Matthew R. Barrett Partner
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  • F 312.267.2184
Matthew R. Barrett

Matt is a member of HMB’s Litigation Group. He is a commercial litigator who handles a wide variety of business disputes across many industries, with a focus on post-closing M&A litigation, unfair competition claims, trust and estate controversies and fiduciary claims.

Matt regularly litigates business disputes in courtrooms across the country and frequently represents clients in arbitration proceedings and in mediation. He has successfully litigated contract claims involving vendors, customers and former employees, as well as other business-to-business disputes. He has significant experience prosecuting and defending restrictive covenants including non-competes, non-solicitation clauses and non-disclosure provisions, as well as counseling clients involved in trade secret misappropriation, tortious interference and other unfair competition claims.

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A significant portion of Matt’s practice is dedicated to advising buyers and sellers concerning disputes that arise out of M&A transactions. Matt has significant experience litigating fraud claims and other post-closing disputes concerning representations and warranties or other key terms in the contracts that govern complex commercial transactions. Outside of the M&A context, Matt’s business litigation practice focuses on fiduciary claims concerning family-owned or closely held businesses, minority shareholder rights, as well as “business divorce” cases.

Matt also regularly advises individuals and institutional trustees in contested trust and estate matters. He has significant experience litigating will contests and representing executors and trustees in breach of fiduciary duty claims and other disputes that arise in the administration of trusts and estates.

Resolving Business Disputes Through Aggressive, Informed Strategies

Matt is an ardent advocate for his clients and takes a well-informed and aggressive approach to resolving complex disputes on the best terms possible while maintaining focus on the big picture. Clients appreciate his strong technical litigation acumen and ability to explain complex litigation issues in a way that is easy to understand.  His preventative counsel enables clients to spot and avoid legal issues that can disrupt their business operations before they arise.


  • Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, J.D.
  • Boston College, B.A. in English and History


  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois


  • Illinois Super Lawyers – Rising Star, 2019-2022

Professional Memberships

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • American Bar Association


  • HMB Wins Unanimous Decision at the Illinois Supreme Court in High-Stakes Will ContestDecember 22, 2023

    Huge win for HMB’s Litigation team at the Illinois Supreme Court! Congratulations Litigation Partners Hal J. Wood and Matthew R. Barrett on securing a unanimous decision in a contested will case. They successfully defended their hard-fought trial court win and appellate decision in favor of HMB’s client that allowed the client to retain control over the disposition of her late-husband’s company.

  • Congratulations to HMB Attorneys Selected to the 2022 Illinois Rising Stars ListJanuary 31, 2022

    Congratulations to Matthew Barrett and Marla Izbicky for being selected to the 2022 Illinois Rising Stars list.

  • HMB Elevates Matthew R. Barrett, Jenna E. Stein and Raymond J. Jacobi III to PartnerDecember 6, 2021

    HMB is pleased to announce that Matthew R. Barrett, Jenna E. Stein and Raymond J. Jacobi III have been elevated to Partner. “We are delighted to have Matt, Jenna and Ray as Partners at HMB,” said Jeff Hechtman, HMB's Managing Partner. “I am very proud of each of them and all they have accomplished, and know they will do great…

  • Congratulations to HMB Attorneys Selected to 2021 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars ListsOctober 5, 2020

    2021 Illinois Super Lawyers John W. Guzzardo Richard M. Horwood Fred O. Marcus Jeffrey A. Zaluda 2021 Illinois Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Matthew R. Barrett Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research,…

  • Hal J. Wood and Matthew R. Barrett Secure Victory in Highly Contested Post-Transaction DisputeFebruary 26, 2020

    HMB litigators Hal J. Wood and Matthew R. Barrett secured a complete victory in a recent highly contested post-transaction dispute. The team obtained summary judgment in their clients’ favor on all counts, including an award of 100% of the clients’ attorneys’ fees, resulting in a total judgment of over $9,000,000 in favor of HMB’s clients. HMB’s clients were the sellers…


  • Force Majeure and COVID-19April 27, 2021

    A year ago, during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed timely to explore force majeure provisions and legal theories that would permit a party to suspend its contractual obligations under certain circumstances.  At the time, it was unclear how courts would interpret force majeure provisions that did not expressly include a pandemic or epidemic within its list…

  • Non-Performance of Contractual Obligations During the COVID-19 PandemicMarch 23, 2020

    The economic uncertainty caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses and commercial relationships worldwide.  As COVID-19 continues to spread, businesses may experience disruptions that make it difficult or impossible to fulfill their contractual obligations.  Under certain circumstances, those disruptions may justify non-performance.  One such escape hatch is a force majeure clause, which is a provision contained…



  • Important Changes to Illinois Law Will Affect Restrictive Covenants in 2022November 18, 2021

    On August 13, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law an amendment to the Illinois Freedom to Work Act, which will impact the enforceability of some non-competition and non-solicitation restrictive covenants in Illinois. Although the new law will not impact all restrictive covenants in Illinois (the amendment excludes from its scope restrictive covenants entered into ancillary to the sale…

  • As SPAC Deal Flow Increases, Expect Litigation to Follow SuitAugust 31, 2021

    With the recent rise in popularity of special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”), expect an uptick in SPAC related litigation to follow. SPAC’s are referred to as “blank check” companies because they are shell companies formed by a sponsor group to raise funds in an initial public offering (“IPO”) for the purpose of acquiring a yet-to-be-identified privately held target company. After…

  • Tenancy by the Entirety Not a Defense to a Mortgage Foreclosure Case When Both Spouses Signed Letter of Direction to Trustee of Land TrustNovember 4, 2018

    In  Marquette Bank v. Gesiakowski, et al., 2015 IL App (1st) 142627, the Illinois First District Appellate Court recently ruled in favor of a lender in a mortgage foreclosure case that resolved interesting issues regarding a mortgagee's ability to foreclose on real estate held in a land trust, when the beneficial interest in that land trust is held by spouses as…

  • Illinois Decision Sheds Light on Potential Pitfalls for Intercreditor AgreementsDecember 15, 2017

    Given the increasing prevalence of intercreditor agreements in commercial finance transactions, lenders and counsel should be aware of an important 2017 Illinois appellate court decision, Bowling Green Sports Center v. C.A.G. LLC, in which the court ultimately determined that in certain circumstances a senior lender?s modification of terms with its borrower could jeopardize its priority status relative to junior lenders.

  • Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, J.D.
  • Boston College, B.A. in English and History
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
500 West Madison Suite 3700
Chicago IL 60661

Phone: 312-606-3200 Fax: 312-606-3232
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