The Practice

Matthew Griffiths

In the vast majority of cases, all work on your case will be undertaken by Matthew Griffiths. As from 6th December 2018, all firms undertaking work in summary only motoring matters must provide on their websites details of the qualifications and experience of those who will be working on their case, should they chose to instruct the firm. Meeting this obligation is a little easier for us than for some, as in the vast majority of cases, the work will be undertaken by Kent Criminal Law's sole-practitioner, Matthew Griffiths.


You can be sure that the advice that you receive will be based on an evaluation of the evidence against you and your instructions and never on any extraneous factors, such as the most profitable outcome for the firm. 


Many of the firms  advertising as national motoring solicitors are very large organisations. They employ case workers to prepare the case and appoint a solicitor or barrister near to your court to perform the advocacy functions. When some of these firms  brief out their advocacy they make it clear that the advocate should not seek to change the advice that their clients have been given. This can place the advocate in a very difficult position as they are bound by their professional obligations to act in their lay clients best interests but also faced with the possibility of obtaining no further work from that firm should they disobey their instructions.

Experience

On leaving bar school in 1997, Matthew worked 4 days a week on a voluntary basis for 18 months to obtain hands on experience whilst searching for pupilage. 

In 1999 he obtained a position in the criminal department of a busy firm of solicitors in the centre of Birmingham. Gaining accreditation as a police station representative and in this capacity represented clients on a daily basis, quickly gaining experience in representing clients arrested for offences from common assault to murder. 

On being admitted to the 'roll of solicitors' he worked in the criminal departments of firms in the East Coast and the South Wales valleys, before settling at a firm in Gloucestershire where he felt 'at home'. At Steven Young & Co he conducted hundreds of  trials in the Magistrates Court. 

After 7 happy years at Steven Young & Co, he moved to Kent. Undertaking mostly Crown Court work at his new firm he tired of having to apologise to courts and clients  for the incompetence of the firm he was working for and took a sabbatical from the law. However, after a year of absence from the law, he returned as a part-time consultant to Steven Young & Co, spending three days a week in Gloucestershire. In November 2016, he founded Kent Criminal Law.


Notable Cases


Having dealt with many, many clients over the years, there are lots of cases that  stand out in Matthew's memory. These are just a few of them:

R v Prochazka. Securing the acquittal after trial of a Czech lorry driver alleged to have imported £1.5 million of  Class A and B drugs into the UK. In this case it was necessary to successfully argue that unrelated but prejudicial evidence be excluded.

In R v Waclawski, representing a man alleged to have smuggled £30,000 of cannabis through the Port of Dover. In the first trial there was a hung jury but the Crown decided to retry the case. Representing the defendant for a second time, the jury acquitted him.

In the case of R v Ponting, the court were persuaded to exclude the content of an 'at home' police interview on the basis that the confession had been obtained by oppression within the meaning of s.76 PACE 1984. The confession was the only evidence in the case and the prosecution were forced to offer no evidence.

In R v Harrison, a case of failing to provide a specimen of breath, the District Judge accepted that a defendant brought naked to the breathalyser room naked following a strip search, had a reasonable excuse for not providing a specimen. His request to have his clothes back before providing a specimen was a reasonable one. 

Representing the appellant in  R v Lewys Stephen Martin [2013] on his appeal against sentence to the Court of Appeal. This case, which concerned the Computer Misuse Act and DDOS attacks on the Oxbridge universities and Kent Police computer systems is still a primary reference for offences of this nature.  

Qualifications

Matthew Griffiths obtained an upper second class honours degreee in law from the University of Bristol in 1996. He then went on to undertake the Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law, Grays Inn London, being called to the Bar of the Middle Temple in 1998. 

Matthew went on to take the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test at the College of Law in 2000, being admitted to the roll of solicitors in February 2001.

In the same year he undertook the necessary training to qualify as a 'duty solicitor' in criminal law matters, gaining accreditation under the CLAS scheme. 

In 2011 he then obtained Higher Rights of Audience, allowing him to appear before all higher courts with criminal jurisdiction. 

Terms of Business

All work is carried out on a 'fixed or agreed fee' basis. This brings certainty to at least this aspect of your case. Fees are payable in advance of the work being carried out. This means that we can worry about your case and we don't have to spend time chasing payments. Working on a fixed fee basis has a number of benefits for the practice, most significant of which is that we don't hold client funds or require a separate client account.