the UAE. He is one of the contributors to DIFC Courts Practice (2020), the DIFC equivalent of the White Book.

Matthew’s private client practice encompasses both domestic and offshore trust and estates litigation. He has particular experience litigating substantial trust disputes in the Channel Islands. He has appeared in a number of significant recent trust cases including:

  • Pilatus (PTC) Limited v RBC Trustees (Guernsey) Ltd [2019] and ongoing: Matthew acts for the defendant trustee in this substantial Guernsey trust litigation. The claim raises issues as to the nature and extent of the reflective loss principle in the trust context.
  • Investec Trust (Guernsey) Ltd & Ors v Glenalla Properties Ltd & Ors [2019] AC 271: Matthew acted with Ewan McQuater QC and Daniel Warents before the Privy Council in this landmark appeal relating to trustees’ personal liability and the application of statutory limitations of liability as a matter of private international law.
  • First Tower Trustees v CDS (Superstores International) Ltd  [2019] 1 WLR 637Matthew acted, with Alan Steinfield QC, in the Court of Appeal following the trial in the Chancery Decision. The claim is the leading English decision on the extent to which trustees can limit their liability for non-contractual claims.

Further details of Matthew’s practice can be found in the sections below.

Areas of experience

Checked sections will be included in the PDF download.

Select: All | None

  • Commercial Litigation

    Commercial disputes are one of Matthew’s core practice areas. He has acted and advised on sale of goods claims, complex joint ventures, energy projects and banking and financial services disputes.

    A selection of some his commercial cases include:

    • Emirates National Bank of Dubai & Ors v KBBO CPG Investment LLC & Ors [2020] DIFC CFI 045 and ongoing: Matthew led by Tom Montagu-Smith QC acts for a banking syndicate in a $300m DIFC claim to recover sums under an LMA syndicated loan facility from nineteen defendants. The sums are alleged to have been held on a Quistclose trust basis and interim proprietary injunctions were obtained to enforce that trust.
    • DIFC Investments Ltd v Dubai Islamic Bank [2020] DIFC CFI 016: Matthew acted with Tom Montagu-Smith QC on a successful claim to enforce a performance guarantee given by a bank, notwithstanding an injunction in the court where the bank was located restraining payment.
    • Bank of Beirut v Sbayti [2020] EWHC 557 (Comm): Matthew acted for the successful claimant bank in its application for summary judgment under guarantees given to secure lending to a Nigerian company.
    • IDBI Bank Limited v Amira C Foods International DMCC [2019] DIFC CA 014: Matthew acted with Tom Montagu-Smith QC on an appeal concerned with the measure of damages for breach of a documentary credit and the bank’s liability for damage to its customer’s reputation.
    • Kazzaz v Standard Chartered Bank [2019] SGHC(I) 15: Matthew acted for the claimant in this regulatory claim in the Singapore Commercial Court relating to the mis-selling of a complex package of financial products.
    • Arabian Construction Company v WLL v Credit Suisse Bank [2019] DIFC CA 008: Matthew acted, with Michael Black QC, on the first DIFC appeal in relation to the enforcement of foreign judgments under the GCC and Riyadh Convention.
    • Macquarie Capital (Europe) Limited v Nordsee Offshore MEG I GmbH [2019] EWHC 1655 (Comm): Matthew acted, with Andrew Spink QC, for the defendants in this multi-million euro claim for commission brought by the Australian bank relating to a project finance raising exercise.
    • Sheikh Mohammed Bin Issa Al Jaber v Sheikh Walid Bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim [2016] EWHC 1989 (Comm) and [2019] EWHC 1136 (Comm): Matthew acted, with Steven Thompson QC, for the first defendant in a multi-million US dollar commercial dispute. The case involved a complex four-day jurisdiction challenge involving issues of Saudi law.
    • SKAT v Elysium Global (Dubai) Limited [2018] DIFC CFI 048 and ongoing: Matthew led by Tom Montagu-Smith QC acts for the claimant, an arm of the Danish government, to recover £2 billion alleged to have been paid out to hundreds of parties pursuant to a fraudulent dividend withholding tax conspiracy.
    • Peter Black Footwear v Fawaz Abulaziz Alhokair & Co [2018] EWHC 93 (Comm)Matthew acted, with Rupert Reed QC, for a Saudi company defending a multi-million international sale of goods claim. The case involves both complex English and Saudi law issues. The trial is set down in 2019.
    • Monks v Meadows & Sweeney [2018] DIFC CFI 060: Matthew acted for the successful claimant on his claim to enforce a judgment of the English Commercial Court in the DIFC. The underlying claim related to a loan facility and the enforceability of interest provisions in the UAE.
    • CCUK Finance Ltd v Barclays Bank Plc [2018] EWHC 304 (Comm) Matthew acted, with Stephen Cogley QC, Turlough Stone and Tom Stewart Coats, for the claimants in this billion dollar claim against Barclays relating to the sale of a portfolio of sub-prime credit card debt.
    • McConnell Dowell South East Asia Pte Ltd v Essar Projects Ltd [2018] DIFC CFI 082: Matthew acted for the claimant on its claim to enforce a judgment of the Singapore Commercial Court in the DIFC. The underlying dispute related to the financing of a port in Singapore.
    • Kleinwort Benson (Guernsey) Ltd v Aras Investment Management Ltd [2017] GRC 002Matthew acted for the trustee of an open-ended unit trust, registered as a Class B Fund by the GFSC, who successfully resisted summary judgment before the Guernsey Royal Court on its claim to recover unlawful deductions from the unit trust by the designated manager and administrator.
    • X v Daily Mail [2016]: Matthew acted for a national daily in its defence of a High Court (QBD) claim by a source for fees under an alleged contract with a journalist.
    • Sheikh Mohammed Bin Issa Al Jaber v Sheikh Walid Bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim [2016] EWHC 1989 (Comm): Matthew acts, with Steven Thompson QC, for the first defendant in this multi-million US dollar commercial dispute. The matter is currently on appeal following a four-day jurisdiction challenge.
  • Trusts, Probate & Estates

