Matthew Bolt profile picture

Matthew Bolt


Called 2012

Direct access qualified


Hon Society of the Middle Temple – Member

Property Bar Association – Member

Criminal Bar Association – Member

South Eastern Circuit – Member

Association of Military Court Advocates – Membership Secretary

Service Court Rules Review Committee – Member



Matthew has a busy common law practice and is available for instructions across all areas of Chambers’ work.

Described as “hands on, easy to work with”, and someone who “quickly gets to the heart of a case and adds value”. He is a “high calibre advocate” who “has a keen understanding of the commercial reality” of his cases.

Publications and other projects

Bolt, M & Wallis G: Court martial hearings, fairness and the dismissal of charges – Cov. L.J. 2019, 24(2), 116-117 (available from Westlaw here).

Matthew is a contributor to the Global Military Justice Blog, an international collaboration run by Prof. Fidell of Yale University.

Matthew is the co-author of Forces Legal Resources, a blog which which provides legal guidance to members of the Armed Forces (here).

Criminal Law

Matthew regularly prosecutes and defends in the Crown Court and has conducted trials in cases involving a wide range of criminal offences including regulatory matters.

His defence practice increasingly focuses on serious crime in both the Crown Court and the Court Martial.

His experience in civil practice also makes him an ideal choice for proceeds of crime and fraud matters.

For his prosecution work Matthew is a Grade 3 prosecutor for General Crime and Grade 2 for Serious Crime.

Notable Cases

R v B (Canterbury Crown Court) Prosecuted a dangerous dogs case where a dog had been used as a weapon whilst dangerously under control.

R v G (Maidstone Crown Court) Successfully defended as junior alone in a multi-handed three week county lines PWITS case. Matthew’s client was the only defendant to be acquitted.

R v M (Maidstone Crown Court) Successfully defended as junior alone in an seven handed armed robbery matter lasting a total of 62 days.

R v H (Gloucester Crown Court) Successfully defended a man charged with GBH.

R v W (Swindon Crown Court) Currently instructed to defend in an eight handed cross border conspiracy to evade duty involving the military postal system.

Military Law

Court Martial & Summary Appeal Court

Matthew is an experienced Service Courts practitioner who has successfully represented defendants charged with a wide variety of criminal offences. Recent instructions have included a long term conspiracy to evade duty, fraud and sexual assaults. He also has experience across the whole gamut of service offences.

Court Martial Appeal Court

Matthew has experience in the Court Martial Appeal Court including in the leading case of R v SH [2019] EWCA Crim 1863 which established that contrary to long held opinion it was possible for a defendant in the Court Martial to apply to dismiss the charges against him.

Major Administrative Action

Matthew has considerable experience in drafting written representations and representing service personnel in interviews with Deciding Officers and Reviewing Officers. He understands the intricacies of the relevant service specific frameworks and the wider career implications of potential sanctions.

Compulsory Drugs Test Failure

Matthew also has experience in the complex field of Compulsory Drugs Test Failure. In all but the most exceptional cases a CDT Fail is career ending with significant financial impacts. Matthew is adroit at working with experts to gather evidence and drafting written representations in cases of involuntary consumption.

Other areas

Matthew is familiar with the Service Complaints Regime and is happy to assist in the drafting of complaints. He also has experience advising in relation to service inquiries and knowledge of inquests in a service context.

Notable Cases

R v D Successfully defended a soldier accused of abusing recruits under his command.

R v B Successfully defended a soldier charged with sexual assault having won a contested s.41 application on the issue of the manner of consent.

R v H Successfully defended a soldier in a case of GBH, where service injuries had led to memory loss of the incident concerned.

R v E Successfully defended a soldier charged with fraud.

R v L Represented an officer at sentence charged with conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline following a serious injury to one of his soldiers on exercise.

R v Murphy [2020] EWCA Crim 1898 Successfully secured the quashing of a soldier’s conviction for administering a noxious substance having identified failures in the judge advocate’s summing up.

Re. H Drafted written representations resulting in the overturning of the decision to terminate a soldier’s service.

Re. B Successfully argued that a sailor who failed a CDT should be retained in the Royal Navy.

Civil Litigation


Matthew regularly appears in the County Court dealing with Landlord & Tenant matters, contract disputes, boundary disputes and covenants. Outside of court he has a busy paper and advisory practice. He also has experience dealing with TOLATA applications.

Inheritance Act Claims

Matthew has a burgeoning interest in Inheritance (Provisions for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 claims. He has experience of successfully advising in contentious claims for provision under the Act.

Notable Cases

Kemsheds Trust Successfully represented Northampton County Council against developers attempting to claim ownership via inheritance of a village car park based on disputed epitome of title.

GvG Acted for the Claimant in a complex mortgage possession matter relying on the Mercantile Law Amendment Act 1856.

MvM Successfully resisted an application to enforce a building scheme by way of injunctions requiring the destruction of an extension.

S v C Advised in an application for provision from deceased estate for foreign holidays on the basis they were a requirement for her health.