Matthew Curtis

Year of Call: 2006
Email Address:
Telephone: 01962 868 884

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Matthew Curtis has been recognised as a Leading Junior in the Legal 500 for the last 5 years. He has been described as a “very competent barrister” who is “calm and effective” and, “who shows thorough preparation and meticulous attention to detail”. He has been given particular praise for his “excellent commercial and communication skills.”

Matthew has a wealth of experience in Employment law and Civil litigation, as well as undertaking niche work in Anti-Social Behaviour litigation.

Matthew regularly appears in the Employment Tribunal on behalf of both employer and employee in a range of employment issues and has dealt with a number of complex multi-day cases, including:

  • an 8-day disability discrimination case for a Claimant in which the tribunal found that the employer had failed to make reasonable adjustments
  • a 10-day whistleblowing case for a respondent which involved technical issues of aviation law and
  • a 3 day race discrimination case for one of 3 respondents representing an employee of a London transport company
  • A TUPE case involving 14 claimants and 8 respondents representing a local authority.

Matthew has a comprehensive Civil Practice encompassing fast-track and multi-track matters in the County Court and High Court, such as:

  • Advising and representing in a multi-track PI claim involving post-concussion syndrome and recurring migraines following a low force head injury at work. The court have given permission for evidence from four experts
  • Advice and representation in a High Court claim concerning the valuation of a company which was sold, involving a dispute over the correct interpretation of the sale agreement
  • Matthew is instructed by numerous large national retailers, transport companies, airline industry providers and a multitude of SME’s as well as several local authorities across the Western Circuit
  • Matthew is authorised to accept instructions direct from members of the public in any of his areas of practice. He is able to undertake work for a fixed fee where appropriate.


  • Employment and discrimination
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    Matthew has an extensive Employment Law practice regularly advising and representing both Claimants and Respondents. He has been recognised as an employment barrister, noted as a Leading Junior in the Legal 500 for each of the last 5 years, described as "a rising star who punches well above his weight" an accolade which is demonstrated with his work on numerous complex multi-day cases across the Western Circuit.

    Matthew has appeared in Employment Tribunals on behalf of both employer and employee in unfair dismissal, TUPE, redundancy, disability discrimination, age discrimination, race discrimination and whistle-blowing cases.

    Matthew is particularly adept at getting to grips with the details in technically complex cases, demonstrated by a number of cases he has undertaken for airports and flight schools requiring detailed understanding of Aviation law, and also for regulated professions such as care homes and schools requiring an understanding of the CQC/Ofsted requirements. His recommendation in the Legal 500 notes him for his thorough preparation and meticulous attention to detail (2017).

    Matthew is frequently asked to advise on all aspects of an employment law dispute, from drafting merits and pleadings to appropriate quantum and terms of settlement. He is instructed by large national corporations and solicitors from across the country as well as individual claimants who require a dedicated, competent and technically able Barrister.

    Recent Cases include

    D v N Ltd
    Successfully representing a Claimant against a nationwide company in a 4-day disability discrimination case which resulted in a substantial award of aggravated damages and an exceptionally large costs order in excess of £17,000.

    McGlinchy & Anor v TAG Farnborough
    Successfully representing a respondent in a race, disability discrimination and whistleblowing case involving 40 alleged protected disclosures where his meticulous attention to both the merits of the circumstances as well as the specific technical issues of aviation law saw all claims dismissed.

    B & 13 ors v A Local Authority & 7 ors 
    Junior being led on a multi-party TUPE service provision change claim relating to domiciliary care contracts.


    • 21st Sep 2017

      Employment specialist Matthew Curtis provides an employment case law update covering:

      1. Tribunal fees – the latest position
      2. Suspension – the risks
      3. ACAS Early conciliation – the latest skirmishes in an ongoing war (De Mota v ADR Network & anor UKEAT/0305/16)
      4. Presidential guidance – pensions and Vento
      5. Burden of proof in discrimination claims

      View Publication
    • 4th May 2017

      Evidence in Disability Cases: where are we now? By Matthew Curtis. Matthew Curtis reviews some recent decisions regarding evidential issues in disability discrimination cases, with a particular focus on:
      •Stress as a disability
      •Principal's liability for acts of their agents
      •Knowledge of disability, in particular who has to know for a claim to succeed?
      •Indirect discrimination: the standard of evidence required
      •Dismissing for long-term absence where there is late evidence from the employee

      View Publication
  • Property and Estates
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    Matthew has developed a niche in local authority and social housing work, including landlord and tenant disputes, housing injunctions, anti-social behaviour orders and injunctions, closure orders and related prosecutions. He has experience in seeking injunctive relief, both ex parte and on notice. This links with Matthew's extensive civil practice and Matthew regularly delivers training to local authorities on recent legislative developments.