    Contentious trust, probate and estate work lies at the heart of Matthew’s practice. Since joining Chambers he has rapidly grown a thriving trusts and estates practice. Matthew has acted on probate and estate claims including: validity actions, claims under the 1975 Act, administration disputes, breach of trust claims, Variation of Trust Act 1958 applications, and claims to remove representatives and trustees.

    Matthew has also built a solid international trust practice. He has been involved in a number of substantial offshore trust disputes, including in particular the Channel Islands. His experience extends to both commercial and private family trusts. He is familiar not only with trust laws in a number of jurisdictions but also the conflicts of law and jurisdictional issues that commonly arise in global trust and offshore disputes.

    Examples of his recent cases include:

    • Pilatus (PTC) Limited v RBC Trustees (Guernsey) Ltd [2019] and ongoing: Matthew acts for the defendant trustee in this substantial Guernsey trust litigation. The claim raises issues as to the nature and extent of the reflective loss principle in the trust context.
    • Re B Trust [2019] GRC 074: Matthew acted for the successful claimant on his claim before the Guernsey Royal Court to rectify a trust on the grounds of mistake.
    • Investec Trust (Guernsey) Ltd & Ors v Glenalla Properties Ltd & Ors [2019] AC 271: Matthew acted with Ewan McQuater QC and Daniel Warents before the Privy Council in this landmark appeal relating to trustees’ personal liability and the application of statutory limitations of liability as a matter of private international law.
    • Kumar v Kumari [2019]: Matthew acted for the claiment in his claim to prove a will that had been destroyed prior to death.
    • First Tower Trustees v CDS (Superstores International) Ltd  [2019] 1 WLR 637Matthew acted, with Alan Steinfield QC, in the Court of Appeal following the trial in the Chancery Decision. The claim is the leading English decision on the extent to which trustees can limit their liability for non-contractual claims.
    • Re the X Trust [2018]: Matthew acted for child beneficaries in a claim before the Gibraltar High Court to vary a trust.
    • Hylton v Hylton [2017]: Matthew acted for the claimant in a High Court claim to recover substantial sums misappropriated from an estate (which claim was successful at a summary judgement application) and also to prove the deceased’s will in solemn form.
    • Renner v Zedra Trust Company (UK) Limited [2017]: Matthew acted for the successful defendant on its application to strike out a High Court claim to revoke a grant of probate obtained as attorney to administer the estate of a foreign domiciled deceased.
    • Re Hussain [2017]: Matthew acted for the successful claimant in a High Court claim to remove executors and trustees of an estate and replace them with an independent professional solicitor.
    • Barnett v Creggy [2017] Ch. 273: Matthew, led by Steven Thompson QC, acted for the claimants at first instance and before the Court of Appeal in a claim for the repayment of substantial sums paid to a solicitor over several decades and held in an offshore trust structure. The issue in the Court of Appeal turned on the application of the Limitation Act 1980 to equitable claims against fiduciaries.
    • Zaleksi v GM Trustees Ltd [2015] GRC 042 and [2016] GCA 009: Matthew acted for the defendant trustee at a two week trial before the Guernsey Royal Courtand subsequently in the Court of Appeal. The Guernsey professional trustee successfully resisted complex breach of trust claims relating to the sale of a concession granted over a mineral port in the Gabon.
    • Bourke v Favre [2015] EWHC 277 (Ch): Matthew, led by Elspeth Talbot Rice QC, acted for the defendants in this long running family dispute about the ownership of a village in Dorset. The claim involved substantial trust and adverse possession claims and was resolved shortly before a three-week trial.
    • Jefcoate v Spread Trustee [2014] GRC 42: Matthew acted for the successful defendant trustee at the three week trial of this multi-million breach of trust claim. The claim turned on whether former National Coal Board land had been sold at an undervalue. The case involved the first consideration in Guernsey of the reflective loss principle in a trust context.
  • Arbitration

