Matthew Butt

Matthew Butt

Call: 2002
3 Raymond Buildings
Gray's Inn
London WC1R 5BH
+44 (0)20 7400 6400

Details of practice

Recommended by Chambers UK 2014 in five practice areas

Described by The Legal 500 2014 as “a very intelligent and extremely skilled advocate” and by Chambers UK 2014 as “an excellent advocate who prepares his cases superbly, and has good public law knowledge”.  Matthew is a leading barrister with experience of high profile cases across chambers’ practice areas.

He is recommended as a leading barrister in crime, licensing, extradition, professional discipline and inquests by The Legal 500 and Chambers UK


Recent instructions include allegations of war crimes, murder, kidnap, rape and serious fraud. Matthew is primarily instructed to defend but is also a CPS grade 3 prosecutor, a member of the CPS “rape panel” and has been appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel for Health and Safety prosecutions.  He also conducts specialist firearms prosecutions on behalf of S&CO19. 

Matthew is an expert in bringing and defending private prosecutions.  He successfully represented various Members of Parliament including then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith MP when private criminal cases were brought in relation to alleged members’ expenses fraud.  He has appeared in a number of cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal concerning the right to bring private prosecutions. 


Matthew has appeared in a number of significant inquests.  He represented the Trident Tactical Firearms Commander in the Mark Duggan Inquest.  He also represented the Flying Squad “Silver Commander” in a double fatal shooting at Chandlers Ford.  Matthew acted alone in both inquests, all other principal officers were represented by Queens Counsel. 


Acting for licensees, applicants, residents’ groups, local councils and police forces, Matthew is one of the country’s leading licensing barristers.  He regularly appears in the Magistrates’ Court on statutory appeals and in the High Court and Court of Appeal on judicial review and appeals by way of case stated.  Matthew is also experienced in betting, gaming, taxi licensing, firearms licence applications and appeals and the regulation of the private security industry.  Recent clients include Secret Cinema, the WOMAD festival, Standon Calling Festival, Punch Taverns, the Security Industry Authority and the Metropolitan Police Service.  He was recently instructed in the first application for an Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO) by the largest affected premises in the proposed area. 


Matthew advises and appears for issuing judicial authorities, requesting governments and requested persons in extradition cases.  He appears in the Magistrates’ Court and the High Court on appeal.  He also advises and represents in mutual legal assistance cases.

Professional Discipline:

Regularly instructed to represent police officers accused of gross misconduct before discipline boards, the police appeals tribunal and the High Court on judicial review.

Search and Seizure:

Matthew has particular expertise in litigation concerning applications for and challenges to search warrants and production orders.  He has successfully challenged many such warrants securing orders for the return of material and damages.  Matthew has recently appeared in high profile cases involving applications for production orders, including an application following serious disorder at the Syrian Embassy and investigations into corruption in Premier League football clubs. 

Financial Crime and Proceeds of Crime

Matthew regularly represents solicitors and accountants accused of money laundering and fraud offences and is experienced in long running and complex fraud and proceeds of crime proceedings in the Crown Court and in the Court of Appeal. 

Directory recommendations

“He is excellent.  He has an extremely good brain, is extremely articulate and has a complete understanding of the points to take and the points to leave alone.”  “A clever guy who does things properly.  He is one to look out for.”  Chambers UK 2014:  Inquests

Completing the set's weighty extradition offering is the "very thorough" Matthew Butt, his "attention to detail" and client skills come in for considerable praise, as does his presentation in court.  Serious crime, fraud and regulatory work sit alongside extradition in his practice.  Chambers UK 2013:  Crime and Extradition

“Has extensive experience and is strong on police disciplinary cases.  He is especially noted for handling cases where the police have deployed arms in the course of their operations.”  “He is very thorough and committed.  He prepares his cases superbly, and has good public law knowledge.”  Chambers UK 2014:  Professional Discipline

“a very ebullient advocate who won't be put down," and regularly undertakes licensing work related to sectors such as the security industry, taxis and private hire, casinos and gaming, entertainment and dancing and the liquor trade. One instructing solicitor stated that "he is really impressive on his feet – the client was exceptionally impressed when we used him."  Chambers UK 2013:  Licensing

A ‘very intelligent and extremely skilled advocate’.  The Legal 500 2014:  Licensing

"He's an intelligent, imposing character.  He must be about seven feet tall, a good proportion of which seems to be brain.”  Chambers UK:  Licensing

Education/professional qualifications

LLB University College London
Diploma in law
Atkin Scholar 2002 (Gray's Inn)
English Speaking Union American Scholar 2001
Lord Justice Holker Scholar 2000 (Gray's Inn)


Lead Advocacy Trainer, Gray's Inn
Pupil Supervisor
CPS Grade 3 Prosecutor
CPS rape list
Attorney General’s B Panel (2012)
Attorney General’s C Panel (2008 – 2012)

Other information

Matthew has worked in Jamaica, as a member of the Bar Human Rights Committee, on a scheme to assist those being tried for offences that would attract the death penalty.

