Matthew J. Thomas is a litigator and a partner in the firm’s Litigation Department. He regularly represents Fortune 500 companies in complex business matters in federal and state courts throughout the United States, and in arbitrations, mediations and appeals.

Matthew has first-chair trial experience in multimillion-dollar matters, has tried numerous cases in front of juries, and has achieved outstanding results for his clients in significant litigations, both on the plaintiff and defendant side. He has litigated a variety of issues including breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duties and other business-related torts, securities and shareholder disputes, trade secrets, real estate finance, defamation and professional negligence.


Matthew was previously a partner at another major law firm in Chicago.

  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America (2024)
  • The Legal 500 United States – Dispute Resolution - General Commercial Disputes (since 2023)
  • The Legal 500 United States – Labor and Employment - ERISA Litigation (2024)

Some of Matthew's recent representations include*:

  • Representation of a leading chemical manufacturer in a series of federal jury trials in New York relating to insurance coverage for environmental liabilities, leading to recoveries of more than $325 million.
  • Representation of a large financial institution in actions in Illinois, California and Kansas concerning the sales of hundreds of millions of dollars of residential mortgage-backed securities.
  • Representation of a global manufacturer in a federal jury trial in Nevada in connection with multimillion-dollar claims arising out of equipment breakdowns at a manufacturing facility.
  • Representation of a military vehicle component supplier in a multimillion-dollar confidential arbitration in Michigan concerning significant development, supply and royalty agreements.
  • Representation of a large manufacturer in a multimillion-dollar action in Delaware Chancery Court concerning allegations of fraud and breach of representations and warranties in connection with the purchase of a business.
  • Representation of a global chemical company in a more than $100 million arbitration concerning a dispute over a long-term supply agreement.
  • Representation of a defense contractor in a $275 million international arbitration involving a contract dispute with a supplier.
  • Representation of several entities in an Illinois state court action brought by a participant lender relating to the servicing and restructuring of more than $100 million of loans secured by a portfolio of commercial real estate properties.
  • Representation of an aircraft manufacturer in a $50 million breach of contract lawsuit in federal court in Illinois in connection with an agreement for the sale of business jet aircraft.
  • Representation of a commercial lender in an arbitration proceeding against a large bank regarding a dispute over a shortfall in collateral in connection with a multi-billion dollar real estate financing structure secured by a portfolio of New York high rise office buildings.
  • Representation of a large information systems company in a $500 million federal lawsuit in Maryland involving claims arising out of a series of agreements to construct a satellite system.
  • Representation of large broadcasting company in a multi-million dollar lawsuit in Illinois state court involving claims of breach of contract and defamation.

* Matthew advised on these matters prior to joining Willkie.



University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1997 University of Michigan, B.B.A., 1994

Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

United States Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit United States Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit United States Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)