Matthew has over ten years’ experience as a barrister, having previously been trained as a solicitor by market leading litigators. Matthew takes a strategic and commercial approach to litigation, spanning very substantial resources litigation to joint venture and business disputes. He is listed as a Leading Junior Counsel in Doyle’s Guide in the areas of Arbitration, Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Insolvency.
Matthew’s practice focuses primarily on resources, building & construction, professional negligence and insolvency. He also has strong practices in insurance, intellectual property, banking & finance and property matters. His referring solicitors include top tier national and international firms, interstate firms, Crown agencies and numerous mid-tier and smaller firms.
In the pro bono sphere, Matthew is the immediate past president of LawRight Inc, the Chair of the Queensland Legal Assistance Forum, and a member of the Bar Association of Queensland Pro Bono Committee. He regularly performs pro bono casework and attends a number of direct access services, particularly for refugee, elderly or indigenous clients, with an increasing guardianship practice.
Matthew is also a keen proponent of alternative dispute resolution, including as a party representative or mediator. He holds a Certificate in Adjudication (pursuant to the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004), has post-graduate qualifications in arbitration and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Representative examples of Matthew’s broad experience include:
Resources & Energy
> Acting for the plaintiff in a major resources dispute concerning ownership of and rights to coal seam gas leases.
> Acting for the plaintiff in relation to a disputed coal mining royalty.
> Acting for a government agency in relation to the production and protection of confidential documents in a major mine dispute.
Building & Construction
> Acting in proceedings upholding or challenging adjudicators’ decisions, particularly those turning on the interpretation of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991.
> Acting for a project builder in a substantial claim against a developer/owner of a coastal resort for variations, delay damages and other relief.
> Advising a contractor in relation to a proposed arbitration against a major construction firm, including variation and programming disputes.
> Advising and acting for a major Australian not-for-profit organisation in relation to damage to an inner-city building.
> Acting for a valuer in a negligence claim brought by a managed investment scheme.
> Acting for receivers in a public examination in relation to the examinable affairs of the responsible entity of a managed investment scheme.
> Acting for a national firm of solicitors in defence of professional negligence proceedings brought by the receivers of former property developer.
> Professional negligence claims against solicitors, financial planners and other professionals, including advice as to pending and potential class actions.
Insolvency & Bankruptcy
> Acting in the advancement, and defence, of numerous unfair preference and uncommercial transaction proceedings.
> Advising on and appearing in proceedings seeking judicial advice on behalf of liquidators and receivers.
> Appearing in Full Court proceedings concerning interpretation of certain provisions of the Bankruptcy Act 1966.
> Acting for liquidators in proceedings (including appellate proceedings) concerning disputed adjudications of proofs of debt.
> Acting in proceedings seeking the winding up of companies on various grounds, including at appellate level.
> Provision of advice to creditors of insolvent companies and of bankrupt estates as to their rights and remedies.
Banking & Financial Services
> Acting for a court-appointed receiver in an action against former directors of a registered managed investment scheme.
> Acting for a bank in a financial services class action.
> Acting for banks and credit unions in recovery actions against borrowers and guarantors.
> Acting for guarantors in defence of recovery actions by lenders, including banks and mezzanine lenders.
Regulatory & Administrative
> Acting for a bank in defence of regulatory proceedings brought by ASIC.
> Acting in a number of judicial review applications under the Migration Act 1958.
> Advice to solicitors and to their insurers as to the proper response to early stage claims.
> Acting for a government agency in claims for allegedly deficient electricity supply and consequential loss.
> Acting for the insurer of a horticultural enterprise in relation to allegedly deficient products.
> Acting for insureds (including a bank, farmers and builders) in disputes as to the extent of cover under policies of insurance, including at appellate level.
> Acting in a proceeding for a receiver against an insurer for declaratory relief under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984.
> Acting in claims (including expert determination proceedings) seeking specific performance or enforcement of business contracts.
> Acting for franchisers and franchisees (including at appellate level).
