Project Description


Matt Dean

Matt’s working life is all about creating kinder, fairer, more productive workplaces.  A co-founder in 2003, Matt’s vision for byrne·dean was to bring together passionate experts from different fields in an effort to create those workplaces.

Once a brand manager with Unilever, Matt qualified as a solicitor in 1991 and worked as an employment lawyer with top City firms until 2003.  From 1998, he set up and led the innovative training team at market leading employment team, Simmons & Simmons. 

Widely recognised as an enthusiastic and inspirational facilitator, Matt’s current role is providing a corporate client base with consultancy support, one to one coaching and senior team interventions.  However, he struggles to turn down any invitation to speak on his main topics (diversity and inclusion, particularly senior female representation, ethics and integrity and bringing about cultural/behavioural change).  He’s worked in 28 different jurisdictions and is comfortable working with cultural difference.

Currently cancer free, in 2009 and 2016 Matt was treated for separate head and neck cancers.  Matt’s goal was always to be a positive cancer role model in both his professional and personal lives.   His cancer experiences inform his work and without doubt how he approaches inclusion.  He properly understands privilege and has had to adapt a work style that depended on a surfeit of energy and enthusiasm. 

Matt was always supportive of people in employment with diagnoses of mental ill health.  He’s helped two close family members through breakdowns.  When Richard Martin joined byrne·dean in 2013, Matt came to see that many workplace disputes can be viewed through a mental health lens (when they often look very different!)  In 2010 Matt had come out as a workaholic, part of his attempts to balance work, family and recreation.  A chronic poor sleeper and inveterate worrier, in 2017 Matt was diagnosed with (trauma – cancer related) anxiety; a diagnosis that at the same time made perfect sense and enabled him to take real steps toward recovery.  Once again, Matt’s personal experience is informing his work in the area.

Summary CV

  • Oxford University, Pembroke College
  • Manchester Polytechnic (Law Society Finals)
Career History
  • 1986 – 1988: Unilever plc (Brand Manager)
  • 1989 – 1995: Richards Butler
  • 1995 – 2003: Simmons & Simmons
  • 2003 – date: Founder Director, byrne·dean