    Matthew has considerable experiencing acting in arbitrations on a wide range of commercial disputes. He has appeared in LCIA, ICC and other institutional arbitrations. He has experience of jurisdiction challenges as well as merits hearings. Matthew also has experience acting in court to obtain relief in support of arbitral proceedings. Much of Matthew’s caseload is confidential, however examples of recent cases include:

    • Re an ICC Arbitration [2020] and ongoing: Matthew is instructed as sole counsel in an ongoing multi-million dollar arbitration relating to the termination of an oil rig contract.
    • Re a DIFC-LCIA Arbitration [2020] and ongoing: Matthew acts, with Tom Montagu-Smith QC, for a major hotel chain in an arbitration relating to the termination of a hotel management agreement relating to a Middle Eastern hotel. The proceedings began following DIFC Court proceedings for interim injunctive relief pending formation of the tribunal.
    • Re a DIFC-LCIA Arbitration [2019]: Matthew acted, with Tom Montagu-Smith QC, for the successful claimant obtaining a multi-million dollar award. The proceedings concerned the termination of a commercial satallite telecommunications contract.
    • Re a DIFC-LCIA Arbitration [2016-2018]: Matthew acted, with Rupert Reed QC, in a substantial arbitration involving a claims to enforce a written parent company guarantee following the collapse of a Spanish clothing franchise.
    • Re an ICSID Arbitration [2017]: Matthew acted for a government inproceedings to resist enforcement of an award made after an ICSID arbitration. Grounds to resist enforcement arose after the award was set aside by the courts of the seat.
    • Hayri International LLC v Hazim Telecom Private Ltd [2016] DIFC ARB 010: Matthew acted, with Tom Montagu-Smith QC, for the successful applicant before the DIFC Court in Dubai for an urgent anti-suit injunction to restrain a foreign court from itself restraining arbitration proceedings.
    • G v H (2015): Matthew acted for the successful claimant in an English arbitration under the Renewable Energy Consumer Code on misrepresentation claim relating to ground source heat pumps
  • Banking and Financial Services

    Matthew has an established banking and financial services practice. He has been instructed on customer-bank and bank-bank disputes in England and overseas. He has also worked on claims involving complex financial products, including various types of swaps and derivatives. In 2014, he was instructed by the Financial Conduct Authority to draft part of the new MCOB rules to give effect to the new Mortgage Credit Directive (2014/17/EU).

    A selection of Matthew’s recent cases in this area include:

    • Emirates National Bank of Dubai & Ors v KBBO CPG Investment LLC & Ors [2020] DIFC CFI 045 and ongoing: Matthew led by Tom Montagu-Smith QC acts for a banking syndicate in a $300m DIFC claim to recover sums under an LMA syndicated loan facility from nineteen defendants.
    • DIFC Investments Ltd v Dubai Islamic Bank [2020] DIFC CFI 016: Matthew acted with Tom Montagu-Smith QC on a successful claim to enforce a performance guarantee given by a bank, notwithstanding an injunction in the court where the bank was located restraining payment.
    • Bank of Beirut v Sbayti [2020] EWHC 557 (Comm): Matthew acted for the successful claimant bank in its application for summary judgment under guarantees given to secure lending to a Nigerian company.
    • IDBI Bank Limited v Amira C Foods International DMCC [2019] DIFC CA 014: Matthew acted with Tom Montagu-Smith QC on an appeal concerned with the measure of damages for breach of a documentary credit and the bank’s liability for damage to its customer’s reputation.
    • Kazzaz v Standard Chartered Bank [2019] SGHC(I) 15: Matthew acted for the claimant in this regulatory claim in the Singapore Commercial Court relating to the mis-selling of a complex package of financial products.
    • Macquarie Capital (Europe) Limited v Nordsee Offshore MEG I GmbH [2019] EWHC 1655 (Comm): Matthew acted, with Andrew Spink QC, for the defendants in this multi-million euro claim for commission brought by the Australian bank relating to a project finance raising exercise.
    • Monks v Meadows & Sweeney [2018] DIFC CFI 060: Matthew acted for the successful claimant on his claim to enforce a judgment of the English Commercial Court in the DIFC. The underlying claim related to a loan facility and the enforceability of interest provisions in the UAE.
    • CCUK Finance Ltd v Barclays Bank Plc [2018] EWHC 304 (Comm) Matthew acted, with Stephen Cogley QC, Turlough Stone and Tom Stewart Coats, for the claimants in this billion dollar claim against Barclays relating to the sale of a portfolio of sub-prime credit card debt.
  • Company

