a reputation for intellectual rigour, and an acknowledged ability to understand
the most convoluted aspects of employment law." Chambers & Partners (2016)
"A go-to junior for High Court employment and team-move disputes." "He is great to work with; he picks up esoteric points very quickly and is a forceful advocate." Chambers & Partners (2016)
"Turning into a real star when it comes to High Court matters.” Legal 500 (2015)
"Blossoming into a real force in relation to High Court work." Legal 500 (2014)
"Has impressed with his work on restrictive covenants…” "He has gravitas, but he also adopts a friendly and approachable demeanour.” "A talented and robust advocate who can pick through the detail to get to good points.” Chambers & Partners (2015)
"He’s extremely bright and quick to identify the key issues.” "A prominent junior with an impressive roster of blue-chip respondent clients.” "He understands the needs of modern day clients and is able to work alongside instructing solicitors effectively.” Chambers & Partners (2014)
"Matthew Sheridan gives ‘extremely spot on advice’, is ‘extra hard working’ and has ‘excellent people skills’ sources say...” Chambers & Partners (2013)Matthew treats every instruction as an opportunity to impress and to build and strengthen relationships. He believes in rigorous legal analysis, meticulous preparation and well-judged advocacy, whilst also being responsive and user-friendly.
Called to the Bar in 2000, the focus of Matthew’s High Court practice is business competition: confidential information, restrictive covenants and springboard relief, particularly in a team-move context. As a result he is regularly instructed to make and resist injunction applications. Principal areas of Matthew’s Tribunal practice include complex discrimination claims, whistleblowing, TUPE and employee/worker status.
Matthew has experience across a variety of sectors: banking/finance, publishing, the legal sector, the pharmaceutical industry, recruitment, security, religious institutions, telecommunications, the health sector and professional regulatory bodies.
Matthew has considerable experience of acting in breach of employment contract and business competition cases (particularly in relation to applications for injunctive relief). He has expertise in relation to abuse of confidential information/database rights, enforcing restrictive covenants, springboard relief, diversion of business opportunities and all of the other issues which arise in the context of team moves. He also regularly acts in relation to bonus claims and other contractual claims arising from employment contracts.
Matthew has acted for clients ranging from multi-national pharmaceutical corporations to recruitment consultants. Some recent cases include:
acted (as sole counsel) for a FTSE 100 technology company defending claims for injunctive relief in support of post-termination restraints, springboard relief and Wrotham Park damages. The case settled shortly before the speedy trial. Opposing counsel was Jonathan Cohen. (2015)
acted (as sole counsel) for four defendants in the travel bond market defending claims for injunctive relief in support of post-termination restraints, springboard relief and damages in circumstances where there was an alleged attempt to re-create/divert the claimant’s entire business. The case settled. Opposing counsel were David Reade QC and Dale Martin. (2015)
acted (as sole counsel) for a Lloyd’s broker in seeking to enforce against a former employee/shareholder post-termination restraints in a shareholder’s agreement. Favourable undertakings were extracted and the case was then settled. Opposing counsel was a leading QC. (2015)
acted successfully on behalf of a well-known City-based foreign exchange brokerage house to prevent competition by a ‘desk’ (team) of employees which sought to move to a competitor. (2014)
acted for a team of defendant employees who worked in the marine insurance broking industry in resisting an injunction application by which their former employer sought to prevent them from working for a competitor. (2014)
Matthew has extensive experience of resisting and bringing statutory employment claims at Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal level. In particular he has expertise in relation to the following types of claims:
The following are some examples of Matthew’s most recent cases:
Reverend Mark Sharpe v The Bishop of Worcester  IRLR 663 (CA): Matthew acted in the Court of Appeal successfully on behalf of the Bishop in a test case concerning the employment status of Church of England clergy. The case raised important issues as to the test for implication of contracts and the extended definition of ‘worker’ for whistleblowing claims in section 43K of the ERA 1996. Matthew was led by Thomas Linden QC. Opposing counsel was John Bowers QC. (2015)
X & Y v Global Business Publisher: acted successfully for the respondent (part of a FTSE 100 and FTSE Global 500 group of companies) in defending whistleblowing claims brought by two sales managers. The claimants alleged that the company was involved in systematic breaches of international trade sanctions (under UK and US law) by providing embargoed countries like Syria with the tools to move money around the world (thereby allegedly facilitating terrorism). The case attracted media interest. The claims failed (an appeal is pending in relation to one claimant). (2015)
Links to press coverage:
X v International Law Firm: acted for a major international law firm in defending claims of religious discrimination brought by the claimant when her applications for partnership failed. The claimant had been seconded to and then employed by a separate Dubai-based entity. The case therefore involved difficult questions about the territorial reach of the Equality Act 2010 (led by Thomas Linden QC). (2014)
X v Investment Bank: Matthew acted for a well-known investment bank in defending claims of race discrimination. The claims were settled on extremely favourable terms following several interim hearings at which Matthew appeared (and prior to the bank having to incur significant costs on disclosure or witness statements). (2013)
Matthew gives lectures and leads seminars on a broad range of topics both in-house for solicitors as well as on public courses including for the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA).
Recent Lecture topics include: