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Catherine Mathews

Catherine is partner and head of the Dispute Resolution team in Exeter. Catherine’s key areas of work are contract disputes and commercial litigation. She studied law at the University of Exeter and also completed the Legal Practice Course there, before training with the firm and qualifying as a solicitor in 2005.

Catherine has helped clients to resolve disputes arising out of various different types of contracts, including share sale and purchase agreements, distribution agreements and supply contracts. Other types of dispute that she assists clients with include professional negligence claims, disputes arising out of financial services and defamation claims.

Catherine has acted for business clients in a range of different sectors. Her experience in the renewables sector includes assisting businesses in resolving customer disputes arising out of the supply of wind turbines and biomass boilers. She has also advised landowners and developers on contract disputes arising out of solar park and wind turbine sites. She has also advised numerous South West food and drink producers in relation to contract disputes with suppliers and customers.

Examples of her recent work includes:

  • Acting on behalf of business clients in relation to breach of contract/warranty claims arising out of the sale of a business
  • Helping companies to resolve disputes with shareholders and directors
  • Assisting retail clients in defending threatened compensation claims by customers
  • Advising business clients in relation to the termination of distribution agreements with overseas businesses
  • Helping clients to obtain compensation for negligence on the part of their former solicitors and accountants
  • Helping clients to obtain payment in circumstances where there are substantial unpaid invoices and disputes over the quality of the goods/services supplied
  • Assisting clients in pursuing and defending defamation claims arising out of postings on social media.

Catherine’s personal testimonials:

Chambers and Partners (2024) – “Catherine is very personable, listens and is keen to develop the relationship.” “She’s a good operator, is well organised and stands her ground.” “Cat is a brilliant all-round leader.”

Legal 500 (2024) – Leading Individual.

Chambers and Partners (2023) – Catherine Mathews heads the Stephens Scown dispute resolution team in Exeter. She is experienced in handling contract disputes as well as those concerning conflict between shareholders or directors. “Catherine is a really good commercial litigator.”

Legal 500 (2023) – Leading Individual.

Chambers and Partners (2022) – Catherine Mathews heads the dispute resolution team in Exeter. She is experienced in handling business contract disputes and professional negligence cases, among other complex matters.

Legal 500 (2022) – Leading Individual – Catherine excels in reputational management issues including defamation disputes and has carved out a niche in timeshare disputes.

Chambers and Partners (2021) – Clients appreciate that she provides “very sound and rational advice covering a number of options.”

Chambers and Partners (2020)“She was clearly an expert and very personable and sympathetic to our position, listening carefully to what we were looking for and keeping this in mind throughout the proceedings. The final resolution was exactly what we’d hoped for.”

Chambers and Partners (2019)“very approachable and proactive.”

Chambers and Partners (2018)“She dealt with our matter very swiftly and proficiently, despite short notice and an already busy workload.”

Legal 500 (2017) – Recommended Lawyer – She is “skilled at negotiating an ideal position.”


In her spare time Catherine keeps fit by running and going to the gym. She enjoys walking on Dartmoor and along the beautiful and varied coastlines of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.

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