Matthew Holdcroft

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“He always manages to cut to the chase and cut through the detail to get to the heart of the issues.”  Police Law, Chambers UK 2018

“A charming advocate who’s always got his finger on the facts.”  Professional Discipline, Chambers UK 2018

“Highly intelligent with a sound, common-sense approach to cases. He has the ability to think outside the box, which is particularly important in police law. He is reliable and efficient.”  Professional Discipline, Chambers UK 2018

“Outstanding on police misconduct matters.” Police Law, Chambers UK 2017

“He’s particularly strong on his feet where his thorough analysis pays off.” Police Law, Chambers UK 2017

“He is very efficient and knowledgeable, and has sound judgement.” Police Law, Chambers UK 2017

“He is outstanding in police misconduct matters.” “A very clever and highly astute  tactician, he’s a very affable man and an extremely effective advocate.” Professional Discipline, Chambers UK 2017

“He gets on very well with officers and he’s very down-to-earth.” (Police Law) Chambers UK 2016

“He is very pleasant and client-friendly and informal in his approach.” (Police Law) Chambers UK 2016

“He’s very good and his client care skills are particularly impressive.” (Professional Discipline) Chambers UK 2016

“He is a very thorough and robust advocate.” “He is very intelligent and grasps the issues of the case very quickly.” (Professional Discipline) Chambers UK 2015

“He is very confident and businesslike, and he manages the client’s expectations appropriately.” (Police Law) Chambers UK 2015

“He is a very good jury advocate, who pitches it well and is persuasive and thorough.” (Police Law) Chambers UK 2014


Matthew read Jurisprudence at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford. He took the BVC at the Inns of Court School of Law and was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in October 1998, he has subsequently become an “ad eundem” member of the Middle Temple.

Police Law:

Matthew’s police practice touches on almost every aspect of police law.

Civil Actions

Matthew is regularly instructed in civil claims alleging unlawful arrest, assault, malicious prosecution, misfeasance and allegations of discrimination; together with EL claims.

Matthew is particularly well known for his ability to tease out the central issues and for his clear tactical overview for managing the litigation. This is particularly relevant where the civil claim is brought in parallel with other proceedings e.g. criminal, Baker and Brogan v Chief Constable of the South Yorkshire Police, associated judicial review proceedings, Crosby v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, or inquests, Mengutay v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis.


Matthew is asked to advise across the whole range of police work, including civil actions and proposed judicial review claims (as set out above) and all other areas involving the police e.g. the letting of police houses, the position in relation to transferees and entitlements, the de-criminalisation of moving traffic offences, the use of mobile processing units, the retention and seizure of vehicles, and the correct interpretation of PACE.


In 2009 Matthew acted as both a presenting officer and legal advisor under both the 2004 and 2008 Police (Conduct) Regulations. He was part of the team that provided training nationally in relation to the 2008 Regulations and been involved in a whole range of misconduct hearing ranging from misuse of Facebook and the Police National Computer to an allegation of assault where the examining Senior House Officer states that the Complainant has been the victim of a “systematic beating”. He has appeared regularly before the Police Appeals Tribunal and has represented Police Authorities in associated judicial review proceedings.


Public/Administrative Law:

Matthew is regularly instructed in judicial review claims in a wide variety of areas including:

Police misconduct (R (on the application of Gardner) v IPCC and the Commissioner of Police for the MetropolisR (on the application of Fatima Boussid) v IPCC and the Commissioner of Police for the MetropolisR (on the application of Mendy) v the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, R (on the application of Casaluci) v the IPCC),

Disclosure and Enhanced Criminal Record Certificates (R (on the application of SL) v Commissioner of Police [2008] EWHC 1442 (Admin),Moodie v Chief Constable of Lancashire, R (on the application of Bailey) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis) and other more discrete areas e.g. Costs (Taylor v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2009] EWHC 264 (Admin),

Funding of separate representation Friend and Others v Greater Manchester Police Authority and the Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police,

Legality of arrests (R (on the application of Bradley Wright-Phillips) v Chief Constable of the Hampshire Constabulary),

Lawfulness of cautions (R (on the application of Lee) v the Chief Constable of the Essex Police).



As a consequence of his specialisation in personal injury and police law, Matthew frequently appears at Inquests. He represents the police in Inquests arising from deaths in custody or from circumstances in which the police are involved. He also appears for parties who are involved in related fatal accident claims.


Personal Injury Law:

Matthew acts on behalf of both Claimants and Defendants in personal injury and fatal accident claims arising from workplace, road traffic and holiday accidents, as well as claims under the Highways Act and the Occupiers’ Liability Acts.

His practice includes claims involving catastrophic injuries and acting on behalf of Marks & Spencer, Tescos, Asda and C2C.

Matthew accepts instructions under Conditional Fee Agreements.



Matthew provides lectures in both personal injury and police law


Rowing, travel, film and music and wine.

Significant work and cases

Matthew is currently acting for South Yorkshire Police ( led by Fiona Barton QC) in the inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans at the Hillsborough Stadium in 1989.

R (on the application of the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire) v Independent Police Complaints Commission [2013] EWHC 2698 (Admin)


R (on the application of Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis) v Police Appeals Tribunal [2013] EWHC 1684 (Admin); Official Transcript

R (on the application of Lee) v Chief Constable of Essex [2012] EWHC 283 (Admin)

(on the application of L) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolisand the Secretary of State for the Home Department and Liberty [2009] UKSC 3, (2009) 3 WLR 1056, Times, November 2, 2009.

R (on the application of Crosby) v Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2009] EWHC 2515 (Admin)

Desmond v Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire – Nottingham County Court (First Instance), High Court on appeal [2009] EWHC 2362 (QB)