Matthew Bagnall

  • LL.B

Matthew handles exclusively criminal cases, for both the defence and the prosecution. 

He operates mainly on the South Eastern circuit in Essex.

He is a thorough advocate who prepares his cases carefully.

He can be robust or sensitive when dealing with witnesses at trial depending upon the demands of the case.

He has a wealth of experience of defending in complex trials, multi-handed or otherwise.

In conference he is able to give his clients tactical, practical and pragmatic advice in plain and comprehensible terms.

He is always readily contactable by all forms of modern communication and is proactive in his case preparation and case progression.

Areas of Practice

Violence / Drugs /Firearms
Matthew regularly defends and prosecutes in cases of Violent Crime at all levels, including cases involving Drugs and Firearms.

Sexual Offences
He defends in cases of Sexual Crime, cases involving rape, indecent assault, sexual offences against children and computer child pornography. His experience lies in cases involving vulnerable witnesses and children and he is experienced in the use of TV and video links.

Vulnerable Defendants/Witnesses
He has considerable experience in representing Defendants that might be considered Vulnerable or who have Mental Health problems.

Matthew undertakes both defence and prosecution work in benefit fraud and other types of fraud.

Regulatory Offences (Defence)
He has considerable experience in defending regulatory offences both in the Magistrates and the Crown Court. He has defended in health and safety prosecutions where death has resulted and has represented his clients at associated Inquiries before the Coroner.  In addition he has experience at representing his clients interests at Public inquiry before the Traffic commissioner and before Local Authority regulatory committees.

Regulatory Offences (Prosecution)
He has experience of prosecuting Heath and safety prosecutions on behalf of Local Authorities, in particular asbestos cases.

Notable Cases


  • Sonny Hall(Led by Robert Woodcock QC) - Case of attempted murder which involved lengthy and complex legal argument upon the admissibility of a defendants interview against his co defendants as part of the prosecution case.
  • R v White and Shepherd - Richard Christie QC and Matthew Bagnall secure convictions against two drug dealers who murdered their friend and rival having lured him to dense woodland, beaten him over the head with baseball bats and cut his throat. Following a 7 week trial at Cambridge Crown Court jurors returned guilty verdicts against both defendants after being in retirement for 6 full days. Both defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment and were required to serve minimum terms of 29 and 28.5 years respectively. The case involved detailed scientific, telephone, CCTV evidence and eye witness testimony following the creation of false alibis by both defendants.

Sexual Offences

  • Karttunnen (Basildon Crown Court) - A case widely reported upon in the media where the defendant stalked a couple by planting indecent images of children upon the couples home computer. Case involved a considerable of expert technical evidence pertaining to  Computer systems.
  • Bwaliya (Basildon Crown Court) - Stranger rape in southend.
  • Ullah (Maidstone Crown Court) - Defence: Multi handed Gang Rape.


  • Sandhu (Kingston Crown Court) - VHCC confiscation proceedings following large importation of class A drugs.


  • R-v- Doyle (Portsmouth Crown Court) - (Junior Counsel) Instructed as led junior for the first defendant in a 7 handed drugs importation involving over 450 kilos of cocaine hidden inside yams and other Jamaican produce. This case relied heavily on mobile phone evidence and the telephone data alone ran to over 40,000 calls. Mr Doyle was acquitted of importation of class A drugs.

Public Disorder/Riot

  • R-v- Rhudd (Croydon Crown Court) - (Junior Counsel) Mr Rhudd  was charged with being a ringleader in the riot at the Harmondsworth detention centre. This was a particularly particularlycomplex case with over 4000 hours of CCTV evidence and damage to the establishment running in excess of 2.5 million pounds. Mr Rhudd was one of only 2 people acquitted in this 7-handed trial.

Regulatory Offences

  • Montana Bakery (Coroners’ Inquest) 
  • Montana Bakery (Reading Crown Court)
  • Defence counsel for Montana Bakery in respect of Health and Safety offences arising from the death of a worker, who was crushed by machinery.

Professional Memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • South Eastern Circuit