Matthew Bell is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of Studies for Construction Law at Melbourne Law School. He joined the Law School in 2005 after several years' experience as a construction lawyer with Clayton Utz in Melbourne and Clifford Chance in London. Matthew is the author of many publications in the field, including the texts Construction Law in Australia and Understanding Australian Construction Contracts (with Ian Bailey) and Residential Construction Law (with Philip Britton), and his scholarship and teaching has been recognised in several awards. Matthew is Professional Support Lawyer to the Major Projects and Construction group at Clayton Utz on a part-time basis and was founding Chair of the Academic Subcommittee of the Society of Construction Law Australia. In 2019, he was awarded a PhD by King's College London for his research into residential construction regulation through the Centre of Construction Law.
Matthew Bell joined Melbourne Law School as an academic after several years in practice as a solicitor, primarily as a construction lawyer. Matthew is Co-Director of Studies for the Law School's Construction Law Program. He teaches construction law subjects in the Melbourne JD and the Melbourne Law Masters. He has also taught the Melbourne JD subjects Contracts and Legal Method and Reasoning, the Melbourne Law Masters subject Australian Legal Process and Legal Institutions, the LLB subjects Contracts, Principles of Construction Law and Remedies and the Melbourne School of Design subject Construction Law.
In 2019, Matthew was awarded a PhD by King's College London for his research into residential construction regulation through the Centre for Construction Law.
From 2006-14, Matthew was an Editor (including founding Managing Editor) of Construction Law International, the publication of the International Bar Association's International Construction Projects Committee. He has published widely in the field, including being co-author of the books, Understanding Australian Construction Contracts (2008), Construction Law in Australia (3rd ed, 2011) and Residential Construction Law (2021).
Upon completion of his undergraduate studies at The University of Melbourne, Matthew undertook his articles at Clayton Utz in Melbourne. He settled in the Construction Group and was appointed Senior Associate in 2000. Matthew consolidated his knowledge in the specialist area of construction law through being in the first intake of Melbourne Law School's Master of Construction Law in 2000. He completed his studies towards the Masters at King's College, University of London in 2003-04.
Matthew was able to gain a depth of experience on a wide variety of procurement methods whilst working with clients at Clayton Utz, which was enhanced by two years based in London with the International Construction Group of Clifford Chance.
In 2009 and 2016, Matthew was awarded the Building Dispute Practitioners' Society Essay Prize. He was also a Finalist in the LexisNexis-Australasian Law Teachers' Association Award for Early Career - Innovative Teaching Award for 2009. Essays written by Matthew were awarded First Prize (2017, 2021), Second Prize (2013), Joint Second Prize (2010) and adjudged Highly Commended (2008, 2015) and Commended (2019) in the Society of Construction Law (UK) Hudson Prize. In 2012, Matthew was awarded a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in the Australian Awards for University Teaching. In 2017, Matthew was a Finalist in the Academic of the Year category of the Australian Law Awards.
In addition to his role at the Law School, Matthew is Professional Support Lawyer to the national Major Projects and Construction group at Clayton Utz on a part-time basis. He was also founding Chair of the Academic Subcommittee of the Society of Construction Law Australia and has been since 2010 Chair of the judging panel for the Society's Brooking Essay Prize.
Other School and University responsibilities
- Co-director of Studies for the MLS Construction Law Program
- Member, Melbourne Law Masters Committee
- Member, Obligations Group
Memberships and affiliations
- Australian Legal Practitioner (admitted to practise in Victoria)
- Member, Society of Construction Law (UK)
- Founding Member, and former Board Member and Chair of the Academic Subcommittee (to 2018), Society of Construction Law Australia
- Fellow, International Academy of Construction Lawyers
- Former Member (to 2018), International Construction Projects Committee, International Bar Association (co-editor of Construction Law International, 2006-14; Editorial Board member, 2014-17)
- Former Board Member (to 2018), International Construction Law Association
- Member, Editorial Board, Australian Construction Law Newsletter
- Member, TEC List Users' Group (Supreme Court of Victoria)
- Deputy Chair (Victoria), Construction and Infrastructure Law Committee, Business Law Section, Law Council of Australia
- Member, Advisory Panel, Adjudication Research and Reporting Unit (NSW)
- Member, King's College Construction Law Association (London)
- Member, National Association of Women in Construction (Australia)
- Member, Building Disputes Practitioners' Society
- Founding Member, Australian Republican Movement
- Member, Law Institute of Victoria
The Melbourne JD