AREAS OF EXPERTISE:
The most senior member of the costs team in terms of call and one of only three counsel to also be a qualified costs draftsman, Matthew is able to deal with any civil costs dispute. Moreover, his knowledge of the law outside costs makes him particularly adept at dealing with the more unusual topics that may arise in costs litigation, such as novel points of principle, costs in tribunals, children and costs etc.
Matthew has a niche practice in dealing with issues concerning contracts of retainer, including advising the steps which are required to mend (or undermine) 'broken retainers'. This goes hand-in-hand with his specialism in non-contentious costs. He has drafted a number of retainers (both conditional and non-conditional), and is adept at giving advice which is aimed at maximising profit (both for defendant firms and claimant firms) and minimising risk.
Matthew also has wide experience of group litigation, applications for security for costs, issues concerning success fees, after the event insurance, costs concerning patients, costs concerning children, and fixed costs.
Matthew is an experienced costs mediator and CADR Panel member.
Year of Call: 1991
Associate of the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen
Matthew writes (along with other members of the costs team) the Costs Brief for the New Law Journal.
Recent articles include:
University:Cambridge (Trinity Hall)Degree:MAYear of Call:1991 (Lincoln's Inn)
Other information:Examination for associate membership of the ALCD (2009)
Chambers UK 2023
"Matthew Smith provides detailed submissions, and is very good and well prepared."
"He is bright and personable."
Legal 500 2023
'Matthew has great attention to detail, is easy to work with and a good advocate.'
Chambers UK 2022
"A man with a brilliant mind." "Cerebral, very thoughtful and someone with a nice style."
Legal 500 2022
"Matthew is a tenacious advocate, personable and easy to work with. Technically very knowledgeable."
Chambers UK 2021
"A costs specialist who is methodical and very commercially minded. He thinks things thorough deeply to find the right solution." "Diligent, thorough and sensible," "he is a man who produces excellent skeleton arguments." "Matthew cuts to the chase and is very succinct in his arguments."
Legal 500, 2020
"He has a great eye for detail."
Chambers UK 2020
"Matthew brings a calmness to the most difficult of costs disputes and is always prepared to go the extra mile to assist." "He is first-class on matters concerning solicitors' retainers and is a persuasive advocate."
Chambers UK 2019
"Matthew is very dogged and highly respected," and "his written work is great."
Legal 500 2019
"His knowledge of costs law is first-rate."
Chambers UK 2018
"Matthew is a barrister who is very shrewd; he understands what is required in order to get the best for his client and never loses his commercial focus."
Legal 500 2018
"An excellent advocate with an eye for detail."
Chambers UK 2017
"Competent and personable, he's very sensible and can cut to the chase quickly with his advice." "Light on his feet, he reacts well to judges, and is responsive and accessible."
Chambers UK 2016
"He is extremely knowledgeable, is a pleasure to work with and is a good advocate. He displays not only an understanding of the law in this field but of the approach the courts take to costs."
"He is patient, knowledgeable, personable and a strong and persuasive advocate."
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