Matthew L. Knowles - McDermott Will & Emery


Matt Knowles focuses his practice on high-stakes commercial litigation and government investigations. He represents clients in a broad range of civil and criminal proceedings at the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts across the country.

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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
  • Represented numerous hospitals, physicians’ groups, medical device manufacturers, and other healthcare entities in government investigations and litigation (at both the trial and appellate level) under the False Claims Act. This includes a recent False Claims Act appeal arising from allegations of medically unnecessary surgical procedures, in which Matt argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

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  • Matt has an active pro bono practice, which has included challenges to wrongful convictions, a death penalty appeal, disputes between students and educational institutions concerning reasonable accommodation and racial discrimination, domestic violence victim protection cases, and employment discrimination matters. He is presently representing a traveler in pro bono litigation against the TSA arising from an abusive search and false arrest at an airport checkpoint. This case resulted in an en banc decision from the Third Circuit establishing travelers’ rights to pursue damages from the TSA under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
  • In addition to his legal practice, Matt is active in national and international organizations that govern the sport of sailing. He previously served as the president of a class association, and on several international committees that develop and review the rules of the sport. He is also an avid competitor in the International Moth class, and has finished in the top half of the field at the 2012, 2013 and 2015 world championships
  • Law360, 2022, Editorial board for Massachusetts


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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