Full Name: Matthew J S O'Grady
Mobile: 040 1777 408
Chambers: Owen Dixon Chambers East
Room: Level 7
Date of Admission: 23 Mar 2018
Called to the Bar: 20 Aug 2021
Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws, LLB (Hons)


Matthew has been a Family Law barrister for over a decade. His expertise is in the division of married and unmarried couples’ property after separation and parenting disputes. His strong private client practice is complemented by his experiences as a specialist in international children disputes involving relocation and abduction; and as a sports lawyer.

Nationally Accredited Mediator (AIFLAM).

Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

He divides his practice and time between England, where he has been a barrister since 2010, and Australia. He is especially well placed to assist clients with legal issues spanning these jurisdictions.

When he is in England, alongside his practice, Matthew sits part-time as a Judge. HM The Queen appointed Matthew to be a Recorder hearing trials in the Family Court in cases about children and family property. He has also been appointed as a Deputy District Judge in the Family Court and County Court of England & Wales and a Judge of the First-Tier Tribunal (fee-paid) (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber).

Matthew has appeared at all levels in England including the Court of Appeal without Queen’s Counsel and the High Court.  He appears against senior family barristers and against Queen’s Counsel without being led himself. He is recognised within the leading legal directories in England.

Matthew has a unique background in professional sport as a former elite match official and is instructed to represent players from a wide range of sporting backgrounds before disciplinary panels and in other regulatory environments.

Matthew's mentor is Chris Nehmy.



2022 - Recorder (Family Court, England)

2021 - Deputy District Judge (Family Court & County Court, England)

2019 - Judge of the First-Tier Tribunal (fee-paid) (England)

Matthew chairs Tribunals, arbitrates disputes and determines sports regulatory matters for:

  • Sport Resolutions Panel of Arbitrators & Mediators
  • National Safeguarding Panel (UK)
  • International Mixed Martial Arts Federation
  • Rugby Football Union
  • European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR)
  • Rugby Europe DIsciplinary Committee
  • England Boxing Disciplinary Panel
  • Professional Golf Association (PGA) European Tour
  • The Football Association Judicial Panel


Legal Directories

"The set is recommended ...for the work of experienced counsel such as ... Matthew O'Grady undertaking complex matrimonial and financial disputes." - Legal 500 UK Bar 

"A team player and consummate professional." Legal 500 UK Bar

"Leading junior: divorce and financial remedy." - Legal 500 UK Bar (2020, 2021 & 2022)

"Leading junior: child law." - Legal 500 UK Bar (2020, 2021 & 2022)


Sports Background

Matthew has a considerable background in professional rugby. He was a professional referee in England and could often be spotted officiating on live television when not in Court. Matthew refereed in the Gallagher and Aviva Premierships and Greene King IPA Championship.  He officiated at the very highest levels of European Cup rugby and travelled across world. Amongst his officiating highlights are his involvement in Rugby World Cup 2015; refereeing the Army v Navy in front of a capacity 82,000 Twickenham crowd and his overseas trips including to; Japan, South Africa, USA, Malaysia and the Dubai 7s. 

Arbitration Qualifications

  • CIArb (Member)

Areas of Practice

Commercial Law

  • Sports

Family Law

  • Parenting Orders
  • Property Disputes

Also Entitled to Practice in

  • All Australian States and Jurisdictions
  • England
  • Federal Court of Australia
  • Federal Courts
  • High Court of Australia
  • Wales
From 1 Oct 2021, liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

« Back to search results