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Matthew Fraser

Matthew Fraser


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Matthew has a broad practice of 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 recently appeared in the Supreme Court with Matthew Reed QC to represent China Gateway International Ltd in the case of Dover District Council v Campaign to Protect Rural England, in which the court will consider the source, nature and extent of the duty to give reasons for granting planning permission.

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

His recent inquiry work includes:

  • Junior to Christopher Katkowski QC, acting for a housebuilder in a successful appeal concerning a large residential scheme in Redcar.
  • Junior to Christopher Katkowski QC, acting for Cheshire East Council successfully resisting a recovered appeal concerning a major housing development proposal to the south of Crewe.
  • Junior to James Maurici QC for Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council in a 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 Christopher Katkowski QC, acting for the successful developer in an inquiry concerning a called-in application for a housing and employment scheme in West Sussex, raising issues of conflict with made and emerging neighbourhood plans.
  • Acting for both local authorities and appellants in enforcement inquiries, with particular experience in dealing with issues of concealment.
  • He 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:

  • The substantive hearing of a judicial review, acting on behalf of five major housebuilders, concerning the lawfulness of Charnwood Borough Council’s new Supplementary Planning Document (led by Gwion Lewis);
  • A four-day circa-100 unit housing appeal for Bromley Council;
  • A three-week inquiry acting for a developer in a called-in application in 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).

In the High Court, Matthew has recently:

  • Appeared for the successful claimant (with Gwion Lewis and Martin Westgate QC) in Eatherley v Camden Council, concerning the scope of permitted development rights for basements.
  • Acted as junior to Tim Buley for the successful Interested Party in R (Dillner) v Sheffield City Council, a judicial review of the Council’s tree-felling operations as part of public highway maintenance.
  • Brought 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.
  • Acted 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. 
  • Matthew also has 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. 

Property Law  

Matthew has a broad property practice. Recent work includes:

  • 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 a forthcoming 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 action 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) 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). He also gave a talk on PIP at a recent seminar. He regularly acts pro bono in benefit cases through charities including the Free Representation Unit.

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).

As a pupil, Matthew assisted other members of chambers with a successful challenge to the fast track procedure rules for asylum appellants, drafting submissions to the Court of Justice of the European Union on the EU law right to reside for third country nationals who have been victims of domestic abuse by their EU-citizen former spouse, and judicial review of the legal aid regulations for domestic violence victims in family law proceedings. 

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.