Matthew Gowen > Birketts LLP > Ipswich, England > Lawyer Profile

Birketts LLP
Providence House
141-145 Princes Street

Work Department

Crime - Fraud, Crime - General, Health and Safety, Transport


Partner (Barrister)


Matthew joined Birketts in November 2014, having previously been a Consultant for the firm. He is a Partner (Barrister) within the firm’s Corporate Criminal Defence Team and brings with him a wealth of experience from over 20 years at the criminal Bar. He offers advice and representation in all areas of corporate and regulatory crime.

One of his clients appeared on the BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine show (October 2014), following a high profile acquittal, stating that he was “staggered by [Matthew’s] intellectual agility” and describing his closing speech as a “piece de resistance. It was brilliant.”

Matthew was formally a member at leading criminal chambers, Red Lion Chambers, London, having been called to the Bar in 1992.

He appeared frequently as a leading junior both for the defence and the Crown in serious criminal cases and has also advised on and appeared in cases of regulatory crime, including health and safety and environmental matters.

Matthew won the Employed Advocate of the Year award at the Employed Bar Awards 2017.

Lawyer Rankings

East Anglia > Employment > Health and safety

(Leading individuals)

Matthew GowenBirketts LLP

Birketts LLP has extensive cross-industry experience in serious health and safety matters, including disasters and multiple fatalities. The firm, which acts for both corporate clients and individuals, has former HSE consultants and safety consultants in its team and is instructed in cases nationwide. Partner Matthew Gowen, who is a qualified barrister, leads the regulatory and corporate defence practice from Ipswich, though he works across the firm’s entire office network. Norwich-based legal director Julie Gowland is another key figure in the practice.

East Anglia > Crime, fraud and licensing > General crime and fraud

(Leading individuals)

Matthew GowenBirketts LLP

At Birketts LLP, ‘the empathy, understanding and overall client care demonstrated by the team is outstanding‘. The firm handles all manner of privately funded criminal defence work, including traffic-related cases for national motor groups and individuals. Its work also encompasses trading standards, food safety and financial crime. Partner and barrister Matthew Gowen leads the practice from Ipswich, where senior associate and barrister Daniel Irving is a key practitioner. ‘ Very approachable and realistic‘ legal director Julie Gowland in Norwich frequently defends complex criminal matters, both as an advocate in the Magistrates’ Court and alongside counsel.

East Anglia > Transport > Transport and shipping

The Ipswich office of Birketts LLP houses a transport and logistics practice that combines in-depth experience in shipping, road transport and trade. ‘A specialised and efficient law firm‘, it is unique in the region for the breadth of its work. Henry Adams leads the shipping and international trade practice, which encompasses dry shipping and marine insurance work. As head of the regulatory and corporate defence practice, Matthew Gowen handles Public Inquiries before the Traffic Commissioner and before the Magistrates’ and Crown Court in criminal proceedings. Nicholas Woo is a specialist in all areas of dry shipping litigation, particularly in cases involving Asian jurisdictions. Head of litigation Alex Davey, whose work includes charterparty, bill of lading and cargo disputes involving High Court litigation or London arbitration, frequently advises P&I clubs, freight forwarders and logistics companies. Senior associate Sarah Holsgrove is also experienced in complex disputes.