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Partner and Head of Family Law, Rugby
Matthew is a Partner in our specialist Child Law team, having joined Brethertons in 2013. Most of his work involves representing the interests of children in cases where social services have become involved, for example care proceedings. Matthew has experience in dealing with cases involving complex medical issues, issues surrounding paternity, assessments of children’s capacity, and technical points of law.
Having practised Child Law for over 10 years, Matthew is an accredited member of the Law Society’s Children Panel and Higher Rights of Audience Panel, the latter of which is only awarded to Solicitors who are experts in Child Law and have represented their clients in a high level Court. Early in his professional career, Matthew was awarded the Hershman Outstanding Newcomer in Child Law award; a national award from the Association of Lawyers for Children.
Matthew offers practical advice to resolve what are often complex and sensitive problems. He always puts the welfare and needs of the child first, as do the Courts, and works relentlessly to find workable solutions and diffuse conflict. He has represented parents and children in both the lower and higher Courts, including the Court of Appeal.
Outside of work, Matthew is an enthusiastic Arsenal fan and can often be seen at the Emirates stadium or at football grounds around the country following the team. In quieter times he enjoys indulging in good books and films.
In a case involving two young children where the Local Authority was likely to propose that they should be placed for adoption, the Court held it would not be appropriate to order the children to undergo predictive testing for Huntington's disease because the risks of emotional and psychological harm outweighed any perceived benefits.
This case involved an appeal by a Local Authority, supported by a child's Guardian, against a refusal to grant a placement order at the conclusion of care proceedings.
Here, the Court gave guidance concerning the steps to be taken, by local authorities and by judges, in respect of children in need or looked-after children who might be subject to a deprivation of their liberty.
This case involved the non-accidental injury of a four-month old infant.
This case provided comprehensive guidance for Solicitors and Local Authorities on the proper procedure for pursuing human rights claims issued during the course of care proceedings.
It was ruled that the English Courts had jurisdiction to make care and placement orders for a baby abandoned by her Romanian mother because the child was habitually resident in the UK, and it was in her best interests for such orders to be made despite representations to the contrary from the Romanian civil authorities.
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