Matthew Smith, Barrister of the Inner Temple

Matthew's practice embraces all aspects of commercial chancery litigation: from company and insolvency questions to contractual and property-related disputes. He has particular expertise in insolvency and in charity matters.

Matthew's experience in insolvency disputes includes acting for the customers of Farepak following the collapse of the company's Christmas savings scheme and advising creditors of the Icelandic banks which collapsed in 2008. He has been involved in insolvency proceedings relating to a number of football clubs. His reported cases include Re The Arena Corporation Ltd (fraud and winding up) and HMCE v Jack Baars Wholesale (insolvent partnerships and individual bankruptcy). He has particular experience of acting for landlords and tenants seeking possession and vesting orders within insolvency proceedings. He represents the Attorney General in the insolvency of a substantial charity in the Midlands. He is a member of the Insolvency Law Association and the Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3).

Matthew has a keen interest in trust and charity law. He has appeared in the Charity Tribunal on behalf of both charities and the Commission. He is currently acting for a Catholic adoption agency in its appeal concerning the impact of the Sexual Orientation Regulations 2007 and for the Independent Schools Council in its challenge to the Charity Commission's public benefit guidance. He has appeared in the High Court in actions by charities for the recovery of misapplied charitable funds, assisted trustees facing breach of trust claims and sought to help smaller charities settle disputes in the most cost-effective way. He has been instructed for and against HMRC in proceedings in the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) concerning charitable status, the gift aid regime and the availability of charitable tax reliefs. His LLM thesis on the rule against politics in charity law drew heavily on his knowledge of charity law in other common law jurisdictions. He is a regular speaker at charity law seminars.

Matthew's general commercial work has included litigation relating to the autobiography of Chris Eubank, a human rights action against British Airways and insurance fraud claims. He acted for the liquidator claimants in the case of Fresh'N'Clean Limited v Miah (carousel fraud; dishonest assistance) and has conducted several lengthy trials involving allegations of dishonesty. He is regularly instructed by the Financial Services Authority and is developing particular expertise on the regulation of collective investment schemes.

Practice areas


  • MA (Cantab) First Class, LL.M


  • COMBAR, Chancery Bar Association, Charity Law Association

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