Matthew Hodson

Matthew Hodson

  • Called in 2004

Matthew Hodson has a broad common law practice with emphasis on the specialist areas of employment, company and shareholding disputes, contract, professional negligence, defamation, contentious probate and personal injury. He appears regularly in the High Court and Employment Tribunals in seven figure cases, and has a busy paperwork practice. He is often sought out for his thorough and practical advice on tactics, merits and quantum.

Matthew has been described as “consistently detailed and methodical”, “first-class” and “highly recommended” by instructing solicitors.

Matthew is also a mediator, accredited by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Commercial

Matt has a particular interest in commercial work. He advises and represents individuals, businesses and insurance companies on a wide range of matters. His experience includes high value construction and contract cases as well as numerous shareholder and partnership multi-track disputes.

Matt has also developed a strong High Court practice in employee competition law, appearing and advising in numerous cases. He has represented employees and employers and has appeared both at trial and at interim injunctions in the High Court.

His recent experience includes:

  • A seven figure share purchase agreement dispute, relating to the interpretation and construction of an indemnity clause.
  • A long running shareholder dispute between father and son over a multi-million pound business. The matter has been resolved by successful prosecution of an unfair prejudice petition.
  • Advising and appearing in numerous High Court injunctions and trials relating to the enforceability of covenants restricting competition by ex-employees.
  • A joint venture dispute relating to the purchase and renovation of properties without properly agreeing terms of business first, thereby involving a Pallant v Morgan
  • Advice on appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning the enforceability of a costs order obtained in proceedings involving a charity, without the authority of the Charity Commission.
  • Numerous domestic building disputes involving claims and counterclaims for full payment of the contract price by builders and for the cost of rectifying defective work by customers.
  • Advice on the enforceability of ‘transfer fees’ in a recruitment consultancy contract.
  • A case involving the fraudulent imposition of fake landlord and tenant contracts on a developer by an estate agent.
  • Advice on jurisdiction for recovery of contract sums relating to work performed internationally.
  • A claim against the vendors of a property who failed to notify the purchasers of a known problem with Japanese Knotweed at the end of the garden. / Another claim against vendors who failed to notify purchasers of a long running and serious dispute with a neighbour.

Claims by professionals for recovery of unpaid fees.

Defamation

Matt regularly appears in the High Court in defamation matters. He has an established reputation in defamation disputes relating to publications in diaspora community newspapers and websites based in the UK but serving communities whose roots lie elsewhere in the world, particular Korea and Kenya.

He has also been involved in successful cases relating to defamatory emails at work and in the context of local business.

Employment

Matt regularly appears in the employment tribunals and the EAT on a range of matters but he is particularly interested in discrimination cases and has recently advised and appeared in several disability, pregnancy, sex and sexual harassment cases. He acts for both employees and employers.

Recently Matt has been called upon more and more often to advise employers at an earlier stage before any action has been taken, when problems are faced in the workplace. Matt is happy to assist on this basis and to give advice on proper procedure for HR purposes.

Matt has developed a strong High Court practice in employee competition law, appearing and advising in numerous cases. He has represented employees and employers and has appeared both at trial and at interim injunctions in the High Court.

His recent experience includes:

  • Advising and appearing in numerous High Court injunctions and trials relating to the enforceability of covenants restricting competition by ex-employees.
  • Claims involving allegations of sexual harassment by senior male managers against junior female employees.
  • A claim of race discrimination by an area manager who was dismissed in circumstances where the employer claimed there were performance and conduct issues.
  • A pregnancy discrimination claim by an employee whose business moved to a new location during her maternity leave and who was not kept properly informed of developments.
  • A disability discrimination claim by a senior employee of a marketing agency who pushed her to work too hard on return after going to into remission following bowel cancer.
  • A whistleblowing and disability discrimination claim by a senior custody officer against a provider of security services.
  • A claim of sex and race discrimination by two employees of a foreign state that relied upon state immunity as a defence.
  • A claim of disability discrimination following long term bullying by a manager.
  • Unfair dismissal and redundancy claims.

TUPE claims.

General Common Law

Matt’s practice is broad and he recognises that clients regularly face complex legal issues that cross the boundaries of several areas of specialism. Matt prides himself in having a diverse knowledge of the law so that he can often give a complete solution to the problems faced. He often finds that less obvious but very effective lines of attack can be found by approaching a case from different angles. The more unusual the case, the more enthusiastic he will be.

Mediation

Matt regularly appears in mediations as a representative. He has advised and advocated in cases including issues of discrimination, contract disputes, employment, trusts, probate and defamation.

He is also a trained mediator, accredited by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Matt has a calm and patient manner, which he combines with an analytical mind honed through trial litigation to quickly identify the key issues in any dispute. In addition to these attributes Matt is always thoroughly prepared and possessed of all the facts so that the trust of both sides is won from the outset.

Matt has been involved in dispute for many years and frequently negotiates settlements in his own cases. He is therefore aware of the barriers and opportunities that arise in any mediation and well equipped to facilitate the parties in finding a solution that both sides can say yes to.

