Barrister David Matthew

David Matthew

Year of call: 1987  


David prosecutes and defends in all kinds of criminal cases ranging from complex fraud to murders, rapes, drug offences, serious violence, Explosive Substances Act offences, firearms, harassment and all lesser offences. He frequently appears against silks and leads other juniors.

His Police work includes warrants and firearms licencing and he is instructed by police forces as “independent counsel” both to read for privilege and occasionally attending the execution of warrants. He acted for the Chief Constable in the leading case of Haralambous v Chief Constable of Hertfordshire [2016] EWHC 916 (Admin)

As an advocate he is instructed on inquests and sports disciplinary matters.

He maintains a mixed practice with some personal injury work. His exceptional experience as a jury advocate means that he is often instructed to appear at inquests to achieve the effective cross examination of witnesses both lay and expert in a way that juries follow and understand.

Public Access

David is qualified to accept instructions direct from clients under the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme. This means that members of the public who seek specialist advice can come direct to him. In addition, he welcomes instructions from solicitors, in-house law departments, qualified foreign lawyers, and clients licensed by the Bar Council to give instructions direct to barristers under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme.

For further information please contact our Clerks.

Financial Crime

Financial Crime

David was listed in the 2015 Legal 500 as a leading junior in Fraud (Crime) including Money laundering and asset forfeiture.

David has prosecuted for the SFO and defended in complex fraud in the Very High Cost cases category.


  • Fraud Lawyers Association

Money Laundering Restraint & Confiscation

Money Laundering

David successfully prosecuted the money launderers who had previously laundered cash for the Morecombe Bay cockle picking gang masters in 2009 and 2013.

Also in 2013 David used the Money Laundering Provisions to successfully prosecute unlicensed vehicle clamping. Prior to the Scrap Metal Acts he was involved in the use of POCA in scrap dealing cases, and is therefore alert to the difficulties of prosecution and unexpected defences available to what are essentially Handling Stolen Goods cases.

Restraint & Confiscation

Both restraint and subsequent confiscations are a routine part of David’s fraud work. This area of work of course overlaps with David’s defence and prosecution of drugs importers and suppliers and those active in other profitable crimes.

As junior prosecuting counsel he advised the SFO on the division of the convicted defendants’ assets between victims of fraud and confiscation during the not always harmonious parallel civil recovery proceedings brought by victims of fraud, (4 Eng Ltd v Harper  [2008] EWHC 915 (Ch), [2009] Ch 91) a leading case on civil recovery heads of damage).



David has practiced in all the criminal courts since 1987. He is a Grade 4 CPS Prosecutor, and is regularly instructed to prosecute or defend in the most serious criminal cases including murder, rape, explosive and firearms. He is frequently instructed by CPS Complex Casework Units (West Midlands; Thames Chiltern and East of England).

He is very approachable, whether working with a prosecution team or for clients he defends, willing to discuss and explain his view of the state of the case and what can be done.

He is qualified by the CPS as a Grade 4 sexual offences prosecutor. Conducts private prosecution (not least for RSPCA).

Criminal Bar Association

  • Criminal Bar Association

Crime Cases

  • R v Brown (2019) Imitation firearms
  • R v Walker (2018) s 18 with shotgun
  • R v Krmpotic and ors (2018) large scale cannabis plantations
  • R v Makundi & Williams (2018) county lines Att. Murder
  • R v Hobbs & Martin (2017) Manslaughter on appeal at [2018] 2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 36
  • R v Harvard (2018) firearms replica and otherwise. (defendant’s appeal is [2018] EWCA Crim 2086)
  • R v Chugg (2018) child cruelty
  • R v Worth (2018) Coercive behaviour
  • Smith v RSPCA (2017) medical certificates adjournments [2017] EWHC 3536 (Admin)
  • R v Fountain (2017) Stalking
  • R v Wilson (2017) Money laundering via solicitor’s firm
  • R v H (2016) rape with intermediaries for prosecution witnesses and defendants
  • R v Maciulis (2016) murder
  • R v Mongan (2016) conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary
  • R v Jivani (2016) importing “Mee Cat” drug.
  • R v Merrit (2016) Rapes of toddlers
Public Law

Public Law

David represented the police over a search warrant under s 8 PACE that went from the Magistrates, via the Crown Court, to the Supreme Court Haralambous v St Albans Crown Court & Chief Constable for Hertfordshire [2018] A.C. 236; (Supreme Court)

Search warrants – PACE 1984, section 8 – judicial review – CJPA 2001, section 59 — disclosure of Information – PII redactions – disclosed materials not sufficient to establish lawfulness of warrant – PII materials deployed as evidence – closed evidence procedure – Al-Rawi not applicable – no minimum level of disclosure.

The principles of decision of the Supreme Court applies beyond PACE search and seizure warrants to warrants under other statutes.

As a spin off from his criminal practice he advises on judicial reviews of Crown Prosecution Service decisions to take over and discontinue Private Prosecutions

David is regularly instructed as Independent Counsel, reviewing seized material for Legally Privileged and other Special Material. He has, for example, experience of the various classifications of privileged material, loss and waiver of privilege, and questions of joint or common privilege.  He has advised on what constitutes ‘journalistic material’ in the world of Facebook and blogging.  He has been instructed by the SFO, the Metropolitan Police and other forces.  David was instructed by the Metropolitan Police in the newspaper phone hacking investigation Operation Weeting and several of its off shoot operations (Kalmyk, Elveden, Pinetree etc.).  He is instructed to attend searches both on domestic and commercial premises.

How to get in touch

For more information please contact our clerks by calling +44 (0) 20 7242 3555 or be email.

Privacy Notice

David is committed to protecting and respecting the privacy of individuals. In order to provide legal services, including advice and representation services, David needs to process personal data. This will include client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the course of any matter upon which he is instructed.

David will process personal data in accordance with his Privacy Policy.

Please click here to see how David will, absent any other arrangement with those instructing him, fulfil any Joint Controller responsibilities he may have under relevant data protection legislation.

Show footer