Barrister Profile


Year of Call: 2008

Main Areas of Practice

Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Commercial Law
Employment Law
Professional Negligence


Commercial Litigation

Matthew advises and represents clients in contentious matters arising out of business or commercial transactions. In particular he is regularly involved in litigation matters arising from contracts for works of building or engineering construction; contracts of engagement of architects, engineers or quantity surveyors; property disputes; the sale of goods; insurance; banking and agency. Matthew also has extensive experience in all forms of alternative dispute resolution including arbitration, mediation, and adjudication.

Employment Law

Matthew’s employment practice is focused on representing employers in the Employment Tribunals, High Court and Court of Appeal. He represents private clients and public authorities. He has extensive experience of representing respondents in unfair dismissal claims and discrimination Proceedings.

Matthew has particular experience in the field of enforcement of restrictive covenants and confidentiality obligations and he is regularly instructed in injunctive proceedings in this field.

Professional Negligence

Matthew accepts instructions for both Plaintiffs and Defendants in all forms of professional negligence litigation. He has experience in professional negligence litigation involving architects, solicitors, surveyors, engineers and accountants.

Matthew has particular interest in work in the field of clinical negligence both in the High Court and in Coronial Proceedings. Matthew has considerable experience in clinical negligence cases arising from obstetrics and gynecology, neurology and mental health.

Matthew represented the next of kin in the first inquest into the death of an unborn baby in this jurisdiction following the decision The Attorney General for Northern Ireland & Anor v The Senior Coroner for Northern Ireland [2013] NICA 68 (21 November 2013). Since that ruling Matthew has represented multiple families of stillborn babies both at inquest and in High Court proceedings.

Judicial review

Matthew accepts instructions for Applicants, Respondents and Interested Parties in all areas of judicial review. Matthew has considerable experience representing clients in the Judicial Review Court both with and without senior counsel.

Recently Matthew represented the developer in this matter who the Court recognised as a Notice Party. This was an application for judicial review by a member of a resident’s association against a decision of Belfast City Council to grant planning permission for a £55 million office and retail development in Belfast City Centre. Conlon v Belfast City Council [2018] NIQB 49 (24 May 2018)


LL.B Honours, University of Dundee: July 2007

Certificate in Professional Legal Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast: July 2008

Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland: September 2008

Member of the Government Legal Services Civil Panel: 2012 – Present

Member of the Directorate of Legal Services Property, Commercial, Procurement and Administrative Law Panel: 2014 - Present

Called to the Bar of Ireland: March 2019

Member of the Commercial Bar Association of Northern Ireland

Member of the Personal Injury Bar Association of Northern Ireland

Member of the Sports Law Bar Association of Ireland


A Selection of Published Judgments

Court of Appeal

RS, Re Judicial Review [2014] NIQB 88

Matthew represented the Applicant in this challenge to the lawfulness of the detention of a mental health patient by the Respondent Trust. The judicial review was allowed, the matter was subject to appeal and cross-appeal before the Court of Appeal but both the appeal and cross-appeal were dismissed.

Dalzell v McIlvenna (25 September 2014)

Matthew represented the Respondent in this case as sole Respondent counsel before the Court of Appeal. This was an appeal brought by a Claimant against a decision of an Industrial Tribunal to dismiss an unfair dismissal against a local jeweler. The Claimant / Appellant’s counsel moved the appealed on 10 grounds; the Court of Appeal dismissed all of the grounds of appeal and affirmed the Decision of the Industrial Tribunal dismissing the Claimant’s claim in its entirety.

Veitch v Red Sky Group Ltd [2010] NICA 39

Matthew represented the Claimant in this case before the Court of Appeal as led junior counsel. This was an appeal brought by the Claimant against part of a decision of an Industrial Tribunal to dismiss the disability discrimination component of his claim on the basis that he had not demonstrated that he had a disability within the meaning of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Following the provision of skeleton arguments the Respondent’s counsel conceded all of the Claimant’s grounds of appeal and the Court of Appeal was persuaded to remit the Tribunal’s decision for re-determination by a fresh Tribunal.

High Court

CL, Re Judicial Review [2017] NIQB 2

Matthew represented the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (‘PBNI’) who was one of a number of Respondents in this matter. The Applicant had been an offender who had been released from prison on licence. The Applicant sought to challenge the decision of PBNI to issue a recall report in respect of the Applicant that ultimately resulted in his recall to prison. Following a contested hearing leave to judicially review the decision was refused.

M (a minor), Re Judicial Review [2015] NIQB 8

Matthew represented the Applicant in this challenge by a child in care to the circumstances of his accommodation and the steps taken by the Trust to supervise his care. The Applicant was successful in establishing that the circumstances in which the Applicant was residing amounted to a deprivation of liberty that engaged Article 5 of the ECHR and that required approval by a court. The reported judgment in this case is a landmark ruling and has resulted in significant changes to the practice and procedure in this area.

McAree, Re Judicial Review [2015] NIQB 5

Matthew represented the Northern Ireland Prison Service (‘NIPS’) in this challenge to a decision to refuse an application for compassionate temporary release. The application was refused.

Employment Tribunals

Toner v LF Fasthouse et al [2019] NITT 6955_18IT

Matthew represented the Respondent in this case before the Industrial Tribunal. This was an Age Discrimination Claim taken against a large local manufacturing business. Following a 4 day hearing the case was dismissed.

Bleakley v Home Office [2014] NIIT 1396_13IT

Matthew represented the Respondent in this case before the Industrial Tribunal. The Claimant claimed disability related discrimination and that the respondent had failed to make reasonable adjustments for him pursuant to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Following a 5 day hearing the case was dismissed.