  • Personal Injury
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    Matthew is seen as a valuable asset by many solicitor firms and is instructed to advise on personal injury matters ranging from straightforward RTAs to complex multi-party occupational illness claims. Matthew regularly advises on merits on a case and drafts pleadings and schedules of loss as well as quantum. He is able to assist in fast-track and multi-track cases and has recently been involved in cases including injuries such as: psychological trauma, including PTSD, anxiety and depression; post-concussion syndrome; chronic pain; whiplash; allergic reactions or food intolerances.

    Matthew has experience of acting for both Claimant and Defendant in RTAs, employer's liability claims, Highways Act and Occupiers' Liability Act matters and has experience in handling claims involving multiple experts. Matthew is particularly experienced in advising on employers liability claims due to his understanding of Employment law and is able to provide sound commercial advice to clients on the merits of the case.

    Recent Cases include

    • Acting for a pedestrian struck by a car as she crossed the road, resulting in a complex fracture to her pelvis and head injuries resulting in mood swings, tiredness and difficulties with concentration and memory
    • Acting for a worker responsible for mixing components in a paint factory who suffered a back injury due to repetitive and heavy lifting
    • A case involving a child who suffered chemical burns through exposure to creosote.

    Matthew has specialist knowledge of abuse of process and relief from sanction arguments following Mitchell and Denton. He regularly undertakes appeals providing strategic advice to his clients on procedure and tactics to achieve the best result. He recently succeeded in overturning a decision to strike out a second action for abuse of process after the first action was struck out for failing to comply with an unless order. Due to the important principles involved the Court of Appeal granted permission to appeal and Matthew was to be led by Jacob Levy Q.C. After exchange of skeleton arguments the parties settled the appeal.

    Matthew is willing to consider cases on a conditional fee basis.

  • Commercial
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    Matthew’s commercial practice links nicely with his Employment practice, enabling him to advise on directors actions, TUPE provisions, restrictive covenants and related matters.

    He is instructed to appear in the County Court and the High Court in contractual disputes, negligence matters and insolvency proceedings including statutory demands and advising on creditor’s entitlements and Matthew advises on and drafts pleadings in tort, contract and negligence matters on all tracks.

    Matthew's attention to detail and ability to digest technical facts has enabled him to work across a number of industries from construction clients to property corporations and sole proprietors advising on all aspects of contract law.

    Recent cases include

    • Successfully defending a claim against a watch dealership based in Hatton Garden; the case involved allegations of defective title and issues of agency and equitable tracing
    • Acting for a homeowner in a claim against a well known window installer for defective installation and mis-selling
    • Appealing/seeking to set aside a £1.7milion order against an individual in insolvency proceedings
    • Defending claims of defective workmanship in the building of a swimming pool outhouse.


Matthew Curtis - 3PB ‘Very personable, articulate and thorough.’
Legal 500 2017/Regional Bar – Western Circuit, Employment law

Matthew Curtis - "A calm and effective advocate, who shows thorough preparation and meticulous attention to detail."
Legal 500 2016/Regional Bar – Western Circuit, Employment law

Matthew Curtis - "He comes across confidently when delivering a case to tribunal."
Legal 500 2015/Regional Bar – Western Circuit, Employment law

Matthew Curtis - "A very competent barrister, with excellent commercial and communication skills."
Legal 500 2014/Regional Bar – Western Circuit, Employment law

Matthew Curtis - "Recognised as a rising star who punches well above his height."
Legal 500 2013/Regional Bar – Western Circuit, Employment law

Client Testimonials 

"Can I take this opportunity to thank you for instructing Matthew to represent me in the tribunal, he was absolutely brilliant in everything he did." [Employment client]

"Thank you so much for representing us on Thursday. We couldn't have had a better barrister! You were so organised [and] articulate and managed to get a grasp extremely quickly on a very unusual case resulting in winning. This is more outstanding due to the huge file that you had to go through in such a short time. We were very impressed with your confident presentation to the judge whom I think rather enjoyed listening to your argument. Thank you once again and we wish you success in your future cases. I would say good luck but with all the hard work you do I don't think you will need it." [Civil case]

Academic qualifications

  • Middle Temple
  • King's College, London - LLB (Hons)
  • Inns of Court School Law - BVC

Professional qualifications & appointments

  • CIPD conduct hearing panel member

Professional bodies

  • Employment Law Bar Association
  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • Personal Injury Bar Association

Direct Access

Matthew Curtis is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.

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