Matt Knowles focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation and government investigations. He represents clients in a broad range of civil and criminal proceedings at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal court.
Matt graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was the recipient of the Charles H. Smith Bequest Scholarship in 2009 and 2010, and was named a Dean’s Scholar in the Federal Courts and the Federal System. He served as an honors legal intern in the Office of Legal Counsel for the US Department of Defense and as an intern in the office of the US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. He also served as an intern to the Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court.
In 2017, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly named Matt to its list of “Up & Coming Lawyers,” an award that honors rising stars who have been admitted to the Massachusetts Bar for fewer than 10 years yet have already distinguished themselves in the practice of law.
Matt has written and co-authored a number of publications including: Eleventh Circuit Decision Expands Circuit Split on the FCA’s Statute of Limitations (FCA Update, April 26, 2018); The Telephone Consumer Protection Act and 2014 Data Breaches Highlight a Broad Range of Risks, Privacy and Data Protection 2014 Year in Review; Federal, State Law Liability for Call Center Operators, New England In-House, Vol. 12, No. 3 (2014); This Call May Be Recorded: Class Action Plaintiffs in California Continue to Target Businesses on Call Center Recording, Privacy and Data Protection 2013 Year in Review; The Reinvigorated Confrontation Clause: A New Basis to Challenge the Admission of Evidence from Nontestifying Forensic Experts in White Collar Prosecutions, NACDL Champion, Vol. XXVII No. 3 (2013); FTC v. Actavis: The Supreme Court Decision and Going-Forward Scrutiny of Reverse Payment Settlement Agreements, The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel (September 2013); Questions from the Box: Jury Questioning and the Adversarial System, published in the Journal of Politics and Society, 17th ed.; and ReadMe: Software for Automated Content Analysis for Distributional Patterns (2007).
Additionally, Matt is a member of our legal cannabis industry group. Our Cannabis Industry group is a multidisciplinary team of lawyers providing clients with regulatory, litigation, intellectual property, trade and tax services with respect to their investments and participation in the cannabis industry, all subject to the Firm’s obligations under federal and state laws and bar licensure rules.
Matt also 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.
Defeated class certification and secured voluntary dismissal of all claims against a health care 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 health care 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
Successfully resolved all claims against a publicly traded bank that was sued under RICO for providing banking services to a medical marijuana dispensary. Matt was the lead author of the bank’s motion to dismiss. Although the Court allowed the plaintiffs to re-plead, they soon elected to end the litigation and withdraw all claims against the bank on a voluntary basis
Represented a pharmaceutical sales manager who was charged with health care fraud in connection with a nationwide investigation by the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. The manager – who was facing a substantial prison sentence under the federal sentencing guidelines – was sentenced to probation
Favorable resolution of a number of putative class actions in state and federal court alleging violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and related state-law data privacy claims. In a recent case filed against a media organization, Matt secured voluntary dismissal of the class action claims and final resolution of the individual claims in exchange for nominal statutory damages after moving for sanctions based on factual misrepresentations in the plaintiffs’ submissions to the court. Matt has also counseled health care organizations and their vendors on TCPA compliance
A substantial monetary judgment and broad permanent injunction in an extended trade secret dispute in state and federal court involving low-shrink film for the encapsulation of solar panels. This case included appeals to the Massachusetts Appeals Court, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Prevailed in a dispute between a hedge fund and a large mutual fund relating to a fundamental issues of corporate governance, including successful defense of the trial court’s decision on appeal before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
A jury award of compensatory and punitive damages in a civil rights case in federal court in which Matt delivered the opening statement and cross-examined the primary defendant
Part of a team that represented a state legislature in connection with a federal criminal investigation; the government declined to bring charges against any member of the legislature
Defended an employee of a healthcare client at a preliminary injunction hearing in Massachusetts Superior Court. The case related to allegations that the client did not follow state law relating to a child residing at the client’s facility. The court denied the injunction and dismissed the case
Favorable decision on a motion to dismiss in the Delaware Court of Chancery in a dispute between an international pharmaceutical company and a biotechnology firm regarding the development of a novel antibiotic drug
Bankruptcy adversary proceedings relating to credit-default swaps and other complex financial instruments
Favorable resolution of an international arbitration and litigation involving virtual reality training software
Favorable resolution of administrative proceedings related to the distribution of alcoholic beverages
Favorable resolution of an employment dispute in federal court involving an international humanitarian relief organization
In addition to his legal practice, Matt is active in national and international organizations that govern the sport of sailing. He is the president of a class association, and serves 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
Harvard Law School, JD, cum laude, 2010
Harvard College, AB, cum laude, 2007
Courts / Agencies
US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
US District Court for the District of Massachusetts
US District Court for the Central District of Illinois
US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Do not send any information or documents that you want to have treated as secret or confidential. Providing information to McDermott via email links on this website or other introductory email communications will not create an attorney-client relationship; will not preclude McDermott from representing any other person or firm in any matter; and will not obligate McDermott to keep confidential the information you provide. McDermott cannot enter into an attorney-client relationship with you until McDermott has determined that doing so will not create a conflict of interest and until you and McDermott have entered into a written agreement or engagement letter that sets forth the terms of our relationship.