Alex has a strong practice prosecuting and defending. She performs deftly in cases involving vulnerable clients and has experience of running both insanity defences and dealing with fitness to plead procedures.
Alex is well versed in dealing with multi-handed instructions both for the prosecution and defence having extensively advised on charging many such cases while seconded at the CPS.
Alex is confident when dealing with sexual offences both for the prosecution and when defending.
She has recently been instructed to defend in a five handed conspiracy trial at St Albans Crown Court involving a number of youth defendants. This trial has featured complex tactical decisions, issues of law and bad character. Client care is always at the heart of Alex’s work and her diligent work assisting a young defendant of good character through a difficult trial has been a prime example of her excellent client care skills.
She has strong experience assisting children and young people through both the youth and crown Courts. This was drawn on when she presented the recent 9BR webinar with Emma Heath entitled Youths: Simplifying the Sentencing Regime.
Alex has experience of defending military personnel both in civilian courts and at Court Martial. She is familiar with the particular difficulties in such cases, especially as regards sentencing serving servicemen/women.
She has particular experience defending Deaf/deaf defendants and is a personable advocate who excels when it comes to helping clients understand trial procedures and processes.
Background and Expertise
In 2019 Alex was seconded to CPS London South Central Crown Court Unit. She took the lead on prosecuting drugs and kidnap conspiracies, attempted murder and aggravated burglaries, amongst lower level offences such as possession of blades and assaults. This experience has lent her unique insight into the operations of the CPS as a body, and has employed her keen analytical skills to good effect.
Alex is regularly instructed in high profile protest prosecution work. Her growing expertise in this area of law (and robust disclosure experience) render her an ideal candidate for both defence and prosecution instructions in this field.
Alex has also undertaken work as a prosecution junior on a number of multi-handed cases (including insurance and car-ringing frauds) and has run the resulting POCA proceedings.
Alex has also undertaken disclosure secondments with the both the SFO and on the Grenfell Tower inquiry, and as a result is familiar with Autonomy and other document platforms, thus cementing her experience working both as independent counsel and as a productive team player.
From drugs indictments, through to GBH and robbery, Alex defends across the gamut of offences in the Crown Court, regularly in multi-handed matters.
Before coming to the bar Alex worked as a paralegal at a high-street legal aid firm and within the criminal department at Kingsley Napley LLP. She is therefore intimately familiar with the work those instructing her are undertaking, and the ways she can best assist.
Alex was awarded the Jules Thorne Scholarship in 2012, an award granted for academic achievement by Middle Temple Inn of Court.
Acting as junior to Justin Rouse KC defending teenager in knife murder allegation. Dealing with cut throat defences and arguing admissibility of hearsay and analysis of CCTV footage, thereby introducing a new suspect.
Explosives act case. Mentally vulnerable defendant accused of making a bomb in his bedroom. Extensive psychiatric evidence and consideration of fitness to plead, insanity and appropriate disposal.
Junior alone in a 10 handed class A drugs conspiracy concerning 19kg cocaine. Alex advised extensively on plea, basis and categorisation having numerous conferences with the client in HMP and producing a number of submissions notes in the 9 months between plea and sentence in this complex multi- handed Newton. Ultimately Alex was able to persuade the Crown to drop the defendant’s role from leading, category 1, to significant category 2 with a very limited period of offending within the wider conspiracy.
Alex acted as prosecution junior to Jessica Clarke on an 8 handed firearms indictment involving a serious GBH using a metal weapon, handguns and a shotgun. In preparation for trial Alex drafted extensive gangs bad character applications, compiling addendums as further character material came to light. Following a number of guilty pleas, and then guilty pleas on day 1 of trial by two defendants, two further defendants were convicted after trial of s.18 wounding and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. One youth is to be re-tried on a like firearms charge.
Anti-Vax protest case. Following Alex’s charging advice she acted as counsel in the 5 handed 3 day trial in the Magistrates’ Court involving extensive legal argument on protest law and HRA/Article Rights. This case involved an attack by a mob on the BBC Newsnight journalist Nick Watt at an anti-vax anti-lockdown protest. All defendants were convicted post trial.
AR trial which concerning a serious GBH of a mother by her son; in a psychotic state he had repeatedly bitten her face and neck causing her grave injuries. The case required dealing with a hostile witness, arguing points of law over self-defence in the context of actus reus trials, and eventually legal argument in relation to a s.41 order.
Defended a five handed conspiracy to rob. Defendant acquitted after 6 week trial of conspiracy to rob.
Court Martial at Bulford – defendant acquitted of sexual assault charge.
Historic sex case. Prosecution forced to offer no evidence after Alex’s cross examination of the complainant.
Drugs conspiracy. Obtained an acquittal on a false imprisonment charge in the face of phone evidence, cell site, and the evidence of an informant.
Trial - attempted GBH of police officers. Obtained an outright acquittal on serious charges in a case in which ‘insanity’ was agreed between prosecution and defence, having put the Crown to proof.
Obtained an acquittal for armed robbery via cross-examination of key witnesses.
Prosecution junior on 4 handed fraud lasting 6 weeks. Summer 2017
Read more Notable cases
‘A Practical Guide to Fitness to Plead and Insanity in the Crown Court and Magistrates Court’ - Available here
PROFILE: Alex Matthews
020 7489 2727
Exeter University BA (2.1)
Kings College/RADA MA (Distinction)
The Honourable Society of Middle Temple,
Recorder of the South Eastern Circuit Committee
Member of the Executive Committee of the Criminal Bar Association
CPS Panel (Grade 3)
CPS RASSO panel