The Team

Matthew Howgate


Matthew was formerly Senior Legal Adviser and Head of Continuous Improvement at the Legal Services Commission and then Legal Standards Principal at the Co-operative Legal Services.  He has been providing expert compliance, strategy and management consultancy since 2008 and is recognized as a leading expert on the legal aid scheme as well as on implementing strategic change and regulatory compliance projects.  He also has a significant experience in public sector commissioning, working with local authorities and those bidding for public sector contracts.

Matthew works closely with existing and new law firms and advice agencies on strategic planning and on compliance issues.  A key area of his current practice is helping new law firms develop their business models and strategic plans and on achieving authorization from the SRA, BSB or other regulators.  He particularly works with alternative business structures and with practices offering innovative service delivery models.

Matthew is a Lexcel consultant and was principal legal adviser to the team at the LSC that developed the Specialist Quality Mark.  Whilst at the LSC he was National Appeals Policy Coordinator, Secretary and Legal Adviser to the Customer Redress Committee, Costs Appeals Committee and Contract Review Body.   As one of the Commission’s senior lawyers he was involved in high profile regulatory based litigation and also took the lead on costs issues; the LSC’s implementation of the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts; contracting and audit processes; and on Commissioning Special Projects (including CLACs and CLANS, Specialist Support and CLS Grants).

He continues to work with a with a number of law firms and advice agencies, helping them to restructure and to improve their business practices, revenue generation, regulatory and contract compliance and in improving their quality systems.

In 2009 Matt was was brought in by the Law Centres Federation to save Hackney Law Centre, which was close to collapse.  Hackney is now one of London’s leading Law Centres.  He has also managed the Toynbee Hall Free Legal Advice Centre and the Citizens Advice CLA Telephone Centre.

He most recently spent 18 months working as Legal Standards Principal at the Co-operative Legal Services Ltd, one of the first national consumer ABS. Whilst there he was responsible for setting up quality procedures and for managing their family law team as well as providing advice on issues relating to legal practice management, compliance and quality assurance.