Matthew Parris

Matthew Parris

Call: 2022


Matthew specialises in crime and has a busy practice across London, the Western and South Eastern Circuits.  He works on a wide variety of cases both prosecuting and defending, including cases involving clients and witnesses with complex needs.

As a Grade 2 prosecutor he has conducted the prosecution of Crown Court trials including charges of ABH, non-dwelling burglary, witness intimidation and dangerous driving.  He defends in the Crown Court, Magistrates Court, and Youth Court.

Prior to the Bar, Matthew led an advocacy charity in the healthcare sector and was an expert advisor to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).  In those roles he regularly worked with people with mental health conditions, learning disabilities and autism.

Matthew was called to the Bar by Middle Temple in 2022 as a Diplock Scholar and Queen Mother’s Scholar.  He was awarded the Falcon Chambers Advocacy Prize for his performance on the Bar course.


Matthew is regularly defending and prosecuting trials in the Crown Court and Magistrates Courts.

  • R v E – Crown Court – Trial
    Matthew represented a defendant that was forensically linked to the inside of a burgled property. The defendant was allegedly captured on CCTV taking cash from the property. However, the CCTV footage was not seized and the prosecution had to rely on the business owner’s account of what the CCTV showed.  The Judge accepted Matthew’s submissions and directed the jury to treat this evidence “very carefully”.  The defendant was ultimately acquitted.
  • R v N – Crown Court – Trial
    Matthew prosecuted the re-trial of a defendant that claimed to have a ‘good reason’ for the possession of a bladed article in a public place.  The defendant’s explanation was undermined by an independent witness.  However, that witness had a cognitive impairment and failing eyesight.  Matthew ensured the witness received a large-text version of her statement.  He also adopted recommendations from the Advocate’s Gateway toolkits regarding communication.  The witness gave clear and compelling evidence.The defendant was convicted.
  • R v F – Magistrates Court – Plea Hearing
    Matthew represented a defendant with complex mental health conditions against a charge of obstructing a police constable.  In a pre-hearing conference with the prosecutor, Matthew disclosed the full extent of the defendant’s issues and identified steps the defendant had taken to improve his mental health.  Since the date of the allegations, the defendant had been prescribed a new and effective course of medication.  The prosecution was subsequently dropped after a review of the public interest.  All charges against the defendant were withdrawn.

Crime: Private Prosecution

Matthew is available for instruction by prosecuting authorities.

  • British Port Authority v B
    Matthew is instructed by a British Port Authority to pursue the prosecution of a defendant following his refusal to comply with a Special Direction under s54 of Docks and Piers Clauses Act 1847.
  • Insolvency Service v E
    Matthew is instructed in the prosecution of a defendant for his failure to comply with prohibitions imposed by the Insolvency Act 1986.

Crime: Road Traffic Offences

Matthew is regularly instructed by solicitors and privately paying clients to defend in driving matters across the South East.

  • R v L
    Whilst representing a client who hit a cyclist, Matthew was able to negotiate the withdrawal of charges that carried the risk of a custodial sentence. The prosecutor agreed to withdraw charges of failure to stop at the scene of an accident due to evidential weaknesses.  The defendant pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention only.  Her sentence was limited to a small fine and 5 points.
  • R v S
    Matthew acted for a gentleman who had accidentally struck a car in a supermarket car park and driven off. He pleaded guilty to three charges: driving without due care and attention, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, and failing to report.  In mitigation, Matthew drew to the court’s attention the impact a driving disqualification on the client’s disabled wife.  He also deployed legal arguments to avoid driving disqualification.  The client was sentenced to a small fine and 5 points.
  • R v A
    Matthew defended a client who momentarily fell asleep at the wheel and hit a cyclist. The cyclist suffered serious injuries with long term effects.  Matthew provided clear and robust advice to the client who pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.  Thanks to credit for an early guilty plea, and effective personal mitigation at a sentence hearing, the defendant avoided a custodial sentence.

Crime: Youth Court

Matthew is a registered Youth Court practitioner.

  • R v A & N – Youth Court – Trial
    Whilst representing two young men at a trial for handling stolen goods, Matthew was able to exclude detrimental evidence at trial that had not been served i.e. an assertion that one of the defendants had tried to avoid arrest.  The evidence went to the knowledge of one of the defendants in relation to the goods.  Matthew made a successful application of ‘no case to answer’.
  • R v P – Youth Court – Sentence
    In conference with a young man after the loss of his trial, Matthew provided the information and re-assurance needed for him to begin to come to terms with the fact of his guilt.  His pre-sentence report had commented in highly negative terms about his continued denial of guilt.  In his sentencing remarks, the Judge observed that he was particularly pleased that the defendant had taken responsibility.  Despite his extensive offending history, a marked escalation in offending, and many thousands of pounds of damage caused, the Judge made a community order.

Crime: Other

Matthew defends and prosecutes in a wide range of matters.

  • Local Authority v P – Magistrates Court – Breach of Education Order
    Matthew defended the mother of a child who could not attend mainstream school due to complex education and health needs.  The mother was alleged to have breached an order that mandated her to place her child into a local school.  The defendant attended court on the day of trial with a wealth of evidence regarding the home-school provision that was in place for the child.  The defendant was ultimately acquitted on appeal.
  • Metropolitan Police Service v W – Magistrates Court – Closure order application
    In this private instruction Matthew represented a mobile phone repair shop that was the subject of Crown Court proceedings for handling stolen goods.  Matthew successfully opposed a closure order application, persuading a District Judge that the imposition of such an order was not ‘necessary’.  The client was able to re-open the business – his only source of income – immediately upon conclusion of the hearing.


  • Inn’s of Court College of Advocacy, Bar Course (Very Competent)
  • University of Law, Graduate Diploma in Law (Commendation)
  • University of Leeds, Computing and Management BSc
  • Chartered Institute of Business Accounting, Business Accounting Certificate


  • Criminal Bar Association


  • Butterfield Scholar, Western Circuit (2022)
  • Falcon Chambers Advocacy Prize, Inns of Court College of Advocacy (2022)
  • Honourable Mention, Willem C. 29th Vis International Moot (2022)
  • Queen Mother’s Scholar, Middle Temple (2021)
  • Diplock Scholar, Middle Temple (2019)


21 Mar 2024

‘Church gardening’ excuse for carrying an axe around Southsea rejected by jury

Matthew Parris has secured a conviction in a bladed article trial where the defendant argued he had a reasonable excuse for carrying an axe...

13 Mar 2024

A second and final opportunity to build better relationships

Having been told by a court that he could expect a prison sentence, Matthew’s client was afforded a second opportunity at completing a Building...

9 Feb 2024

Protagonist and football fans convicted of a large violent disorder in Coventry – Mike Shaw led Matthew Parris for the Crown

A Warwick jury have this week convicted the chief protagonist of a large violent disorder, involving over twenty football fans.  On 9th June 2020,...

4 Sep 2023

2KBW welcomes a new member of Chambers

Chambers is delighted to announce that Matthew Parris has joined us as a tenant following successful completion of his pupillage. Many congratulations, Matthew!

14 Oct 2022

Butterfield Scholar and pupil Matthew Parris called to The Bar

Under the supervision of Barry McElduff, pupil and Butterfield Scholar Matthew Parris was called to The Bar on 13th October 2022.  He will be...


Crime Team
+44 20 7353 1746