Matthew O'Grady

Called 2010

Practice overview

Matthew’s expertise is in division of married and unmarried couples’ property after separation. His strong private client practice is complemented by his experience as a specialist in international children issues of relocation and abduction.

Matthew has a unique background in professional rugby union and is instructed to represent players from a wide range of sporting backgrounds before disciplinary panels and in other regulatory environments.

He has appeared at all levels including the Court of Appeal without Queen’s Counsel and the High Court.  He appears against senior family barristers and has appeared against Queen’s Counsel without being led himself. He has been admitted as a practising Australian Solicitor and is enrolled as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

Matthew advises and represents clients in all these cases without them needing a solicitor.


Matthew O'Grady in High Profile Appointment for RFU

Matthew O’Grady Makes His Premiership Debut

Matthew O’Grady Back from South Africa

Busy Spring for Matthew O’Grady

Congratulations to Matthew O’Grady

Matthew O'Grady Appointed to Sport Resolutions Panel

Matthew O'Grady in Premiership Action

Admitted in Australia and New Zealand


Matrimonial Finance and Divorce

Matthew has a very busy practice representing husbands and wives in proceedings to divide their assets after separation, including in negotiations, in arbitration, in mediation and multi-day final hearings.  Matthew has a particular interest in the forensic nature of this work.  He acts in cases of alleged fraud and those involving third party or trust issues. He represents these third parties, such as the parents of the separating couple, where there is a claim the relative owns matrimonial property.

His experience includes successfully arguing for the non-recognition of nuptial agreements and resisting extensive findings of fraud and asset dissipation in multi-day hearings.  He advises foreign domiciled clients on the settlement of their financial disputes in England and has appeared for German, Canadian and Emirate clients in the High Court.

Matthew provides advice on the prospects of success in writing and is available to meet with clients by video facilitates where that is preferred.


Unmarried Couples

Matthew is an expert in advising unmarried couples on the division of their property when they separate and assisting them in making or responding to claims.  He also advises couples on living together, including the preparation of cohabitation agreements to decide how property should be divided if they separate in the future.



The focus of Matthew’s expertise is cases with an international dimension where one parent wishes to relocate a child to another country or there is an allegation of abduction. He has extensive experience of such applications from relatively local relocations within the European Union to jurisdictions further afield, such as South Africa and New Zealand.


Sports Law Specialist

Matthew combines his work as a barrister and his experience at the top end of professional rugby union as a Premiership referee to provide a full range sports disciplinary and regulatory sports law service.  He can be instructed to advise and represent players across a range of sports and a range of experience, from renowned professional sportspeople to amateur athletes, in local and national hearings or arbitrations, with an obvious strength in rugby union.  He is very aware of the significant time pressures in these cases and players and clubs can instruct him at short notice without needing a solicitor. He has been appointed to the Sports Resolution Pro Bono Legal Advice Panel in the areas of safeguarding and discipline.

He has a keen understanding of the needs of professional sports men and women experiencing separation and is often instructed to represent them in their family proceedings.


Professional Memberships

  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Resolution

Matthew is Head of the Pupillage Committee as well as being a member of chambers’ Recruitment Committee.



‘Shared Parenting: Keeping welfare paramount by learning from mistakes’ [2013] Fam Law 448

‘How has the UK’s approach to terrorism since 2001 impacted on fair trial rights?’ [2010] 1 GISLJ 77



2018 Enrolled as Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand

2018 Admitted as an Australian Lawyer at Supreme Court of New South Wales

2017 University of New England, Australia

2009 Bachelor of Laws, LLB (Hons) – University of Bristol

2010 BVC, ‘Very Competent’ – University of the West of England

2010 Cynthia Terry Scholarship, Gray’s Inn

2010 Called to the Bar (Gray’s)

Matthew is a member of England Rugby’s Professional Match Officials Team.  When not in Court he can often be spotted officiating on live television.  He referees in the Aviva Premiership and Greene King IPA Championship.  He has officiated at the very highest levels of European Cup rugby, one of his most memorable occasions being Connacht’s dramatic and historic win over Toulouse in the European Champions Cup.  Amongst his officiating highlights are his involvement in Rugby World Cup 2015 and his overseas trips including to; Japan, South Africa, USA, Malaysia and the Dubai 7s. 


An expert in the finances of separating couples, with a unique specialist Sports background in elite rugby union.