    Matthew has considerable experience of company law claims. His work includes shareholder claims (unfair prejudice and derivative claims), breach of directors’ duties claims and regulatory and other procedural applications. Many of Matthew’s cases have an offshore element and he is able to assimilate quickly complex offshore corporate structures and advise accordingly.

    Matthew is a junior barrister representative on the Bankruptcy and Companies Court Users’ Committee and is a contributor to the forthcoming edition of Atkin’s Court Forms: Companies – General (exp. 2018).

    Examples of Matthew’s cases include:

    • Pilatus (PTC) Limited v RBC Trustees (Guernsey) Ltd [2019] and ongoing: Matthew acts for the defendant corproate trustee in this substantial Guernsey litigation relating to the governance of a substantial corporate structure. The claim raises issues as to the nature and extent of the reflective loss principle.
    • Hannon v Thresh & Mangjo Ltd [2019]: Matthew acted in a High Court claim for unfair prejudice relief in relation to a privately owned company.
    • Re the Arasbridge Unit Trust [2019] GRC 003: Matthew acted in the winding up of a substantial unit trust that had collapsed following the financial crisis.
    • Hare v Doherty [2019]: Matthew acted for the defendant in this dispute relating to an offshore corporate structing holding a South African game farm. The dispute settled shortly before its two week High Court trial.
    • Zaleksi v GM Trustees Ltd [2015] GRC 042 and [2016] GCA 009: Matthew acted for the defendant trustee in a claim and the subsequent appeal before the Guernsey Courts involving the sale of a corporate structure holding a concession over a mineral port in Gabon.
    • Huet & Cie v Brownstone Real Estate Investments Ltd [2015]: Matthew acted in an unfair prejudice claim before the British Virgin Islands High Court in relation to a hedge fund that had suspended redemptions  in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and refused to supply shareholders with information.
  • Insolvency

    Matthew is an experienced insolvency lawyer. He acts in relation to personal bankruptcies and corporate insolvencies. He has experience appearing for creditors, debtors, trustees, liquidators, administrators and other office-holders.

    His practice covers the range of insolvency work. He has acted on winding up and bankruptcy petitions, applications to annul and set aside insolvency orders, applications in administration, claims to set aside antecedent transactions, block transfer orders, income payment orders and appeals from the new bankruptcy adjudicators.

    Matthew is the junior barrister representative on the Bankruptcy and Companies Court Users’ Committee. He is also one of the draftsmen, alongside a team of senior judges and lawyers, of the Insolvency Practice Direction (see here)

    Examples of recent cases include:

    • Re Shif [2020]: Matthew acted for a guarantor on his application to set aside a statutory demand in relation to substantial lending to a property development company.
    • Re the Arasbridge Unit Trust [2019] GRC 003: Matthew acted in the winding up of a substantial unit trust that had collapsed following the financial crisis.
    • Bank of Ireland v Lord Magan [2017]: Matthew acted for the successful respondent to a bankruptcy petition in the High Court. The proceedings were widely reported in the national press.
    • EME Capital LLP v Bryant [2017]: Matthew acted for the successful petitioning creditor on a contested bankruptcy petition in relation to loans made to a broker by his former firm.
    • Re Elgin Legal Limited  [2017] BPIR 406: Matthew acted for a former administrator in his claim to resolve problems with his appointment. The case establishes a former administrator’s standing as creditor to apply for a fresh administration order and considered the case law on retrospective appointments under paragraph 13(2) of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986.
    • Lycamobile v Bank Monarch Group Limited [2016]: Matthew acted for the petitioning creditor on the winding up petition  in the High Court and in resisting the company’s application to rescind the winding up order and stay the insolvency proceedings.
  • Civil Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery

    Many of Matthew’s cases involve allegations of fraud or claims to recover property. He has experience pleading and pursuing such claims for claimants and resisting fraud claims for defendants. He is familiar with the common ancillary applications including freezing orders and Norwich Pharmacal orders. His insolvency experience means he is often asked to advised liquidators and trustees on asset recovery claims and potential claimants on the use of insolvency procedures to recover assets.

