Matthew graduated with a law and business studies degree before working in London for the Crown Prosecution Service. In January 1991, Matthew joined Goughs and then completed his Law Society finals at the University of the West of England, Bristol. After completing his training with the firm, Matthew became a Partner in 1999.
As head of Goughs Family Department, Matthew specialises in complex, high value financial cases following on from divorce and separation. In addition Matthew often represents clients who live abroad but wish to instruct an English lawyer; the most common situation is where a British client, living abroad, wishes to obtain a divorce or has been served with divorce papers.
The initial assessment will look at whether we can effectively represent the client from a distance. In the majority of cases this proves not to be a problem with communication by email and telephone being quite usual. Often the most significant legal question that arises is one of jurisdiction. Most clients will need to know whether they are able to commence divorce proceedings in England or Wales even though they live abroad.
Some clients will wish to know whether it will be in their best interests to commence proceedings in the jurisdiction where they live or whether they may receive a more favourable outcome, particularly looking at finances, if they proceed with a divorce through the Family Court in England.
The key to successfully representing clients in all of these circumstances is to ensure that the advice is clear and communicated effectively so that the client is able to make the best informed decisions.
Matthew also has a great deal of experience in private law Children Act cases, particularly acting for parents in relation to Child Arrangement Orders.
Matthew is a member of Resolution, a group committed to resolving family disputes in as non-confrontational manner as possible. He qualified as a Collaborative Lawyer in November 2007, which enables him to pursue the collaborative law approach, which attempts to resolve disputes between parties by round the table negotiations, rather than court proceedings.
As the firms' Finance Partner, Matthew is responsible for the financial management of the practice. This includes overseeing the Accounts Department and supervising the financial performance of all lawyers within the firm. Matthew is also Partner-in-Charge of the Corsham Office and sits on the firm's Management Board.
Away from the office, Matthew has been a Governor of the Mead Primary School and a committee member of the Trowbridge Film Society.
Where did you grow up?