Matthew Hodson

I regularly appear in the High Court in defamation matters. I have an established reputation in defamation disputes relating to publications in diaspora community newspapers and websites based in the UK but serving communities whose roots lie elsewhere in the world, particular Korea and Kenya. 

I recognise that defamation cases are very often urgent in nature, requiring a quick response. I will provide a prompt assessment of the merits of your case and will give practical and sensible guidance on how to proceed. 

I know that the law of defamation can sometimes appear to be a privilege only for celebrities, and certainly those are the most famous cases. Nonetheless I believe that this area of the law provides important protection for people across all walks of life. The reputations of professionals, businessmen and members of the community are no doubt much more important, since their livelihoods and careers succeed or fail on their reputations.

Equally, I know that the law of defamation can be regrettably misused by some claimants with alternative agendas or unjustifiable vendettas and if you are facing such a claim then I can help.

I can assist in preparing letters of response or claim at the earliest stage of the dispute, and can draft proceedings for the County or High Court thereafter. I can represent you at interim hearings or trial. 

I am known for trial advocacy, and for incisive cross examination ideally suited to exposing the dishonesty of witnesses whose evidence is untrue.

My approach

I am prompt and practical. I believe in giving a personal service. I will respond to your e-mail promptly and our first discussion is always free. After that, it is your choice whether you want to proceed. I will quote you a capped, fixed price wherever possible. If it is not worth your money going to court, then I will say so, and will then help you negotiate a sensible settlement. I realise that cost, time, stress and business reputation can be just as important to my clients as winning. 

My work

My recent cases have included:

•    Statements made in newspapers describing an individual as a ‘conman’ and ‘fraudulent’.
•    Statements made in a work email published to the whole business describing an employee as ‘AWOL’, ‘behind in his work’ and ‘playing one person off against another’.
•    Statements made in a public objection to a planning development describing the applicant businessman as ‘ethically questionable’ and untrustworthy.
•    A claim made by an expert witness against the other side’s solicitors, relating to comments made about that expert in open correspondence.
•    Statements made in a newspaper that a public figure had ‘rigged an election’ and had lost public office on account of ‘dishonourable conduct’.

About me

I am a barrister at Hardwicke, based in Lincoln’s Inn, London. I was called to the Bar in 2004. I am happy to take on cases throughout the United Kingdom.

Outside of work I am an expedition leader and long distance walker. I have led expeditions as a qualified mountain leader to the Amazon and to the Himalayas. I have walked the Pennine Way, Coast to Coast, GR5, GR20 and Cape Wrath Trail. 

I am also a keen amateur programmer, using C# and Unity.

Professional & academic

I studied Mathematics at University College London, and a post-graduate diploma of law at the College of Law.

I was called to the Bar in 2004.

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