Matthew Cullen has quickly developed a strong criminal and regulatory practice. He has already obtained a reputation for his attention to detail and his thorough preparation in all of his cases – irrespective of the type of hearing he is required to attend.

Matthew’s criminal practice exposes him to a variety of criminal offences and cases beyond his year of call. He is instructed on behalf of both the defence and the prosecution (Grade 2), and he regularly appears in Crown Courts, Magistrates Courts and Youth Courts across the country. In addition to the busy trial practice which Matthew has built, he also advises on plea, sentence, confiscation and appeal if needed. Frequent areas of instruction include drugs and serious violence.

As part of his regulatory practice, Matthew receives instructions in a variety of areas including taxi licensing, trading standards, health and safety, food hygiene and environmental matters. He has gathered substantial experience in dealing with illicit tobacco prosecutions and offences/appeals under the Housing Act. Matthew continues to appear before a variety of tribunals, including the First Tier Property Tribunal and Mental Health Tribunals, and has also had recent success in the Coroner’s Court.


Recent Cases:

  • R v MF & RF (2022) – Operation Monastery – Junior defence counsel in a multi-defendant murder involving a stabbing.
  • R v AM (2022) – Defended one of two defendants charged with aggravated burglary at trial, where a hammer was allegedly used to inflict serious violence.
  • R v MF (2022) – Defence counsel in a conspiracy to steal over 50 cars through the use of a key decoder.
  • Operation Timberlee (2022) – Junior prosecution counsel in a multi-handed conspiracy to supply Class A Drugs.
  • R v SW (2021) – Matthew represented a bus driver for causing death by careless driving and secured a unanimous acquittal at trial.
  • R v IB (2021) – Successfully prosecuted a male at trial for a commercial burglary of copper piping in a case involving DNA evidence.
  • R v HV (2021) – Represented a male who was unanimously acquitted of 4 counts of sexual assault.
  • R v ST (2021) – Defended a civilian Police employee charged with Misconduct in Public Office and Data Protection Offences.
  • R v KC (2021) – Defending in a trial where a champagne flute was used during a Section 18 wounding.
  • R v IH (2021) – Obtained a suspended sentence for a man convicted of perverting the course of justice, despite Court of Appeal authorities suggesting the need for immediate custody.
  • R v RB (2020) – Instructed on behalf of one of 6 defendants in a conspiracy to supply Class A drugs involving the use of an undercover police officer.
  • R v PJ (2020) – Appeared for a school employee at trial in relation to an allegation of assault against a pupil which involved the cross-examination of a 5-year-old child.
  • R v MT (2019) – Successfully raised self-defence at trial and secured an acquittal for a Defendant facing an allegation of assault.


Recent Cases:

  • DCC v JF (2022) – An ongoing prosecution against a male creating and selling counterfeit t-shirts on eBay.
  • Inquest concerning DC (2021) – An Article 2 Inquest into the death of a detainee under the Mental Health Act, where Matthew represented Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Trust whose practices/policies were commended.
  • DCC v AIA (2021) – Secured Guilty verdicts in the Crown Court for numerous counts of possessing counterfeit tobacco products and supplying tobacco products without the required health warnings.
  • BCC v C&D (2021) – Instructed to review and advise on disclosure in a case involving Housing Act offences.
  • WCC v HH & LH (2020) – Prosecuted two defendants at trial in relation to offences of unlawful subletting and tenancy fraud.
  • Trading Standards v NO (2019) – Represented a man charged with 26 offences of fraudulent evasion of duty, possession of counterfeit products and breaches of tobacco regulations.
  • R v VH & CHS Ltd (2019) – Secured a conditional discharge for a man accused of trading without providing a security to HMRC. No evidence was offered against the company.
  • DCC v P (2019) – Appeared for a local authority in an appeal against civil penalties imposed for breaches of regulations governing Houses of Multiple Occupancy. The appeal was dismissed in relation to the imposition of all of the penalties.

Motoring and Road Traffic

Recent Cases:

  • R v OM (2021) – Instructed for trial on behalf of a taxi driver for offences of drug driving where Matthew’s pre-trial advice and early engagement helped in the Crown offering no evidence.
  • R v SRAC (2021) – Secured numerous acquittals at trial for a multi-national company facing offences of failing to respond to a request for driver information (S172 offences).
  • R v JB (2019), R v SG (2021), R v AS (2021), R v DS (2021) – Successfully argued exceptional hardship for drivers facing a mandatory totting up disqualification in the Magistrates.
  • R v OS (2019) – Secured an acquittal after trial for a delivery driver who was accused of driving without due care and attention after a crash with a motorcycle.


BPTC, BPP Law School – Outstanding
Graduate Diploma in Law, BPP Law School – Distinction
BA (Hons), History and Politics, University of Birmingham – 2:1

Appointments and Memberships

2018 – Certificate of Honour (Middle Temple)

2017 – Jules Thorn Scholarship for BPTC (Middle Temple)

2016 – Jules Thorn Scholarship for GDL (Middle Temple)

The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple

Criminal Bar Association



Matthew Cullen

Call 2018
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