Matthew L. Knowles - High-Stakes Litigation - McDermott Will & Emery


Matt Knowles advises companies, boards of directors and individuals in high-stakes commercial litigation as well as government and internal investigations. He represents clients in a broad range of litigation matters at the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts across the country, including class actions and other complex matters.

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  • Helped to lead McDermott’s investigation into an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home that led to the deaths of at least 76 veterans. The Governor of Massachusetts retained McDermott to investigate the tragedy, identify root causes, and make recommendations to prevent similar outbreaks. Matt coordinated a team of thirteen lawyers that worked around the clock to conduct 111 interviews and review 17,000 documents in a matter of weeks. The team’s work resulted in a public 176-page report and substantial legislative changes to ensure the future of the Soldiers’ Home and the safety of its residents.
  • Defeated class certification and secured voluntary dismissal of all claims against a healthcare client in a case arising from one of the largest outbreaks of hepatitis C in the nation’s history. The matter began as an internal investigation and resulted in a favorable settlement for Matt’s client – by that point, the plaintiff in the case – on the eve of trial.
  • Defeated a high-stakes claim against an agricultural co-op in the trial and appellate courts of California.  Matt’s client moved to a new operating model, but an incumbent grower-member sued seeking extensive damages and to compel the co-op to abandon its new model.  Matt briefed and argued three motions to dismiss the case, each of which was successful despite a plaintiff-friendly forum and relaxed pleading standards in state court.  When the plaintiff appealed, Matt briefed and argued the matter before the California Courts of Appeal, which affirmed his client’s victory on all counts.
  • Represented an international startup incubator in bet-the-company litigation that culminated in a jury trial in the Business Litigation Session of the Massachusetts Superior Court.  Matt led a team that secured an extraordinary result for their client after several years of contentious litigation.

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  • Legal 500 US, Recommended Lawyer, 2023
  • Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, “Up & Coming Lawyer,” 2017


  • Law360, Massachusetts Editorial Board, 2022


Harvard Law School, JD, cum laude
Harvard College, AB, cum laude


Courts / Agencies
US Supreme Court
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

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