112 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 1 JANUARY 2021
he obtained a B.A. (Hons) in politics and served on student council, foreshadowing
some later involvement in this area. He also played on the varsity
Matthew was torn between academia and a law career, so he first decided
to complete a master’s degree in philosophy at Cambridge. The fact that he
spent more time riding trains in Europe that year than studying in the Cambridge
library was likely an indicator that academia was not his calling. In
addition to his travels, he played on the Cambridge varsity hockey team.
His contribution to Canada’s hockey brand was less than stellar: the team
suffered one of its worst ever defeats at the hands of Oxford that year.
Stricken no doubt by this defeat, Matthew returned to Montreal, where
he enrolled in the national program, for both common and civil law
degrees, at McGill Law. During law school, he worked as a summer associate
at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, Paris, London and Washington,
D.C. He graduated ranking first in both the common and civil law streams,
with academic prizes and scholarships too numerous to mention.
After clerking for Mr. Justice La Forest at the Supreme Court of Canada,
Matthew started his legal career as a civil litigator at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt
in Toronto. In 1997, he took a brief pause from practice to obtain his
LL.M. from Harvard on a Fulbright Scholarship. There, he completed the
Harvard Negotiation Program and trained as a mediator.
In 1999, Matthew returned to Osler, where he continued to practise civil
litigation. More importantly, at Osler he also met his spouse, Amy Francis,
now the Honourable Madam Justice Francis of the B.C. Supreme Court, and
his partner in many great adventures. Amy was from Vancouver, and
Matthew agreed that B.C.—and its many ski resorts—seemed like the best
place to start a family. Matthew and Amy were married in 2000 at Amy’s
parents’ cottage on Shawnigan Lake, and they moved back to Vancouver in
2001. They have two daughters, Sophie and Charlotte, whom Matthew
adores. In the winter they are in Whistler as often as time permits. Both
Matthew and Amy love to travel, and in recent years, as their daughters
have gotten older, they have taken on more adventurous family trips,
including to Morocco, Argentina, Chile, Israel, Sri Lanka and Australia.
Matthew has had a diverse legal career in British Columbia, which will
serve him well on the bench. Following his move to Vancouver in 2001, he
practised civil litigation with Heenan Blaikie LLP and also tax litigation with
Wilson & Partners LLP, a boutique law firm within PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Shifting from litigation in 2007, Matthew briefly practised as in-house
counsel with a real estate development firm before joining the B.C. Ministry
of Attorney General as legal counsel in 2008. He remained there until his
appointment to the bench.