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Matthew has a broad practice in planning & environmental law, public law and property law.

Planning & Environmental Law

Matthew is ranked among the top barristers in planning law under the age of 35 in the Planning Magazine’s 2017 Legal Survey. His advocacy and advisory practice extends to all areas of planning and environmental law.

He acted, with Matthew Reed QC, for the developer in Dover DC & China Gateway International Ltd v CPRE Kent [2017] UKSC 79, in which the Supreme Court considered the duty on local authorities to give reasons for planning decisions.

His recent High Court work includes:

  • William Davis Ltd v Charnwood BC [2017] EWHC 3006 (Admin) – acted for five major housebuilders in a successful challenge concerning the lawfulness of a Supplementary Planning Document housing mix policy (led by Gwion Lewis)
  • Eatherley v Camden LBC [2017] P.T.S.R. 288 – important case defining the scope of permitted development rights for basements (acted for the successful claimant, led by Gwion Lewis and Martin Westgate QC)
  • Dillner v Sheffield City Council [2016] Env. L.R. 31 – acted for the successful interested party resisting a judicial review concerning the lawfulness of tree-felling highway maintenance operations (led by Tim Buley)

He also has experience in Local Plan examination hearings, having recently acted for Cheshire East Council (led by Christopher Katkowski QC) in promoting their new Local Plan, which was adopted in Summer 2017. 

His recent inquiry work includes:

  • Flatts Lane, Redcar - acted for a housebuilder in a successful appeal concerning a 400-home scheme (junior to Christopher Katkowski QC)
  • Gorstyhill “Wychwood Village Extension”, Crewe - acted for Cheshire East Council successfully resisting a recovered appeal concerning a 900-home scheme (junior to Christopher Katkowski QC)
  • Jim 2 Ltd v Walsall MBC – acted for the council in a two-week public inquiry to determine a contaminated land appeal under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (the second ever inquiry in the history of the regime) (junior to James Maurici QC)
  • Fontwell Avenue, Fontwell – acted for the successful developer in an inquiry concerning a called-in application for a 400-home residential and employment scheme in West Sussex, raising issues of conflict with made and emerging neighbourhood plans (junior to Christopher Katkowski QC)
  • King v Maldon DC – acted for the council in successfully resisting an enforcement appeal raising issues of deliberate concealment
  • Ahmed v Brent Council – acted for successful appellant in an enforcement inquiry concerning issues of deliberate concealment
  • Olney Rugby Club footpath inquiry – successfully represented a rugby club in a public inquiry to determine the existence of a right of way over the club’s land.

Forthcoming planning & environmental work includes:

  • A four-day circa-100 home planning inquiry, acting for Bromley Council
  • A three-week inquiry acting for a retail developer in a called-in application in Handforth Dean, Cheshire East (led by David Elvin QC)
  • A four-week inquiry acting for Manchester City Council resisting a 600-dwelling (plus marina, retail and café) appeal (led by Christopher Katkowski QC)

Other recent work includes:

  • Bringing a s.288 challenge against an Inspector’s decision concerning the failure to have regard to a neighbouring listed building. The Secretary of State consented to an order quashing the decision.
  • Acting in a judicial review claim on behalf of local residents against a certificate of lawful use issued to the UK’s largest insect and reptile breeding farm. Permission was granted on the papers but the case subsequently settled out of court.
  • Regular experience prosecuting and defending in criminal planning enforcement proceedings, as well as acting in appeals against section 215 notices, in the Magistrates’ Court and the Crown Court.
  • Advisory work for local authorities, individuals, developers and community groups, concerning a wide range of planning and environmental issues. 

Property Law  

Matthew has a broad property practice. Recent work includes:

  • Acting for a high-profile UK retailer in injunction proceedings against trespassers across a number of different sites
  • Acting for a major gas transporter in a successful urgent application in the High Court for an interim injunction preventing development works in the vicinity of a high-pressure pipeline.
  • Successfully representing a group of Right-to-Buy leaseholders in resisting a £50,000 service charge demand per flat in the First-Tier Tribunal: see News Item.

Matthew is instructed with Katharine Holland QC in an ongoing arbitration over the interpretation of compensation clauses in a pipeline easement deed, and in the forthcoming Court of Appeal hearing of General Motors UK Ltd v Manchester Ship Canal Co Ltd.

Matthew’s County Court practice covers:

  • Residential and commercial possession proceedings against tenants, trespassers, mortgagors and service occupants.
  • Relief from forfeiture proceedings on behalf of landlords and tenants.
  • Private nuisance actions, e.g. concerning demolition works.
  • Costs and case management hearings for a variety of property disputes. 

In the First-Tier Tribunal:

  • He recently represented the landlord of a large block of flats in s.168 proceedings, and successfully obtained a determination of multiple nuisance covenant breaches.
  • He acted for a group of tenants in a successful Right to Manage application.

He regularly advises and drafts documents for a wide range of leasehold enfranchisement matters, forfeiture proceedings, easement disputes, renewal of business tenancies and dilapidations.

He has given talks on retaliatory eviction following the Deregulation Act 2015, recent leasehold enfranchisement cases, and determining the participants in a collective enfranchisement claim. 

Public Law 

Matthew accepts instructions in all areas of public law. He is particularly experienced in immigration law. He regularly acts for appellants in the First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) and applicants in judicial review proceedings. While eligible, he did a significant amount of work as a “Junior Junior” drafting summary grounds of defence for the Home Office.

Matthew also has a particular interest in social security law. He recently successfully represented the National Deaf Children’s Society before a three-judge panel of the Upper Tribunal in an important case concerning the interpretation of the meaning of “safely” of the Personal Independence Payment Regulations 2013: RJ, GMcL and CS v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v RJ (PIP) [2017] UKUT 105 (AAC). The case resulted in the Government changing the national guidance on PIP claims, and is expected to increase the number of successful claimants by 10,000 by 2022.

He regularly acts pro bono in immigration and social security cases, through charities including the Free Representation Unit and the AIRE Centre.

Alongside his domestic public law practice, he is currently acting for the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus in a judicial review brought by several hundred local employees concerning pay reductions (led by Samantha Broadfoot QC).

Prior to joining Landmark Chambers, Matthew was a Legal Assistant at the European Council of Refugees and Exiles in Brussels, Belgium. He has also volunteered for a number of legal charities in London, including the Free Representation Unit, the Afghan and Central Asia Association, the National Centre for Domestic Violence, the Bar Pro Bono Unit, Southwark Law Centre and the Refugee Children’s Rights Project.