Landmark Chambers

Home > Our people > Barristers > Matthew Reed QC

Matthew Reed

Matthew Reed QC


Print all
CV (Print to PDF)

Matthew was called to the Bar in 1995 having studied at King’s College, Cambridge. He was awarded a Jules Thorn scholarship from the Middle Temple and has specialised in planning, environmental and local government law for the past 19 years. Matthew has been ranked as a leading junior in the planning sections of Chambers & Partners, the Legal 500 and Planning Magazine since 2008. He is ranked as a top-rated planning silk in the Planning Magazine Law Survey for 2017.

The Legal 500 has stated that Matthew's "knowledge of planning law is second to none, has a thorough and efficient handling of cases" and is "a first-choice barrister for anything contentious".

He has been described in Chambers & Partners as “especially valued for his expertise in cases that combine elements of planning, real estate and environmental law”, “tenacious, meticulous and thorough in cross-examination" “solid, straightforward” and that “his planning knowledge is excellent” with “approachability and commitment”.  Chambers and Partners also states (2016):. "He has a phenomenal intellect and clients enjoy working with him. Nothing seems to faze him." "He will go far as he is very driven." “A top choice for local authorities seeking a well-regarded junior with a range of experience. He has particular expertise in the housing sector.”

In Chambers and Partners 2017, Matthew is ranked in the top band. It says that Matthew is “regarded as one of the top planning juniors currently working in the field. He excels in a wide range of cases including appeals at all levels, enforcement matters and the promotion of or objection to development in the residential, retail and industrial sectors. His work for both government bodies and private corporations has earned him an excellent profile”.  He is described as “one of the most hard-working, determined barristers around. He has a very good knowledge of planning law, especially with environmental issues, and is extremely capable in advocacy and cross-examination - you know you have given your client the best shot. A very good choice for the difficult cases”; he is described as “a leading junior, excellent at leading detailed cases at inquiry, and charming with clients.”

Planning & Local Government

Within the planning field, Matthew acts for private clients and local authority. He has wide experience in:

  • Appeals;
  • Called-in applications;
  • Enforcement matters including representation in the Magistrate, Crown and High Courts;
  • Development plan examinations; and
  • High Court and Court of Appeal applications and appeals.

He has both promoted and objected to large scale housing and retail schemes, industrial developments and infrastructure projects; projects have included a large number of windfarm and renewable energy schemes as well as stadia and port developments. He has promoted waste transfer facilities through appeals and represented authorities objecting to them. He successfully challenged the East of England and South East England Regional Spatial Strategies. He appeared in St Albans District Council v Hunston Properties [2013] EWCA 1610, the landmark decision on the interpretation of NPPF housing policy.

Other areas of local government work include compulsory purchase and compensation cases in which he has appeared at inquiries and in the Lands Tribunal; he has promoted CPOs on housing, highway and regeneration projects and has acted for claimants and objectors to numerous compulsory purchase schemes. Matthew’s compensation practice has dealt with a wide-range of matters, including mining and railway projects. He is a member of the Compulsory Purchase Association.

Matthew has acted for clients on a range of rating matters and undertaken High Court case stated appeals. He also represents local authorities and defendants in criminal planning cases both in the Magistrates and Crown Courts and has done a large number of cases arising under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.


In the environmental field, Matthew has particular expertise in contaminated land matters, appearing at the first special site contaminated land case in the country, representing major corporations in contaminated land appeals and remediation notice cases and appearing in the High Court on contaminated land issues. He is the environmental permitting (pollution) section contributor of the Oxford University Press Environmental Law and is the author of the waste chapter of Garner’s Environmental Law and has acted on cases concerned with the permitting process in the heavy industry sector. He has dealt with major infrastructure projects in the environmental field and has recently represented two local authorities in a draft water resources management plan inquiry for the Thames Water area. In Matthew’s highways law practice, he has represented clients on rights of way and highway (including major road) inquiries and has appeared in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal on traffic regulation matters and provided representation on transport subsidy issues. In the field of statutory nuisance and licensing, Matthew has represented local authorities and private clients in the Magistrates Court on appeal and criminal prosecutions both in the Magistrates Court and the High Court (including St Albans District Council v Patel [2009] Env LR 22). In Parliament, Matthew has represented local authorities objecting to Crossrail and promoting private bills in the Lords. He is a member of the Bar’s parliamentary practitioner association, the Parliamentary Bar Mess.

He is a member of the Planning and Environment Bar Association and is a contributor to Environmental Law (OUP, 2008) and Garner’s Environmental Law.

Matthew is a member of the Compulsory Purchase Association and a member of the Parliamentary Bar Mess. He is also a qualified ADR Group Accredited Mediator.

Parliamentary cases 

  • Objection of Newham Borough Council to the Crossrail Bill in the House of Lords Select Committee, 2008
  • Promotion of local bill for Liverpool City Council, Leicester and Maidstone to control street trading, 2006

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms