Neil Matthews




Call Date: 2012

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Neil is an eloquent, persuasive and determined advocate practising in criminal and civil law. He has experience of defending and prosecuting in criminal, regulatory and extradition cases. He has acted for clients in the Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court, Courts Martial and Employment Tribunal. He is regularly instructed across a broad range of matters including sexual offences, drugs, offences against the person, and financial crime. He is a specialist in information law, information governance and the assurance that information systems comply with relevant regulatory frameworks. He has a strong practice defending clients facing allegations of motoring offences. He is able to use his previous military experience to positive effect in Court, in the conduct of cases and in dealing with clients. He is often described as unflappable, and able to remain calm in exacting circumstances. Prior to coming to the Bar, Neil served as an Army Officer, founded a successful consultancy business and was selected to work in the legal division of Goldman Sachs after a highly competitive selection procedure.

Neil has been described as “a rising star advocate”.

Neil plays rugby regularly and is able (on occasion) to dazzle on the pitch despite his seniority in years. He is a keen mountaineer and having followed this pursuit for some years is determined to climb the Matterhorn before hanging up his crampons.


R v I. Trial – Defended client at trial. Allegation of PWITS (Class A). Woolwich CC.

R v S. Trial – Theft. Crown persuaded to offer no evidence. Sentenced for other matter of theft. Immediate release secured. Southampton CC.

R v O. Trial – Defended client at trial. Allegation of possession of bladed article, 3 x assault. Defendant acquitted. Isleworth CC.

R v T. Court Martial – Defended client at Court Martial. GBH S 20.

R v C. Trial – Robbery. Crown offered no evidence. Chichester CC.

R v M. Trial – Threats to Kill. Southwark CC. Issues of fitness to plead.

R v R. Sentencing hearing – 1 x Possession with intent to supply, Class B, 1 x possession of bladed article, 1 x breach of conditional discharge. Sentenced to 6 months’ custody suspended for 12 months.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry – Instructed to act for the inquiry.

R v T. Disclosure application – Appeared at the Central Criminal Court on three occasions for this case. Made applications that the learned Judge should order the Crown to disclose 4 pieces of evidence. My submissions persuaded the Judge to order the disclosure and prosecution counsel to review the CRIS. At a subsequent hearing, counsel for the prosecution accepted that despite the CPS position there was clearly material in the CRIS which should be disclosed. Other disclosure issues had been resolved by Police investigations directed by the Court. Crown persuaded to offer no evidence at later hearing.

T v S – Conduct disclosure review for City solicitors’ firm concerning allegations of fraud and bribery against the senior staff of a consortium of construction, development and mining companies. Selected to continue review after initial scope exceeded. 3 months.

R v B. Breach of Sexual Harm Prevention Order – Not guilty. Cross examined the OIC, highlighting inaccuracies and inconsistencies in her account and evidence. Cross examined an expert witness for the prosecution who accepted defence points. Successfully applied for a certificate for counsel.

R v W. Assault by beating – When defending an allegation of assault, Neil raised the Prosecution’s failure to disclose evidence as an issue. The prosecution had failed to disclose dashcam footage of the alleged incident, despite an order of the Court. It had not been brought to Court for the trial. Neil explained that the Crown had not met its duty of disclosure. The Crown applied for an adjournment which was opposed and which was refused. The Crown refused to offer no evidence at this stage. Neil made application that all the Crown’s evidence should be excluded under S 78 PACE. This argument was accepted and the Crown’s evidence excluded. The Crown offered no evidence and the case was dismissed.

R v E. Assault PC – Neil cross examined four Police Officers, exposing inconsistencies in the detail of their accounts regarding where they were positioned, what they had seen and what it would have been possible for them to see. The defendant was the only witness for the defence and Neil controlled his evidence in chief despite his tendency toward excitability. Not guilty. Defence costs awarded.

R v S. Assault PC – A successful submission of no case to answer for a charge of assaulting a police officer in the course of his duty. Neil cross examined two Police officers who accepted at the time of the alleged assault (punch) four officers were holding the defendant’s arms.

R v P. >Aiding and abetting theft – Following a decision to try a defendant in his absence, Neil persuaded the prosecutor that the offence was not made out and she should offer no evidence. The case was dismissed.

R v A. Extradition hearing – successful bail application at first appearance for an extradition hearing. The defendant was arrested pursuant to a European Arrest Warrant issued on conviction in Belgium. Client’s immediate release secured.

R v R. Speeding – The Crown had served two documents laying the information, one within and one without the 6 month time limit. Identified case law which set out that in circumstances where there was confusion over the date of laying an information the Court should favour the Defence. The Bench accepted this and the Crown offered no evidence. Defence costs awarded.

R v B. Failing to provide details of driver – The statement purporting to exhibit the postal summons was not written by the individual who had sent the letter, but by an individual whose evidence was that it would have been sent. The prosecutor proceeded despite this. Successful submission of no case to answer. Defence costs awarded.


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