Matt understands that dispute is always very stressful and that sensitivity is important. While providing a sympathetic ear Matt is nonetheless not afraid to do some straight talking and ask the difficult questions that show all the perspectives of a case. He believes it is very important to explore the real interests of the parties, and not just their legal positions.

If settlement cannot be achieved on the day Matt will be keen to continue working with the parties to ensure the best chance at resolution.

Matt welcomes direct instructions to act as a mediator. Please contact the clerks for bookings.

Personal Injury

Matt represents both claimants and defendants in multi-track matters. His lay clients range from claimants instructing solicitors by CFA through to large corporate and public organisations, particularly local authorities. He is in court regularly conducting trials and interim hearings and has a busy paperwork practice advising on issues of liability and quantum as well as drafting statements of case.

Matt specialises in employer’s liability claims and claims arising from assault and false imprisonment. In particular he has been involved in several High Court claims against store security, bouncers and the police.

Professional Negligence

Matt regularly appears in the High Court in professional negligence claims, particularly those involving negligence by solicitors, barristers and financial services providers. He also has experience of cases involving clinical negligence and negligence in the construction industry.

Matt’s recent cases have included:

  • A six figure settlement against a firm of solicitors for a disappointed litigant who settled at considerable undervalue following a combination of a failure to arrange appropriate litigation insurance and bad advice on merits and quantum.
  • A six figure claim against conveyancing solicitors who oversaw the sale of a home to a company with whom they had links, offering untenably unfair terms.
  • A claim against a barrister for negligently failing to accurately report back an offer of settlement made by the other side at court.
  • Claims against financial advisors for negligently failing to give advice that properly reflected the level of risk their clients were willing to take.
  • A claim against a firm of conveyancing solicitors who failed to advise properly on the available relief against Stamp Duty Land Tax.
  • A claim against a conveyancing search company for negligently failing to report relevant road construction schemes close to the relevant property.

Public Access

Matt is qualified to accept work directly from members of the public under the Public Access Scheme.

This has been an increasingly popular scheme and in the past year Matt has assisted members of the public and company legal departments in a variety of matters spanning employment, discrimination, contract, defamation, debt recovery, shareholder disputes and professional negligence. Please contact the clerking team for further information.

Trusts & Probate

Matt has been instructed in a number of High Court contentious probate matters. He has been involved in advising, negotiating and appearing at trial on topics that range from the rule against double portions to dependency claims under the Inheritance Act.

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Notable Cases


Countrywide Estate Agents v Turner (2014) UKEAT/0208/13/LA; 2014 WL 4250036; LTL 8/9/2014
Appeal before the EAT to determine the correct basis of compensatory and contractual damages following unfair dismissal.

Indigo Design Build & Management Ltd & B Tank v Marie Martinez (2014) UKEAT/0020/14/DM; 2014 WL 4423177; LTL 11/9/14
Appeal before the EAT to determine the correct "reason why" legal test for direct pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

Kloosman v Aylen & Others [2013] EWHC 435 (Ch); [2013] W.T.L.R. 673; [2014] W.T.L.R. 77
High Court trial concerning inter vivos gifts and the presumption against double portions.

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Mayhook v National Car Parks; Nigel Barrington-Fuller (2012) LTL 20/3/2013
A claim initially for an injunction for return of a vehicle towed from a car park, then for damages arising from loss of use. Issues included: conversion; Arthur v Anker; incorporation; construction; fairness of terms and penalty charges.

A Retailer v Ms. B & Ms. K (2012) LTL 3/9/12
Acted for the defendants defeating this civil recovery claim by a major high street retailer against two shoplifters for administrative and staff costs alleged to be due following their apprehension by security staff.

Tim Russ & Co v Robertson & Ors (2011) EWHC 3470
Acted for the claimant estate agent in a three day High Court trial seeking to enforce employment covenants restricting competition.

Customer Systems Plc v Ranson & Others (2011) EWHC 3304
Three week High Court trial resisting claims of breach of restrictive covenant and breach of fiduciary duties. The Claimant, a high end IT consultancy, sought damages of half a million pounds.

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If you would like to instruct Matthew Hodson or would like help or advice in doing so, please call and talk to our excellent clerking team, led by senior clerk Alan Kilbey MBE. Our phone number is +44 (0)20 7583 9241. Alternatively, please email us at chambers@farrarsbuilding.co.uk

For more information about our clerking team, please click here for the clerks page.

Appointments & Memberships


  • Chairman of the Tribunal of Travelling Showmen

Education & Qualifications


  • Mathematics, University College London
  • Winchester College

Personal Interests


In his spare time Matt is often to be found up in the mountains walking and scrambling. He is a qualified mountain leader and has led expeditions to the Amazon (2011) and the Himalayas (2014) with the British Exploring Society. He has also completed the Coast to Coast, Pennine Way, Cape Wrath Trail, GR20 across Corsica and the GR5 from Geneva to Nice.

Matt also enjoys playing football, tennis and parkour.