Matthew has a busy defence and prosecution practice in the Crown Court and Magistrates’ Court. He has experience across a range of offences including: firearms, drugs, dishonesty, domestic violence, motoring and sexual offences. Beyond general crime, Matthew practises in court martial, firearms licensing, regulatory proceedings and financial and white-collar crime.
Matthew joined 9BR as a tenant following completion of pupillage in April 2020. Since he started practising, instructing solicitors have remarked that, “[they] trust him to offer sound advice and build excellent rapport with clients”. Matthew has also earned praise from a senior circuit judge, being described as, “confident, clear and concise...he is the sort of barrister judges welcome having before them, which can only be to the advantage of his clients”.
BACKGROUND AND EXPERTISE
Matthew has experience as both prosecution and defence counsel in a variety of single and multi-defendant Crown Court trials.
Matthew has handled demanding cases involving considerations as to dangerousness, fitness to plead and mental health and young and vulnerable witnesses. Matthew has experience in dealing with Criminal Behaviour Orders, Sexual Harm Prevention Orders, and Proceeds of Crime related proceedings and associated orders. As a CPS Grade two prosecutor Matthew frequently advises on issues relating to disclosure.
Whilst a pupil at 9BR, Matthew assisted senior members of chambers in a number of complex and high-profile cases, including: murders, serious sexual assaults, rape & multi-million-pound VAT fraud.
Prior to being called to the Bar, Matthew served as an army infantry officer for over 5 years up to the rank of Captain; leading combat troops on overseas deployments, including multiple active operational tours of Afghanistan. Aside from tactical command, he was also involved in overseeing soldiers engaged with internal disciplinary procedures, gaining an early insight into military justice, often attending court martial as an Assisting Officer. Matthew is therefore well placed to both understand military systems and quickly build quality client relationships with servicemen and women. He is currently briefed in court martials at both Catterick and Bulford Court Martial Centres.
Firearms & Firearms Licensing
Matthew maintains a keen interest in firearms law, utilising his experience and understanding of firearms from his time in military, as well as a personal interest as a licensed holder of firearms. Matthew appreciates that firearms law is often a challenging area of practice and enjoys bringing his knowledge and expertise to bear, often advising solicitors. Furthermore, he recently co-authored a webinar on firearms law and recent changes to sentencing practice under the Sentencing Council Guidelines.
In addition to firearms within a general criminal context, Matthew also represents private clients at the Crown Court appealing police decisions relating to their certification and licensing. Matthew is currently instructed in a variety of Crown Court licensing appeals nationally.
Financial and White-Collar Crime
Having previously worked in the front office of a tier-1 US Investment bank, in an FCA registered position, Matthew is positioned well to advance his financial and white-collar criminal practice. He was recently instructed by a leading white-collar law firm on a large scale multi-jurisdictional and multi-enforcement agency investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption. Matthew also has a developing prosecution knowledge of financial criminal investigations through his current instructions for the Serious Fraud Office advising on disclosure, relevance and LPP on a fraud and money laundering case.
As a Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) Case Presenter, Matthew has experience of presenting cases relating to interim measures and substantive order reviews.
Matthew also has experience in representing private clients in cases involving local authorities and prosecutions brought under the Housing Act 2004.
Outreach & Pro-bono
Matthew administers the 9BR mini-pupillage programme and is currently reviewing mini-pupillage to enhance outreach and support Inner Temple’s Pegasus Access and Support Scheme (PASS); offering mini-pupillages to students from groups underrepresented at the Bar.
Prior to pupillage Matthew represented clients on a number of cases at the Free Representation Unit (FRU) and taught debating to prisoners at HMPs: Wandsworth, Downside and Thameside, as part of the Gray’s Inn Vocalise Programme.
Prosecution counsel. Secured a conspiracy to burgle conviction after trial. Well organised group burglaries of multiple high-value residential properties throughout Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex. Trial involved adducing extensive cell site, mobile phone and ANPR data. Guildford Crown Court.
Robbery and attempted robbery sentence. Despite a sentencing categorisation with a start point of 4 years (range 3 – 6 years), alongside multiple aggravating factors, HHJ was persuaded to sentence significantly below the sentencing range, imposing a 2-year suspended sentence. Sentencing involved demanding issues relating to mental health and advice on vacating plea. Mitigation advocacy was described by HHJ as “really able”. Lewes Crown Court. News story here.
Plea and basis to handling stolen goods accepted on day one of domestic burglary and theft trial. Potential third strike domestic burglary sentence avoided. HHJ persuaded to sentence 20 months in custody. Wolverhampton Crown Court.
Five handed class B drugs production sentence. Basis accepted that the offending was lesser “gardener” role, despite evidence indicating potential for significant role. Client sentenced to 10 months. Norwich Crown Court.
Appeal to the Crown Court. Instructed as Prosecution Counsel, successfully resisted a defence appeal against conviction for using a mobile phone whilst driving. Isleworth Crown Court.
PWITS class B sentence. HHJ persuaded to sentence at bottom of SCGs to a 6-month SSO with no conditions, despite falling as significant role cat 3 on SCGs. Guildford Crown Court.
Special reasons hearing and sentence. Judge persuaded to sentence well below the SCGs to 5 penalty points and a £500 fine for driving 108 mph on a 60-mph road. Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court.
Mitigation for an aggravated burglary and two s20 GBH counts. Involved consideration and advice on complex basis of plea. PSR ordered to consider dangerousness. Offending fell at the top of the SCGs. Successfully avoided finding of dangerousness and a sentence below the top category SCGs start point. Sentence of 7 years 6 months. Inner London Crown Court.
Handling stolen goods trial. Cross examination of an officer on a voire dire, during trial, after Matthew identified continuity of evidence errors. Crown forced to offer no evidence after application to adjourn successfully opposed in light of previously unidentified evidence handling errors. Romford Youth Court.
Prosecution conviction secured in transphobic assault and criminal damage trial. Trial involved adducing evidence of multiple young and vulnerable witnesses and cross examination of young defendant. Special measures in place throughout. Maidstone Magistrates’ Court.
Stalking and breach of non-molestation order trial. Acquittal obtained on breach of non-molestation order after gaps in Crown’s evidence exposed during cross examination. Croydon Magistrates’ Court.
PROFILE: Matthew Simpson
Regulatory / Disciplinary
0207 489 2727
University of Manchester, Politics & History – 1st Class BA (Hons)
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
CFA (UK), Investment Management Certificate
BPP University, GDL – Commendation
University of Law, BPTC – Very Competent
BPTC James Crouch Scholar (Gray’s Inn)
Internship Award (Gray’s Inn)
Criminal Bar Association
South Eastern Circuit
Young Fraud Lawyers Association
CPS Panel (Grade 2)
NMC Case Presenter
ICCA “Advocacy and the Vulnerable Training Programme”
AG Civil “Junior Junior” Panel