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Matthew is a partner in the firm's Real Estate division and is Head of Planning in London. He is also joint lead partner for the EMEA Real Estate sector at the firm and is responsible for client relationship and thought leadership initiatives to grow the firm's cross-practice real estate sector expertise.

Matthew has more than 25 years of experience of planning across all aspects of contentious and non-contentious planning and development law, including the preparation and negotiation of planning applications and planning agreements, strategic advice on large-scale regeneration, energy and infrastructure projects, environmental impact assessment, compulsory purchase, community infrastructure levy, judicial review and planning inquiries. He has acted on many high-profile and politically sensitive projects throughout his career.

Matthew is Chairman of the City of London Law Society Planning and Environmental Law Committee, a member of the British Property Federation's Planning Committee, a Legal Associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He regularly contributes to Herbert Smith Freehills' UK real estate development blog.

Matthew is listed in the Legal 500 UK "Hall of Fame" and is one of only two lawyers to be identified as a “Star Individual” for planning law in London in Chambers UK.  

Experience & expertise

Selected matters

  • Berkeley Homes on their mixed-use redevelopment proposals for the Borough Triangle site in Southwark
  • British Land on securing planning permission for the Canada Water Masterplan, the first new town centre in London for a generation and the largest planning permission ever granted by the London Borough of Southwark
  • British Land and GIC on their ongoing revitalisation and redevelopment of the Broadgate campus in the City of London
  • Lendlease on the ongoing Olympic legacy development of International Quarter London in Stratford
  • London & Continental Railways on the Stratford City and King's Cross metropolitan regeneration projects in London, including securing planning permission for the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre and the Athletes Village for the London 2012 Olympic Games
  • GLA Land and Property in relation to their London Docklands regeneration schemes at Silvertown Quays and Thames Wharf
  • Madison Square Garden on MSG Sphere London in Stratford, including site acquisition and planning advice
  • SMBL Developments (a joint venture between Stanhope and Mitsui Fusodan UK) on a planning application for an extension to the Grade I-listed British Library, a building of enormous architectural and cultural significance
  • Landsec on their proposals for a new settlement at Easton Park in Essex, including securing planning permission for 1,200 homes following an appeal inquiry