Matthew has practised exclusively as a Family Law barrister for over a decade, having been called to the Bar of England & Wales in 2010 and the Victorian Bar in 2021. In that time he has appeared reguarly in trials, interim hearings and at dispute resolution events.
His expertise is in the division of married and unmarried couples’ property after separation and parenting disputes. His practice is complemented by his work in sports law.
Matthew is a:
- Nationally Accredited Mediator (AIFLAM).
- Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and approved by the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA) to arbitrate Children Act 1989 and property disputes in England & Wales.
Matthew practises Family Law in Australia and England. In Australia he appears in trials, in appeals and in dispute resolution events. LIkewise, in England he has appeared in the High Court, Court of Appeal and against Senior Counsel without being led himself. He is recognised in the leading Legal Directories.
When he is in England, Matthew also sits part-time as a Judge. He was first appointed in 2019. In January 2022 HM The Queen appointed Matthew to be a Recorder hearing trials in the Family Court in cases about children and family property.
International Family Law work forms a significant part of Matthew’s practice and he can be approached to help with issues involving Family Law in different countries. Matthew is particuarly well placed to advise expatriate clients on the intersection of English and Australian family law, including:
- Whether the client can establish English jurisdiction
- Whether proceedings being commenced in England or Australia would best serve the client’s interests
- The scope for proceedings to be issued in England after the conclusion of Australian proceedings
- The availability of remedies against UK pension schemes
- Forum disputes
- Enforcement of orders made in one jurisdiction by a court of the other jurisdiction
He prepares expert evidence on joint and single instruction in these cases.
Matthew understands that responsibilites caring for children and older relatives as well as work and business commitments can make mediating during the week difficult. Matthew can be instructed as Mediator on Saturdays to accommdate clients’ needs.
Matthew has a unique background in professional sport as a former elite match official and is instructed to represent players from a wide range of sporting backgrounds before disciplinary panels and in other regulatory environments.
Matthew’s mentor was Chris Nehmy.
2022 – Recorder (Family Court, England)
2021 – Deputy District Judge (Family Court & County Court, England)
2019 – Judge of the First-Tier Tribunal (fee-paid) (England)
Matthew chairs Tribunals, arbitrates disputes and determines sports regulatory matters for:
- Sport Resolutions Panel of Arbitrators & Mediators
- National Safeguarding Panel (UK)
- International Mixed Martial Arts Federation
- Rugby Football Union
- European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR)
- Rugby Europe DIsciplinary Committee
- England Boxing Disciplinary Panel
- Professional Golf Association (PGA) European Tour
- The Football Association Judicial Panel
- Specialist Member of The Football Association Safeguarding Review Panel
- British Equestrian
“Matthew is very thorough and organised, has a strong breadth of knowledge and confident representation in court setting. He always provides clear and succinct advice to clients, helping them sort the emotive issues from those issues which are relevant for the purposes of negotiating a settlement or preparing for a hearing.” – Legal 500 UK Bar 2023
“Matthew provides clear and concise advice to clients. He is approachable and very organised.” – Legal 500 UK Bar 2023
“The set is recommended …for the work of experienced counsel such as … Matthew O’Grady undertaking complex matrimonial and financial disputes.” – Legal 500 UK Bar 2022
“A team player and consummate professional.” Legal 500 UK Bar 2021
“Leading junior: divorce and financial remedy.” – Legal 500 UK Bar (2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023)
“Leading junior: child law.” – Legal 500 UK Bar (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 & 2024)
Matthew has a considerable background in professional rugby. He was a professional referee in England and could often be spotted officiating on live television when not in Court. Matthew refereed in the Gallagher and Aviva Premierships and Greene King IPA Championship. He officiated at the very highest levels of European Cup rugby and travelled across world. Amongst his officiating highlights are his involvement in Rugby World Cup 2015; refereeing the Army v Navy in front of a capacity 82,000 Twickenham crowd and his overseas trips including to; Japan, South Africa, USA, Malaysia and the Dubai 7s.