Matthew Hardyman

Year of call: 1997

He can communicate with clients with ease, compassion and empathy”Legal 500 -2018 Crime (General Crime)


Matthew is a criminal defence specialist who is instructed in a wide range of serious criminal cases, including kidnapping, violent disorder, wounding, large scale drugs importations, fraud and all kinds of road traffic offences.

He is an effective advocate who has a particular strength in building a rapport with and earning the trust of difficult clients, particularly young defendants charged with serious offences.

Matthew is also an experienced Courts Martial defence advocate.

Notable Cases

R v B and 16 others – Conspiracy / large scale cannabis importation (£68m) and money laundering.

R v P – Low level community penalty secured for client convicted of causing death by careless driving.

R v H and 2 others – First on indictment. Defendant charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, wounding and robbery – family dispute. (Acquitted)

R v B-R and 3 others – £1 million airline ticketing agency fraud – Multiple shell companies and aliases / identification. (Acquitted)

R v N and 7 others – Junior Counsel for defendant charged with credit card fraud, kidnapping, blackmail and firearms offences. Large scale (£4m) Sri Lankan conspiracy to compromise thousands of credit cards used at garages. Extensive work on mobile phone analysis and cell-site analysis. (Acquitted of firearms, kidnap and blackmail)

R v R and 8 others – First on indictment. Defendant charged with violent disorder and racially aggravated wounding. Admissibility of evidence from MSN instant messenger and chat rooms challenged. (Acquitted of racially aggravated element)

R v L – Wounding with Intent – defendant unfit to plead – trial of the act. Ss.37 and 41 Mental Health Act disposals.


BA (Hons) – Brunel
CPE (Commendation) – Birmingham
Direct Access qualified

Professional Associations

Criminal Bar Association

Download CV

Reported Cases

R v Rees & others [2005] EWCA Crim 1857; [2006] 2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 20; Times, July 22, 2005
Series of linked cases arising from outbreaks of violent disorder following the 2004 European Championship football matches.
(Matthew was commended by Lord Woolf LCJ for his economy and realism in submissions.)

R v Hussain [2007] EWCA Crim 2148
Possession with intent to supply cannabis / basis of plea (Judge failing to allow opportunity to call evidence to substantiate basis).

R v Bhelt [2008] EWCA Crim 626
Young defendant (16 at time of offence and 18 at time of sentence) charged with possession with intent to supply heroin and cocaine.