    Some cases that give a flavour of Matthew’s work in this area include:

    • Emirates National Bank of Dubai & Ors v KBBO CPG Investment LLC & Ors [2020] DIFC CFI 045 and ongoing: Matthew led by Tom Montagu-Smith QC acts for a banking syndicate in a $300m DIFC claim to recover sums under an LMA syndicated loan facility from nineteen defendants. The sums are alleged to have been held on a Quistclose trust basis and interim proprietary injunctions were obtained to enforce that trust.
    • SKAT v Elysium Global (Dubai) Limited [2018] DIFC CFI 048 and ongoing: Matthew led by Tom Montagu-Smith QC acts for the claimant, an arm of the Danish government, to recover £2 billion alleged to have been paid out to hundreds of parties pursuant to a fraudulent dividend withholding tax conspiracy.
    • Tavira Securities Ltd v Re Point Ventures FZCO [2017] DIFC CFI 026: Matthew, with Tom Montagu-Smith QC, acted for the claimants in this DIFC claim for damages for deceit and conspiracy arising from share brokerage transactions
    • Barnett v Creggy [2017] Ch 273: Matthew, led by Steven Thompson QC, acted for the claimants at first instance and before the Court of Appeal in a claim for the repayment of substantial sums paid to a solicitor over several decades and held in an offshore structure. The issue in the Court of Appeal turned on the application of the Limitation Act 1980 to equitable claims against fiduciaries.
    • Peak Construction (London) Ltd v Michael Savva [2016] EWHC 1295 (Ch): Matthew successfully obtained an urgent freezing order in support of the claimant’s  bribery claim arising in relation to a construction project. Matthew subsequently obtained unless orders enforcing the disclosure obligations.
    • Jefcoate v Spread Trustee & Ors [2014] GRC 42: Matthew acted for the successful defendant trustee during the three-week trial before the Guernsey Royal Court of a conspiracy claim by a beneficiary brought in relation to the sale of trust property.
  • Real Estate Litigation

    Many of Matthew’s cases involve dealing with real property. He has acted in all manner of claims including: possession actions, claims under TOLATA 1996, beneficial ownership disputes, proprietary estoppel claims, adverse possession claims and sale and conveyance disputes. Matthew has also advised and acted in a number of commercial and residential leasehold disputes and has experience of leasehold enfranchisement claims.

    Some of his recent cases include:

    • First Tower Trustees v CDS (Superstores International) Ltd  [2019] 1 WLR 637Matthew acted, with Alan Steinfield QC, in the Court of Appeal following the trial in the Chancery Decision. The claim is the leading decision on misrepresentation and contractual estoppel in the context of commercial leases.
    • Hannon v Thresh [2019]: Matthew acted in a High Court claim in relation to a claim that a substantial London residential property was subject to a constructive trust.
    • Hylton v Hylton [2017]: Matthew acted for the successful claimant on her application for summary judgment in a High Court (Ch D) claim to recover the misappropriated sale proceeds of a property belonging to an estate. The claim entailed resolving the contested beneficial ownership of the property.
    • Piercy v Wilkinson [2015-2016]: Matthew acted for the claimants in a leasehold enfranchisement dispute relating to a central London residential property.
    • Bourke v Favre [2015] EWHC 277 (Ch): Matthew, led by Elspeth Talbot Rice QC, acted for the defendants in this long running family dispute about the ownership of a village in Dorset. The claim involved both substantial trust and adverse possession claims and was resolved shortly before a three-week trial.
    • Re an Oxford Street commercial property [2015]: Matthew advised on a dispute under a commercial lease of prime central London commercial property arising from the exercise of a break clause.

Academic History

  • BA History and Politics (1st) – The Queen’s College, University of Oxford
  • GDL (Distinction) – City Law School, London
  • BPTC (Outstanding) – BPP Law School, London

Scholarships and Prizes

  • Cecil King Prize – The Queen’s College, Oxford
  • J.A. Scott Prize – The Queen’s College, Oxford
  • Equity and Trusts Prize – City Law School
  • Peta Fordham Scholarship and Exhibition – The Inner Temple

Professional Memberships

  • DIFC Registered Practitioner (Part II)
  • The Chancery Bar Association
  • The Commercial Bar Association
  • Junior Barrister Member: Bankruptcy and Companies Court Users’ Committee

Publications