Matthew Paul > Civitas Law > Cardiff, Wales > Lawyer Profile

Civitas Law
CF11 9LL


Matthew Graham Paul practices within Civitas Law’s public, planning and regulatory group. He is also an experienced and successful advocate in licensing cases. Matthew has substantial experience in serious and complex regulatory cases in the Crown Court, Magistrates’ Courts and disciplinary Tribunals, acting both for prosecuting or regulating authorities and for defendants. His particular specialism is in health and safety law, where his recent work includes defending the corporate defendant in a case of alleged manslaughter and related health and safety offences at a North London trading estate, and representing an individual defendant in a substantial HSE prosecution relating to the dangerous installation of boilers and flues in two large housing developments, leading to dozens of cases of CO poisoning (the HSE offered no evidence on the first day of trial following submissions on the extent of the defendant’s duty to make himself aware of technical bulletins produced by CORGI, and on the inherent safety of flue systems used in the developments). Matthew also regularly acts for defendants accused of regulatory offences relating to farming and the rural environment. Matthew is frequently asked to advise and represent claimants and public bodies on questions of public law. He has a thorough knowledge of judicial review procedure, and a history of success in the Administrative Court. His public law practice frequently involves the application of convention rights, and he has acted in widely reported cases regarding the right to freedom of expression, such as R (on the application of Lewis Malcolm Calver) v Adjudication Panel for Wales [2012] EWHC 1172 (Admin). He has considerable experience in local government law, and has nationally-recognised expertise on the implementation and management of selective licensing areas (pursuant to Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004) and the regulation of houses in multiple occupation. He is also frequently consulted on questions of local government standards, by individual councillors and local authorities. His recent public law work includes representing a Northern local authority in the Upper Tribunal, in challenges to licence conditions imposed on landlords within a selective licensing area; advising a local authority in the Midlands on the implementation of a new waste policy, which imposes significant responsibilities on the managers of houses in multiple occupation, and advising a London Borough on the appropriate fee structure for selective licencing, in the light of the decision in Hemming [2013] EWCA Civ 951. In the field of licensing, Matthew represents both local authorities and licence holders or applicants, ranging (in liquor licensing cases) from small family-run pubs to multi-nationals. He is familiar with all stages of the licensing process, from the first application before council licensing sub-committees (where he has acted both for applicants and as the council’s legal adviser), through appeals at the Magistrates’ Court, to appeals to the High Court by way of case stated or judicial review. He has demonstrated a record of success in contested applications, and solid judgement in negotiating settlements. He has a good grasp of the technicalities of licensing law and procedure, and uses this to his clients’ advantage. Matthew has substantial experience in other areas of licensing law, including hackney carriage licenses. In Pinnington v Transport for London (2013) EWHC 3656 (Admin), he successfully appealed against the Justices’ refusal of a renewed black cab licence, where P had been convicted of possession of cannabis and had driven for some months following the lapse of his licence. P was awarded his costs in the appeal and in the lower Court. Matthew has a good grasp of planning law, and is familiar with all aspects of devolved public and regulatory law in Wales.


Called 2000. Grade IV CPS prosecutor 2011.


Fluent Italian, good German and French. Learning Welsh.


Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers; NFU Professional; Institute of Licensing.


Clifton College, Bristol; New College, Oxford (MA in English Language and literature, 1993-1996); University of Glamorgan (PgDip Law, 1999); Cardiff University (BVC, 2000).

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > Wales and Chester Circuit > Planning and environment

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

Matthew PaulCivitas Law

At Civitas Law, Anthony Vines  is well known for appearing in public inquiries, with particular focus on planning matters, while Matthew Paul  is instructed by developers and local authorities in planning enforcement work and proceedings arising from environmental criminal cases. Owain Rhys James is also sought out for his expertise in planning work.

Regional Bar > Wales and Chester Circuit > Licensing

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

Matthew PaulCivitas Law

Regional Bar > Wales and Chester Circuit > Business and regulatory crime (including health and safety)

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

Matthew PaulCivitas Law