Direct access

Matthew Butt 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.

Notable cases


The Mark Duggan Inquest 2014
Representing the Trident tactical firearms commander (previously known as silver commander) in the inquest touching the death of Mark Duggan.  Verdict of lawful killing returned

The Nunes and Markland Inquest 2012
Representing the Flying Squad silver commander in the inquest touchingthe death of Mark Nunes and Andrew Markland; armed robbers shot dead by CO19 snipers during an armed robbery in Chandlers Ford.  Verdicts of lawful killing returned


R v Colonel Kumar Lama (ongoing)
Central Criminal Court
Instructed to defend in allegations of torture during the Nepalese civil war. The case is being prosecuted in England on the basis of universal jurisdiction and is the first of its kind

R v MC [2014]
Chelmsford Crown Court
Representing a former Detective Chief Inspector from the Ministry of Defence Police. MC was charged with thirty counts of fraud allegedly committed between 2006 and 2011. MC was acquitted of all charges following a four week trial

R v Zinga [2014] 1 WLR 2228
Instructed by the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis to represent the police in a challenge to right of private prosecutors to bring confiscation proceedings.  The Lord Chief Justice stated in the court’s judgment that a private prosecutor was able to engage and apply the confiscation provisions under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and that the police were entitled to provide assistance where appropriate

R v C, S, H, D & W [2012] EWCA Crim 1762
Successful defence of H before Southwark Crown Court and the Court of Appeal.  Money laundering allegations dismissed following submission of no case to answer, Crown appeal against terminatory ruling dismissed.  Police conceded forfeiture proceedings and returned the seized cash

R v Raykanda [2011] EWCA Crim 1896
Representing the Appellant, £3.7 million confiscation order quashed

R v P [2011]
Southwark Crown Court
Successful defence of a solicitor prosecuted by the SFO for her role in an alleged £50 million mortgage fraud

R v Good [2008] EWCA Crim 2923; (2009) 173JP 1
Successful appeal against conviction by G.  Leading authority on bad character applications where defendants are alleged to have given a false impression

R v Watts 2008
City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court
Appointed by the court to cross examine the actress Samantha Morton who alleged that Mr Watts was harassing her.  The defendant was acquitted 


India v Ashley [2014] EWHC 3505 (Admin)
Representing the requested person in historic allegations of rape and sexual abuse in Goa. The requested person was discharged, as extradition would be unjust and oppressive in view of the fact that he suffered from dementia. Appeal by Republic of India dismissed

Germany v Lewis, Khan and Din [2014] EWHC 1704 (Admin)
Representing Lewis who successfully challenged an extradition request relating to an alleged €50 million fraud. Appeal by Germany dismissed. Application to certify a question of public importance and leave to appeal to Supreme Court refused

Government of Bermuda v Stamp 2014
Representing the requested person in an extradition request relating to an allegation of murder.  Successfully argued that there is a lacuna in the law which prevents extradition to any British Overseas Territory or Dependency

Tribunal de Grande Instance Paris, France v Ian Griffin [2011] All ER (D) 215 (Apr)
Representing G in proceedings following the alleged murder of his girlfriend in the Hotel le Bristol, Paris.  Fitness to plead, suicide risk and proceeding in absence

E v Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) [2011] EWHC 625 (Admin) 2011  
Acting for appellant.  Successful appeal by E in first extradition request made by BiH

Hoholm v Government of Norway [2009] EWHC 1513 (Admin) Times 12th October 2009
(Child abduction) 
Acting for the appellant in successful appeal.  Leading authority on raising new issues on appeal 


Mike Wells v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis 2014
Successful representation of the Commissioner in an appeal brought by the Secretary of the Sportsman’s Association. Mr Wells had sought a certificate for a .45 self-loading pistol arguing that this was necessary for the humane despatch of wild boar. The appeal was dismissed

“Secret Cinema” 2013
Instructed by Future Shorts Limited in a successful application for a premises licence to allow a run of the Secret Cinema interactive performance of Shawshank Redemption in Hackney. The application which was the first permanent run for Secret Cinema was strongly opposed by the police

R (Ambassador Cars) v Central Criminal Court [2009] EWCA Civ 1140
Appearing in the City of London Magistrates’ Court, Central Criminal Court, Administrative Court and Court of Appeal (Civil Division) instructed by Transport for London in a case brought by a large private hire vehicle operator and the subsequent appeal by way of case stated and judicial review claim

R (Betting Shop Services Ltd) v Southend Borough Council & Ors [2008] EWHC 105 (Admin)
Judicial review of Southend Borough Council on the interpretation of the Gambling Act 2005.  The Gambling Commission guidance was held to be wrong in law 

Judicial Review

R (on the application of Anand) v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2012] EWHC 2989 (Admin); [2013] CP Rep 2; [2013] ACD 8
Search warrants issued on application by HMRC quashed on grounds that the content of the warrants were unclear.  Key authority in this developing area of law

Re Bell [2012] EWHC 4133 (Admin)
Successful application for certificate of inadequacy in confiscation proceedings