Matthew Lee


Year of Call: 2011

Practice Group(s): Civil, Public & Regulatory

Portrait of Matthew Lee

LLB (Hons.) First Class

Practice Profile:

Matthew is ranked in Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2020 as:

"Strong junior with significant market recognition for his recent appearances in significant reported cases. He acts in possession cases and anti-social behaviour claims, among other disputes, including those relating to the Equality Act 2010."

"Very personable, knowledgeable and not afraid to think outside the box. He is a fearless advocate."

"He is already above and beyond what you would expect for his year of call."

Matthew enjoys both the adversarial and advisory aspects of practice. He is always willing to speak with solicitors about the merits of a potential claim or assist with procedural issues which may arise.

Housing, Public Law, Equality & Human Rights

Matthew has developed a broad practice in a range of housing law matters. He is regularly instructed in judicial review claims, homelessness appeals, possession, antisocial behaviour, disrepair trials, and other housing-related matters.

Matthew has appeared in several seminal cases:

· For the Appellant in the case of McMahon v Watford Borough Council, Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court, HHJ Bloom, 2019, unrep. This case concerned whether the Respondent had properly considered the PSED when assessing vulnerability. HHJ Bloom found that the reviewing officer failed to focus very sharply on whether the Appellant was under a disability and arrive at a clear decision on the issue. The Court of Appeal has recently granted permission in this case.

· For the Appellant in the case of Mohamed v Barnet LBC [2019] EWHC 1012 (QB). In this case, the High Court gave guidance on when the exception to secure tenancies under paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 to the Housing Act 1985 applied. The Court of Appeal has recently granted permission in this case.

· For the Appellant in case of Powell v Dacorum BC (2019) EWCA Civ 29 which addressed the Public Sector Equality Duty in the context of applications to suspend a warrant seeking possession.

· Co-counsel for the successful Appellant, Mr Smith, in the case of Panayiotou v London Borough of Waltham Forest & Smith v Haringey (2017) EWCA Civ 1624. This case concerned (1) the meaning of "significantly" in Hotak v London Borough of Southwark [2015] UKSC 30 in relation to priority need in homeless applications and (2) whether a local authority was entitled to contract out/delegate its Public Sector Equality Duty pursuant to s149 of the Equality Act 2010.

Over the past year, Matthew's public law practice has expanded as he has represented numerous individuals in Judicial Review proceedings. Of particular note, was a successful application for interim relief following a local authorities' refusal to secure suitable accommodation pursuant to s188(3) of the Housing Act 1988 for a vulnerable client in the case of R (on the application of Havard) v St Albans District Council, 26 July 2016, High Court (QBD) Unreported. Matthew has also successfully defended claims for Judicial Review for example R (on the application of Cali) v London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, January 2017, High Court (QBD) Unreported.

Matthew has a particular interest in issues arising under the Equality Act 2010. In addition to cases concerning the Public Sector Equality duty, he has successfully argued cases pursuant to s15, s19, s35 and s119 of the Equality Act 2010.

Landlord and Tenant & Property

Matthew appears regularly in courts of all levels in cases regarding all aspects of residential and commercial property including: renewals and terminations under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, rent reviews, dilapidations and repair, injunctions, mortgages, charges and charging orders, neighbour disputes, including adverse possession, party wall matters, easements, nuisance, trespass (ex parte applications), boundaries, orders for sale, applications under the Trusts of Land and Appointment Trustees Act 1996, and applications for relief from forfeiture.

Matthew successfully represented the Appellant in the case of Akita and another v Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland [2019] EWHC 1712 (QB). In that case, Spencer J allowed an appeal of a decision by a recorder who struck out a claim too soon on the basis of the claimants' non-attendance at the trial. The claimant was delayed and did not arrive at the start time. Spencer J stated : "It seems to me that it cannot mean simply failure to attend on time otherwise the party who attended the trial listed for 10 o'clock would at 10.05 be a party who had failed to attend trial, and that cannot be right... A failure to attend trial is in the context of a failure to attend by the time the Judge who is due to try the case effectively decides not to wait any further". In all the circumstances, he found that it was inappropriate and premature for the recorder to have triggered his power under CPR 39.3.

Matthew is often instructed by tenants and landlords, in the private and social sector, in possession claims which raise important issues of tenure, notice, succession, assignment, breach of covenant, forfeiture and relief etc. He is astute at spotting novel legal points and procedural issues in claims. Recently, Matthew obtained permission to appeal on several issues arising under tenancy deposit claims pursuant to the Housing Act 2004 as amended by the Deregulation Act 2015.

Environmental Protection

Matthew has presented numerous seminars on issues arising under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. He has experience in dealing with noise, odours and other forms of Statutory Nuisance. He is familiar with the various statutory defences and exceptions that makes this a complex area of law. Matthew often undertakes this work on a conditional fee basis where vulnerable tenants cannot pay privately nor are entitled to legal aid.

Personal Injury, Costs & General Civil Litigation

Matthew is instructed in general civil litigation, with frequent attendance on Multi-track and Fast-track trials. This includes commercial/contractual disputes, personal injury claims, costs and matters concerning consumer credit. He has recently been granted permission to appeal an issue arising under the qualified one way costs shifting regime.

Community Care / Court of Protection

Matthew has experience dealing with vulnerable adults and children who require care and safeguarding. The work in this area, housing, public law and equality mean that he is often dealing with cases engaging the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Matthews experience in this area assists him in advising on potential capacity issues. He accepts instructions from Local Authorities, individuals and the Official Solicitor.

Local Government and Regulatory

Matthew is adept at looking into contracts entered into by Local Authorities especially where they concern the delegation/contracting out of the Local Authorities' functions. He also accepts instructions in matters relating to rent repayment orders, tenancy deposits, management orders, and social housing fraud.

Further Professional Information:
2011 - Inner Temple - Exhibition
2011 - Inner Temple - Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship
2008 - Dr A & R Woolf Scholarship

Inner Temple

Matthew is fluent in modern Greek.

Matthew plays the guitar and has been a member of several bands. He enjoys most sports especially football which he plays as and when he can. Matthew has travelled across America and Europe and enjoys trying, often unsuccessfully, to recreate their cuisine for friends and family members.