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Matthew Shaw



Matthew specialises in Private Client, principally Family Finance and Private Child. He is used to dealing with cases involving not only serious child welfare issues and Guardians but also cross-allegations of domestic abuse between parents. Matthew has also represented both applicants and respondents in leave to remove cases. Having come from a mixed practise background, Matthew has found his previous experience in the criminal courts and the immigration tribunal very useful when advising in family matters. 


Matthew has experience at each stage of financial remedy proceedings and applications under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989, including those involving clients who have experienced domestic abuse by the other party. He perseveres to secure a fair and appropriate outcome and to ensure his client’s voice is heard. 

Family Finance 

Matthew has experience at each stage of financial remedy proceedings and applications under schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989, including a multi-day final hearings involving cross-examination on material non-disclosure, hidden assets and fraud. He has worked with clients (often applicant wives) who have experienced domestic abuse by the other party. He perseveres to secure a fair and appropriate outcome for those clients who might otherwise have been pressured into less favourable settlements. 

Private Child 

Matthew often works with vulnerable clients in children proceedings, including clients and children with disabilities. He is used to dealing with cases involving not only serious welfare issues and Guardians but also cross-allegations of domestic abuse between parents. He is also used to dealing with cases that have (or develop) a public law element. He has negotiated complex but clear child arrangement orders, including for cross-border contact. To date Matthew has represented both applicants and respondents in leave to remove cases, including multi-day trials before Circuit Judges. Matthew has extensive experience of appearing opposite litigants in person and the professional as well as practical issues this can raise. 

Clients appreciate his practice on ‘both sides of the coin’ and really value his capacity to act for them in related family proceedings having first instructed them in their finance or children case. 

Family Law Act 

Matthew has plenty of experience dealing with applications for non-molestation and occupation orders under Part IV, whether applying for or resisting. He is also used to advising on how such orders could impact upon potential private child and/or financial remedy proceedings. 


Matthew is often selected by solicitors looking to instruct counsel who is easy for clients to get along with but who is bold, well prepared, and not afraid to fight his corner in court.  

Direct Access 

Matthew is trained in public access so that members of the public can, in appropriate cases, instruct him without using a solicitor. Matthew can be contacted via the clerks for public access enquiries in any of his areas of practise. 

Practice Areas

Finance and Private Client

Private Law Children

Alternative Families

International Family Law


“Matthew Shaw has been an excellent barrister for us. His work is extremely detailed, and he has been very willing to help in every way. Additionally, the feedback from our clients has been resoundingly positive about his performance on their cases. His advice and feedback on cases is extremely useful.” 

“Thank you very much. I just wanted to say how pleased I was & my family with your choice of barrister. Mr Shaw was great from the start & I couldn’t have been any happier with him representing me today. I am very grateful.”

“I can speak for all of the family when I say that Matthew was absolutely excellent. He was professional, friendly and had a wonderful knowledge of the situation. He was a very strong advocate.” 

“I would describe his legal services and client care as particularly good and would highly recommend him to anybody seeking a Direct Access barrister.” 

“Mr Shaw’s calm but firm manner and his understanding of my son’s complex mental health background were perfect for the case, and he was very good with my son one to one. … He was also very good at managing the complications of his mental health problems in terms of reducing the stress of the court process.” 

“His is a unique talent: most sincere, with a very professional and methodical way of dealing with very complex challenges. He was able to break them down into ‘layman’ terms and provide guidance in a step by step and manageable way. This case involved an international family law issue at the core, and he quickly realised the implications…” 

“I have never come across such a helpful and proactive advocate. I commend him.” 


‘Transparency in the Family Courts’ (co-authored with Chris Bryden), Family Law Journal, Nov 2014 

‘Caravan Parks and Rainy Days’, co-authored with Chris Bryden and Matthew Shaw, Procurement & Outsourcing Journal, Jul/Aug 2015. 


A v A (2018): represented the wife in long-running financial remedy proceedings involving interveners, reversal of transactions intended to defeat the wife’s claim by artificially lowering the husband’s available capital and discovery of hidden assets.  

B v C (2018): acted for father in private child proceedings involving implacable hostility of the mother. Persuaded the court to dismiss the mother’s allegations against the father and restore direct contact.  

D v A (2018): acted for the father in private child proceedings whereby the court reversed a previous CAFCASS recommendation and, the Local Authority siding with the father, transferred care of the subject child to the father following concerns over the mother’s ability to meet the child’s needs. 

H v H (2017): appeared on behalf of the husband for the 2-day final hearing of a financial remedy case. Matthew secured a favourable order for his client notwithstanding material non-disclosure on the part of the husband. 

S v S (2017): represented the husband in response to enforcement proceedings brought by the wife following a final order in financial remedy proceedings. Resisted the application, affording 11 months for the husband to comply.  

M v P (2016): represented the mother in long running private child and financial proceedings involving a complex inter-jurisdiction Child Arrangements Order and disclosure issues over the father’s income as an international football player. 

SSHD v A (2016): successfully kept a family together in the UK by resisting an appeal by the Home Office in the Upper Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum) in a deportation case involving ABH and GBH convictions. The case was complicated not only by Matthew’s client’s convictions but also the client’s learning difficulties and the special needs of the child. 

D v D (2016): represented the wife in enforcement proceedings of a divorce settlement involving serious financial misconduct by the husband. 

H v A (2015): represented the mother in her successful application for leave to permanently remove the child from the jurisdiction of England & Wales.

Education and Professional Memberships

Called to the Bar 2011 (Middle Temple) 

BA & MA Classical Civilisation (First), University of Warwick 

LLB (Hons) (GDL & BPTC, Very Competent), University of Law, London 

The Family Law Bar Association 

Resolution (Associate Member) 



The Honourable Society of Middle Temple 


Harmsworth Major Scholarship, Middle Temple 

Fully funded MA, University of Warwick 

Prize for Best Dissertation, University of Warwick (Classics)