Matt was a dear friend and colleague to many of us at Osborne Clarke, to his clients and to many others that he met throughout his career. He was renowned for his sarcasm, quick wit and sense of humour (his Christmas jumpers were legendary!), his expertise in complex legal issues (the more complex the better for Matt), and his thirst for learning (most of our team couldn’t quite believe it when he actually chose to take an economics GCSE while the rest of us had more than enough intellectual stimulation from the day job!). Matt was dedicated to his colleagues, career and clients, a true professional.
As one of our very first Legal Directors, in many ways Matt exemplified what the role was about, using his extraordinary (and I really do mean extraordinary) legal expertise and knowledge to support some of our most important clients. If anyone had a complex problem whether about management structures, highways, drains, an archaic title entry, boundary or plan query or any other unusual issue, we would all go straight to Matt. You would literally see Matt's face light up and he would stop what he was doing, get one of his many books from his desk, grab a pen and pad and then talk you through the issue while explaining with lots of diagrams! He always found the solution which was great but you also knew that you had made his day by asking him.
Matt also lectured on and wrote a book on delivering property management solutions – he was a renowned expert in the area and highly regarded. But although Matt had that formidable legal knowledge, he was very generous with it: he helped juniors as they built their own careers; he was one of the best contributors to our Knowledge Lawyers' requests for articles and commentary; and he often carried out training or shared his insights via articles in some of the more in-depth property law journals. He also gave his time and expertise freely to help industry, community and charity organisations including The Institute of Residential Property Management (of which he was Director and Chair), The Bristol Community Land Trust, The Scouts and The Rotary Club. Matt was also involved in OC Gender and was a Mental Health Champion – both roles he felt strongly about and were very important to him. Through these roles and initiatives he helped hundreds of people – those whose lives he touched directly and those he never even met.
Over the last 20 years Matt helped us to build a fantastic Residential Development team, first at Clarke Willmott and then at Osborne Clarke, in which he was a founding member and core to the team. We will all always remember him with great fondness and will miss him very much.