Matthew Downing

Matthew is a Partner in the Corporate and Commercial team and works from the Norwich office.

He is a very experienced corporate finance lawyer, advising clients on buying and selling businesses across a wide range of sectors. He has particular experience in advising large companies on acquisitions, selling owner managed and family businesses and acting for the selling and acquiring teams on management buyouts.

Matthew has also worked on secondment for a large local housing association advising the group on corporate acquisitions, governance, data protection and day to day commercial contract arrangements.

Matthew advises on non-contentious corporate insolvency transactions, including sales and acquisitions from liquidation or administration. He has acted for many high street banks, alternative lenders and clients in respect of various funding and security arrangements. Matthew also has a good understanding of the franchising sector and often advises on the sale and acquisition of existing franchise businesses.

He advises on various high value contractual arrangements for the sale of goods and/or services and is often advising in respect shareholder arrangements, joint ventures, mergers and commercial collaborations.

Matthew has been listed in the Legal 500 as a next generation lawyer. He is also referred to as one of the leading M & A practitioners in Norfolk.

Matthew graduated with a First Class Honours degree from the University of Lincoln and went on to complete the Legal Practice Course at Nottingham Law School, obtaining a distinction. He has spent most of his career in Norwich, with spells also working in Lincoln and Cambridge. He joined Spire after heading up the Cambridge Corporate and Commercial Team of one of East Anglia’s largest law firms.

Matthew is a keen runner. He also enjoys football (although his best playing days are now behind him) and he randomly supports the mighty Blackburn Rovers.

The Legal 500 – The Clients Guide to Law Firms


Matthew Downing clearly understands our business. This makes it easier when issuing instructions and reflects in the tailored advice received. Matt is very commercial and offers clear and concise advice that is easy to understand. One gets the impression that Matt clearly wants to help the organisation I work for, rather than just make money.
Legal 500, 2022

I would like to say how impressed I was with the speed of the service. Following my initial enquiry made by email at 16:25 I received a response at 18:56 by email. My follow up queries were dealt with in equally swift fashion and having appointed your firm to carry out the work the engagement documentation followed by email the same day. The fully comprehensive report was received within the given timescale and was very extensive and tremendously helpful in allowing me to make a decision being in full receipt of all the facts. A pleasure to deal with and highly efficient.
Paul Simpson, TaxAssist Accountants franchisee

Matt Downing has been instrumental in supporting Centurion Safety Products and myself in the recent transformation and modernisation.  Coming on to our 140th anniversary year as a Thetford based designer and manufacturer, we had a task in front of us to create partnerships for our next phase of growth.  Matt and the team have helped us execute these partnerships on both the customer and supplier side.  We have been advised on relationships in the UK, USA, China and Taiwan.  Our leadership team continue to be impressed with Spire’s speed and pragmatism in their advice and hands on support.  We trust Spire to the extent we link them straight to the counsel of our new customers or suppliers if necessary without concern or hesitation.  Thanks Matt.
Jeff Ward, Centurion