> Advice as to the proper construction and enforcement of body corporate service agreements, sponsorship agreements, business service agreements, property development agreements/joint venture agreements and other forms of contractual relationships and acting in proceedings arising from those disputes.
> Acting for a grower in Federal Court proceedings under the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act 1994.
> Advising on and acting in numerous claims for the protection of confidential information and other intellectual property rights.
> Advising on and acting in trade mark and patent infringement proceedings.
> As a party representative in many proceedings, including resources claims, proceedings brought under the Property Law Act 1974, business disputes, guarantee claims, family provision claims, commercial elements of matrimonial property disputes and professional negligence claims, among others.
> As mediator in guarantee, commercial lease, loan recovery, family provision, franchising and employment claims.
Matthew is a regular presenter and writer on the law of construction, insolvency and professional negligence as well as on the mechanisms of Alternative Dispute Resolution and pro bono work. Examples topics he covers include:
Strategies for a Successful Mediation
Drafting deeds and settlement agreements
Evidence in Queensland – forthcoming Thomson Reuters Practical Law paper (with Andrew Crowe QC and Max Walker)
Mediation and ADR in Queensland – forthcoming Thomson Reuters Practical Law paper (with Andrew Crowe QC and San-Joe Tan)
Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession
2021 – ‘Recommended’ Junior for Construction & Infrastructure (Queensland)
2020 – ‘Leading’ Junior for Arbitration (National)
2020 – ‘Leading’ Junior for Insolvency & Restructuring (Queensland)
2020 – ‘Recommended’ Junior for Commercial Litigation (Queensland)
2020 – ‘Recommended’ Junior for Construction & Infrastructure (Queensland)
2019 – ‘Leading’ Junior for Arbitration (National)
2019 – ‘Leading’ Junior for Commercial Litigation, ‘Recommended’ Junior for Insolvency & Restructuring (Queensland)
2018 – ‘Leading’ Junior for Arbitration (National)
2018 – ‘Leading’ Junior Counsel for Insolvency (Queensland)
2018 – ‘Leading’ Junior Counsel for Commercial Litigation (Queensland)
2017 – ‘Recommended’ Junior Counsel for Commercial Litigation (Queensland)
2017 – ‘Leading’ Junior for Insolvency (Queensland)
2017 – ‘Recommended’ Junior for Insolvency (National)
2017 – ‘Leading’ Junior for Arbitration (National)
Australian Financial Review Best Lawyers®
2022 – Recognised in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Insolvency & Reorganisation Law
2020 – Recognised in Insolvency and Reorganisation Law
2016 Nationally Accredited Mediator
2017-2020 Queensland Legal Assistance Forum: Chair, Bar Association of Queensland nominee, Member of the Mental Health Service Planning Working Group
2009-present LawRight Inc (previously the Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House / QPILCH): President 2017-2019, Member of Management Committee 2011-2020
2015-present Member of the Bar Association of Queensland Pro Bono Committee
2013-present Honorary Solicitor to the Sri Lanka Society of Queensland Inc
Professional Member of the Resolution Institute (Nationally Accredited Mediator)
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
Member of the Migration Committee of the Federal Law Section of the Law Council of Australia
Member of the International Institute of Space Law
Member of AMPLA
Member of the Access to Justice Committee of the Law Council of Australia
2006-2009 Solicitor (Tucker & Cowen)
2020 University of Melbourne, Candidate for Master of Laws by Coursework
2018 Certificate in Adjudication (pursuant to the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004)
2017 Professional Certificate in Arbitration (Adelaide)
2016-2017 CiArb, Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration
2005 University of Queensland, Bachelor of Laws (Honours IIA)
2004 Monash University, Master of Diplomacy and Trade
2002 University of Queensland, Bachelor of Arts (Double Major in German)
2017 Professional Certificate in Arbitration Achievement of Excellence Award
2004 Monash University Prize for Top Graduating Student in Master of Diplomacy and Trade
2004 University of Queensland, Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship
2004 French Department of Foreign Affairs Student Exchange Scholarship