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Matthew McDonagh

Matthew McDonagh

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To find out more, contact Graham Woods or Paul Barton or call us on +44 (0)20 7353 6381 for a confidential discussion.

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Matthew McDonagh is a trial advocate who appears on a regular basis before regulatory and disciplinary tribunals. He also appears frequently in the criminal jurisdiction. He is adept at ‘Judge-only’ advocacy before the Administrative Court and the Court of Appeal. Considered fearsome by some opponents, Matthew presents with a charm, charisma and calm that is regularly remarked upon by Judges.

Matthew’s particular expertise is in the forensic analysis and cross-examination of witnesses and complicated expert evidence. Matthew’s excellence in this field has been acknowledged by his consistent rankings over a number of years in the independent legal directories publications including Chambers UK and the Legal 500 – and within the testimonials that accompany them.

Matthew is the “go to” barrister for those in crisis. These clients may require emergency assistance in a wide range of areas. They need fast and accurate advice. They need this advice to be given simply and confidently so that they can make informed decisions in the most stressful of times. And they need to know that their barrister will follow through so they may take action on the advice that has been given. Matthew gives his clients that clear opportunity.

In addition to his busy practice, Matthew is a Middle Temple Advocacy Trainer and lectures regularly on medico-legal and disciplinary matters. He is a Pupil Supervisor and mentors other barristers through his Inn. He also sits regularly as a Crown Court Recorder.

Disciplinary & Regulatory

Matthew was instructed by healthcare regulators for many years, during which time he built up a solid reputation for providing firm and concise advice, fairness and thoroughness. He was favoured Counsel in cases of particular complexity and length. Matthew now uses these skills on a regular basis as he defends before the General Medical Council, General Dental Council and other regulators.

Matthew is particularly adept at simplifying complex areas of expert evidence. He has taught experts forensic skills in the preparation of expert reports and the giving of evidence. He is experienced at cases that are multi-patient and those that involve Performance Assessments.
In the last twelve months Matthew has appeared and been instructed in regulatory proceedings involving Veterinary Medicinal Products, The Food Standards Agency, The Financial Conduct Authority, The Gambling Acts and The Football Association with regulatory hearings at Wembley Stadium. He has been instructed by both football players and football clubs.

Most regularly instructed in all areas of regulation and professional discipline, Matthew appears before Military Courts both domestically and internationally, Inquests, Professional Discipline and Regulatory Tribunals and the Administrative Division of the High Court. His background in criminal work gives him a clear forensic advantage in the most complex of these cases. Professional and Lay Clients instruct Matthew for his calmness in all circumstances, clarity and the imaginative manner in which he approaches his cases.

Matthew is instructed by a number of the leading solicitor firms for his practice areas. He also accepts instructions from indemnifiers, Hospital Trusts, Sport’s Governing Bodies and other organisations. Matthew is permitted by the Bar Council to accept instructions directly under the Public Access scheme and does this regularly through the clerking team at Outer Temple Chambers.

Many of Matthew’s instructions have been generated by personal recommendations from past clients. Many of those requiring advice and representation from Matthew have international aspects to their concerns. Most recently that has included jurisdictional issues arising in Cyprus, Iceland and Germany.

Additionally, Matthew is an FA registered intermediary and has represented a number of footballers in contract negotiations and commercial matters.

Matthew’s experience across many disciplines gives him an overall insight into issues that have particularly assisted his clients. Additionally, his background before the regulatory tribunals and the criminal courts places him in a strong position to represent professionals who find themselves before these courts and also at inquests and enquiries.

Recent Regulatory and Professional Discipline cases include:

  • Autistic doctor with genius IQ sexually harassing colleagues
  • Dentist assaulting patient during examination
  • Football club fighting points deduction after financial irregularities discovered
  • Solicitor investigated for fraud
  • Barrister prosecuted for sexual misconduct
  • Tinted lenses and the treatment of autism related symptoms at the General Optical Council

Appointments & Memberships

  • Recorder of the Crown Court (2009)
  • Sports Resolutions UK Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators
  • ARDL
  • Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • South Eastern Circuit

Matthew McDonagh is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

Areas of Law



“A very effective cross-examiner and a master tactician.” Professional Discipline, Chambers & Partners 2018

“He appears in challenging dental, medical and solicitors’ cases.” Professional Discipline, Legal 500 2017

“He is an able and persuasive advocate, very bright and good on his feet. In his defence work, he develops a good relationship with clients and works committedly on their behalf. Clients relate well to him and respect his supportive but sensible advice.” Professional Discipline, Chambers & Partners 2017

“A persuasive advocate who is popular with clients. He has very pragmatic, sound judgement.” Professional Discipline, Chambers & Partners 2017

“He defends in GDC and SRA cases.” Professional Discipline, Legal 500 2016

“His client care is great and he sticks to very tight deadlines.” Professional Discipline, Chambers & Partners 2015

“He is a very experienced regulatory lawyer. He has a relaxed style but at the same time he is able to focus on the important issues and deal with those. He is good on his feet and has good relations with the other side.” Professional Discipline, Chambers & Partners 2014

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