Matthew is head of our national specialist employment law and labour relations team in the UK, focused on giving commercial and pragmatic help to employers with their workforce issues. 

In litigation, Matthew’s expertise includes defending employers against all types of claim from routine unfair dismissal and wages claims to complex discrimination, business transfer and multi-party disputes, as well as the enforcement of restrictive covenants and other employee contractual obligations. 

In addition, Matthew provides day-to-day assistance to employers on HR issues including discipline, performance, grievance, absence management and disability adjustments, as well as strategic and technical assistance with matters such as reorganisations, redundancies and business transfers.  Matthew is also adept at drafting employment-related policies, procedures and contracts, as well as the employment aspects of commercial transaction documents.

Matthew has particular expertise in helping unionised employers, including advising on and litigating in respect of industrial action disputes and other trade union related law.

A trusted market advisor, Matthew also provides training on employment law principles and their practical application to help employers reduce risk of employment law liabilities.

Matthew acts across a broad base of clients in terms of sector and geography, including national and international clients in the fields of insurance, transport, professional services, media & entertainment, sports, life sciences, finance, and others. 

Qualifications

  • Qualified in England and Wales in 2002

He gives clear, well-considered, pragmatic guidance and helps to find the right solution. He is a good sounding board, he is an excellent communicator, he is very easy to work with and he commands a great deal of trust, credibility and confidence.

Chambers UK 2022

Market recognition

  • Notable practitioner for 'Employment: Employer (London)'
    "He gives clear, well-considered, pragmatic guidance and helps to find the right solution. He is a good sounding board, he is an excellent communicator, he is very easy to work with and he commands a great deal of trust, credibility and confidence."
    Chambers UK 2022
  • Notable practitioner for 'Employment: Employer: Industrial Relations (London)'
    "He is hugely supportive; he is a brilliant person to have on your side. He is hugely responsive and if you want to feel that someone will go the extra mile for you, that is Matthew."
    Chambers UK 2022
  • Recommended lawyer for 'Employment: employers (London)'
    "Led brilliantly by Matthew Leake, who never seems to stop working no matter what hour of the day or week."
    "Matthew Leake is just on it each time you speak to him, along with being very personable. Has a great feel for cases and seems to have a great deal of respect from his clients."
    The Legal 500 UK 2022
  • Recommended lawyer for 'Employment: Employers (London)'
    “Matthew Leake is outstanding. Calm, measured, reassuringly confident and with truly outstanding client relationship skills. He is a real pleasure to work alongside.”
    The Legal 500 UK 2021
  • Recommended lawyer for 'Transport: Rail (London)'
    The Legal 500 UK 2021
  • Recommended Lawyer for 'Employment: employers (London)'
    "The service offered by Matthew Leake is second to none. He has an excellent knowledge of the market backed up by pragmatic, practical advice."
    The Legal 500 UK 2019/20
  • Recommended Lawyer for 'Rail (London)'
    The Legal 500 UK 2019/20
  • Notable practitioner for 'Employment: Employer (London)' 
    "Never gets flustered, exudes a calm reassurance and his judgement is excellent."
    Chambers UK 2019
  • Recommended Lawyer for 'Employment: employers (London)'
    The Legal 500 UK 2018/19
  • Recommended Lawyer for 'Rail (London)'
    The Legal 500 UK 2018/19
  • "Matthew has a very approachable style and is very pragmatic in his advice and recommendations."
    Chambers UK 2018

Work highlights

  • Acting for a large transport operator to secure an injunction to prevent industrial action organised by a high profile trade union.
  • Acted for a global insurer in respect of a multi-million pound employment practices liability claim concerning whistleblowing in the financial services industry.
  • Acted for a high profile entertainment organisation in the defence of a multiple discrimination claim.
Market recognition
  • Uk Recommended Lawyer 2022

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 UK 2022

  • Legal-500-UK-2021-recommended-lawyer.png

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 UK 2021

  • Legal-500_UK_Recommended-lawyer.png

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 UK 2020

  • Recommended_lawyer_2019.png

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 UK 2019