Matthew Dowell

matt.dowell@legalstudio.co.uk

LITIGATION & DISPUTE RESOLUTION SPECIALIST

Matt Dowell qualified as a Solicitor in 1996 and has many years of experience in Litigation and Dispute Resolution. Matt’s first degree was in Management and Marketing and he worked for a multi-national IT company in a number of industry sectors focussing on early AI and expert systems before re-training as a lawyer.

Matt’s experience covers most areas of business and contentious law and Matt has worked for clients ranging from sole-traders to multi-national companies. Matt also acts for individuals in certain specialist areas.

Matt's specialisms include contract disputes, professional negligence, construction, and high value co-habitation claims.

Matt has a continuing interest in technology, AI and new ways of delivering legal services to market.

Matt is also a director and a founder of Legal Studio Solicitors.

In his spare time, Matt enjoys fell-walking, cooking, skiing and spending time with his family.

Specialist Areas of Interest

Contractual Disputes

Co-habitation Disputes

Professional Negligence

Construction

Matthew Dowell Client Testimonials

“I just wanted to say thank you for all of your help in sorting out this matter. I still cannot believe that the matter was settled in full.”
Jacqueline Wolstenholme. Highcliffe Engineering Limited

Matthew Dowell Client Testimonials

"Thank you so much you were brilliant.”
Cohabitation Client

Matthew's Latest Blogs

A recent report featured on radio 4 suggested that only 8% of UK businesses will be GDPR compliant by the 25 May 2018 deadline.

Whilst this may be of some comfort to those who are not compliant, it will not be a defence should the Information Comissioner's Office (ICO) take an interest in your business.

As I write, you have two months to get compliant but even if you are not fully compliant by the deadline, you may find that ICO is somehwat more forgiving if you are travelling in the right direction.

In short, it's never too late to start on the path to compliance. A good place to start is to email or call us and book one of our interactive training sessions for your directors and senior staff.

We'll help you understand the issues and cut through the jargon in a way you can understand so that you can identify what needs to be done. We'll also conduct a "mini-audit" with your input as part of the session.

After your training we'll follow up with our views and proposals on where you stand and what you need to do to get compliant.

Call Matt Dowell now on 0113 247 3801 or Jodie Wildridge on 0113 357 3250 to book.
 
2018 01 20
Matthew Dowell
Any individual living in the current technological age may have had some doubts about the protection of their personal data. When personal data is given over for social media accounts, automatic online sign-ins, employment contracts, legal claims, health records and other reasons so freely, it is understandable why these doubts arise.

The doubts are only provoked by seeing advertisements that relate so closely to search history patterns and the receiving of emails from businesses without giving explicit consent to them. Businesses process and control personal data on a daily basis for these reasons and only now have individuals been given further rights to protect them against this.
 
The new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) has recognised the need for protection of personal data. It will apply from 25 May 2018 and makes sure that personal data flowing in, or from, the EU is protected under one harmonized law.
 
For any business processing data, or controlling data with businesses that process data, compliance is essential. There are new requirements under the GDPR that need to be followed. These include, but are not limited to:
 
  1. Ensuring that consent has been genuinely obtained for the processing. If consent is obtained from a child, parental consent must also be obtained. This must be freely given, obvious to the individual that it is the giving of consent, clearly separate from other information, a positive action and be in plain language. This means that the ticking of a box would be acceptable, but the unticking of a box would not be.
 
  1. Making sure that the whole business is educated and trained about the GDPR, carrying out impact assessments and documenting all processing activities that are carried out. Records of training and impact assessments must be kept as a Supervising Authority may ask a business to show proof of GDPR compliance.
 
  1. Allowing individuals extra rights after the processing. This includes:
     
    • A way to withdraw consent as easily as giving it;
    • A way to access personal data that a business has, in a readable format; and
    • A way to request that their data is completely deleted.
       
Information about how an individual may initiate these rights must be provided by a business such as within a privacy notice or at the time of giving consent.
 
And what if a business doesn’t comply? They can be fined over 20 million euros! For any business, this is huge sanction. Non-compliance is not an option when faced with this potential penalty.
2018 00 22
Matthew Dowell
A recent poll commissioned to mark Cohabitation Awareness week revealed that out of 2,000 adults, 37% wrongly believed that unmarried couples can obtain a ‘common law marriage’ and 27% wrongly believed that if they separated they would have the same rights as a married couple. Whilst it might be seen as unromantic, this blog helps to clarify 4 myths about cohabitation so you can understand your rights as a cohabiting couple better and get back to enjoying your day!
 

Myth 1: Because you have lived together for so long, you are treated as husband and wife

WRONG 

A common law marriage does not exist in any form. Regardless of the duration of the relationship, the laws applied to cohabiting couples are completely different to those applied to married couples.
 

Myth 2: If we split up, the main carer of children will get the cohabited home

WRONG

This should not be assumed. Although a court considers the needs of the children, the main carer may not be able to keep the shared home. Once a child reaches the age of 18 years old, their needs are no longer prioritised and the house will usually be sold in order for the other parent to retain their rights in the house.

 
Myth 3: Cohabitation agreements are of no assistance

WRONG

A cohabitation agreement allows both parties’ promises to be recorded in a written agreement. This helps you to know the rights that you and your partner have, and allows the court to know what the parties intended.
 

Myth 4: The court will consider a fair outcome

WRONG

Because you are not married, the question is: “who legally owns the assets in dispute?”. The argument of fairness is not of any huge influence. Factors that do come into consideration are whether there was a common intention to share the property and there had been an express conversation stating this, or, whether the property is held jointly in proportion to the amount paid.
 
Whilst we sincerely hope that you never need to get into this kind of situation (and not on today of all days!), if you do want a free, confidential discussion regarding a co-habitation dispute, take a look at our Cohabitation Dispute page on our website, or get in touch with Matthew Dowell.
 
2018 30 14
Matthew Dowell