Matt helps his clients evaluate risk rationally and systematically to create aggressive and innovative litigation strategies that balance business risk and opportunity. He has experience in class actions, data privacy, commercial litigation and insurance coverage disputes, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. He has litigated numerous matters to conclusion, both by dispositive motions and through trial or arbitration.
Matt's class action and commercial litigation work includes representing clients in a variety of industries, including the medical, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and e-commerce fields. His insurance practice includes representing and counseling leading insurers on cutting-edge coverage issues.
Class Actions and Commercial Litigation. Matt’s work spans a large range of claims, including data privacy, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, consumer fraud, professional negligence and post-closing disputes. Matt:
- Currently represents numerous defendants in class action litigation alleging violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. Matt's work on these cases has included briefing issues of first impression, providing compliance advice, negotiating settlements, and winning motions to dismiss and appeals.
- Represented a class consisting of approximately 1,500 medical providers and their practices in litigation against a large hospital system for breach of contract and other claims. After certification of the class was affirmed on appeal (which Matt argued), at trial a jury awarded Matt’s clients $58 million in damages. That verdict was affirmed on appeal, after which the matter settled for $82.7 million, plus significant non-monetary relief.
- Represented public and private companies in numerous post-closing disputes and arbitrations, including winning a week-long FINRA arbitration concerning the wind-up of an options trading firm.
- Represented two prominent Chicago-area foundations in litigation against the foundations' insurance broker, seeking $25 million in damages caused by the broker’s alleged failure to procure an adequate directors and officers liability policy. Matt’s representation of the foundations included two successful appeals, one to the Illinois Appellate Court and one to the Illinois Supreme Court.
- Successfully defended pet food manufacturers in putative consumer class actions involving allegations of false labeling.
- First-chaired an arbitration resulting in a multimillion-dollar award to firm client Groupon. Matt also represented Groupon in numerous other matters involving breach of contract, privacy and intellectual property issues.
- Served as pro bono counsel to the Chicago nonprofit Housing Choice Partners in two cases alleging racial discrimination in the lease of downtown office space. After Matt’s client defeated multiple motions for summary judgment by the defendants, the cases were resolved. Matt maintains an active pro bono practice that also has included prison-conditions litigation and work on immigration issues, including obtaining asylum for two unaccompanied minor children from El Salvador.
Insurance Coverage. Matt has represented major insurers in litigation disputing coverage issues for intellectual property, construction defect, mass tort, product liability and other claims. He has also counseled insurers on a variety of issues and advised policyholders on their coverage needs. As part of his insurance coverage work, Matt has:
- Obtained several precedent-setting victories in coverage litigation relating to the "personal and advertising injury" coverage. E.g., Maids on Call, LLC v. Ohio Security Ins. Co., 2018 WL 264088 (D. Neb. 2018); Unwired Solutions, Inc. v. Ohio Security Ins. Co., 247 F. Supp. 3d 705 (D. Md. 2017). Matt currently represents the same insurer in similar coverage litigation in several other cases across the United States.
- Represented Liberty Mutual in several successful appeals to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Illinois Appellate Court.
- Defended Liberty Mutual in multi-venue litigation involving insurance coverage for liability relating to the consumption of alcohol beverage “Four Loko.” After Liberty Mutual won an appeal to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals by Four Loko’s manufacturers and moved to enjoin further litigation, the case was favorably resolved.
- Represented several major insurers in cases involving coverage for mass torts, as well as related bankruptcy issues and contribution claims.
- Provided coverage advice on numerous issues, including coverage for privacy claims; additional insured issues; commercial general liability, directors and officers, and errors and omissions coverage; and coverage for data breach liability. In addition to the cases above, Matt has litigated many coverage cases relating to those issues.
Publications and Presentations
Biometric Privacy Regulations and Litigation, Information Systems Audit and Control Association, Bloomington, Illinois, March 21, 2019.
Panelist, “Litigation-Related Contractual Clauses: How Contract Drafting Plays Out in Litigation,” Association of Corporate Counsel, Chicago, Illinois, March 6, 2019 (with Amy Cho and Riley Mendoza).
Panelist, "Money for Nothing: Preventing and Defending Class Actions Seeking Statutory Damages for Technical Violations of the Law," Association of Corporate Counsel, Chicago, Illinois, January 24, 2018.
Panelist, "Protecting Your Company's Brand: How to Minimize the Risk of a Consumer Class Action Lawsuit and Maximize the Chances of Winning if One is Filed," Association of Corporate Counsel, San Francisco, California, December 4, 2017 (with Tammy Webb, Amir Nassihi, Andrew Chang and Joan Camagong).
Panelist, “Updates in Ethics: Class Actions and Social Media,” Private Client Presentation, August 28, 2017 (with Matt Sitzer and Tammy Webb).
Panelist, "Data Discovery, and Decisions: Extending Discovery from Collection to Creation," Chicago Masters Conference, Chicago, Illinois, May 23, 2017.
Data Security: Insurance & Litigation, Midwest Corporate Counsel & Compliance Forum, November 16, 2016.
Does the First Amendment Protect Testimony by Public Employees?, 77 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1473 (2010).
‘Astronomical Damages:’ IL High Court Ponders How Many Fingerprints Should Be Worth up to $5K Each Under IL Biometrics Law, Cook County Record, May 18, 2022.
Federal Judge: ‘Bodily Consumption Exception’ to Bacteria Exclusion Does Not Apply, Mealey’s Insurance, March 3, 2022.
How Defense Firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon Pursued a Class Action—and Won, Law.com, October 4, 2021.