Matthew Cowie



Corporate Investigations, Litigation and Government Enforcement Litigation


T: +44.20.7519.7139

F: 44.20.7072.7139


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Matthew Cowie is a counsel in the Corporate Investigations practice in the London office of Skadden. He focuses on internal investigations and defense of government enforcement matters, with an emphasis on overseas corruption and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations. Mr. Cowie also advises on compliance best practices for U.K. and multinational corporates, particularly with regard to anticorruption policies and procedures and compliance with the Bribery Act 2010.

Prior to joining Skadden, Mr. Cowie spent 11 years with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). During this time he led the first significant investigations and prosecutions of overseas corruption and other corporate offending. Since 2004, Mr. Cowie has worked exclusively on corruption investigations and prosecutions. He has served as the prosecutor in the SFO’s prosecution of Mabey & Johnson Ltd; Innospec Ltd; Johnson & Johnson/De Puy International Ltd. and BAE Systems plc. Mr. Cowie successfully brought the first two overseas corruption prosecutions of U.K. corporates. He also brought the first significant prosecution of a senior corporate executive on corruption charges within the medical devices industry. Additionally, Mr. Cowie supervised the conduct of casework encompassing both sanctions and overseas corruption offences.

Mr. Cowie’s professional experience includes the conduct of global investigations and the negotiation of criminal settlements. In particular, a significant proportion of his casework has included working with prosecutors, regulators and law enforcement counterparts worldwide to achieve global resolution of corruption offences. He concluded the first U.K. global settlement of corruption and other serious economic crimes working with the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

During the consultation period that led to the enactment of the U.K. Bribery Bill in April 2010, Mr. Cowie was involved in drafting the SFO’s position relating to overseas corruption offence.

In 2007, Mr. Cowie was seconded from the SFO to the United Nations Procurement Task Force, the successor to the Independent Inquiry Committee into the Oil-for-Food Programme, to investigate fraud and corruption by corporates and U.N. staff members within the U.N. system.

Mr. Cowie is recommended as a leading individual in both The Legal 500 and Chambers UK. According to sources in Chambers UK 2015, he is “thorough, rounded, and would be an adornment to any corporate crime team.” He also is recommended in Who’s Who Legal’s 2015 Investigations section.

Bar Admissions

Solicitor, England & Wales


LL.B., (Honours), University of Warwick,1990

M.A. University of Sheffield, 1991