Matthew D. Lee

Partner

Overview

Matthew D. Lee is a bankruptcy, restructuring, and business litigation attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP. Matt has represented Chapter 11 debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, official committees of unsecured creditors, and retained professionals in Chapter 11 cases. He has also represented defendants in avoidance actions filed under chapter 5 of the Bankruptcy Code. His business litigation practice encompasses, among other areas, eminent domain proceedings, consumer class actions, antitrust matters, construction disputes, real estate and commercial foreclosure litigation, and commercial contract disputes. He also counsels his clients before a dispute or insolvency arises on the issues of litigation avoidance, loss mitigation, and risk management.

Matt is a partner and a member of the firm’s Bankruptcy & Business Reorganizations and Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practices. He works in the Firm’s Madison, Wisconsin office and has practice experience nationwide.

Representative Bankruptcy Experience

  • Represented a Madison-based developer and distributor of dietary supplements in its chapter 11 bankruptcy case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, achieving the successful reorganization of the debtor
  • Represented chapter 11 debtors in the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts for the District of Delaware and the Central District of California
  • Represented the official committee of unsecured creditors of a manufacturer of powersports apparel and aftermarket parts and its affiliates in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware
  • Represented the official committee of unsecured creditors of a Kentucky-based coal company and its affiliates in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
  • Represented the official committee of unsecured creditors of a Kentucky and West Virginia-based coal company in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
  • Represented the first priority secured lender of a chapter 13 debtor in an adversary proceeding to cram down the secured lender’s lien in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, winning a judgment in favor of the lender following a trial
  • Represented a nationwide restaurant franchisor in the chapter 11 cases of two of its franchisees in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

Representative Litigation Experience

  • Represented a Madison-area home products manufacturer against breach of contract and private nuisance claims, securing a judgment following trial and an award of attorneys’ fees under the fee-shifting provision in the parties’ contract
  • Represented condemnors and landowners in eminent domain matters, both in pre-condemnation negotiations and in condemnation appeals
  • Represented the owner and operator of a Southeastern Wisconsin dairy farm in a breach of contract and negligence case
  • Represented a Wisconsin-based manufacturer in a nationwide class action, defeating class certification and obtaining dismissal of the case on the merits
  • Represented secured creditors in complicated commercial foreclosure and Article 9 proceedings

Recognition

Matt was named an “Up & Coming Lawyer” by the Wisconsin Law Journal in 2012. He was also selected for inclusion in the 2009, 2010, and 2014 to 2016 Wisconsin Super Lawyers - Rising Stars® lists in the areas of bankruptcy & creditor/debtor rights and business litigation.

Education

Matt earned his bachelor’s degrees (magna cum laude) from the University of Notre Dame in 2002. He earned his J.D. (magna cum laude) from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2006, where he served as lead articles editor on the Journal of the Legal Profession.

Admissions

Matt is admitted to practice in the State of Wisconsin, the U.S. District Court for the Western and Eastern Districts of Wisconsin, and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and the Seventh Circuit Bar Association.

Professional Memberships and Community Leadership

Matt is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Bankruptcy, Insolvency, and Creditors’ Rights section of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

He sits on the board of directors of the Catholic Diocese of Madison Foundation.

Publications and Presentations

Matt has presented on bankruptcy-related topics, including the standards for discharging equitable claims, successor liability principles, preference litigation strategies, and the treatment of non-compete agreements under the Bankruptcy Code. His publications include:

  • Author, “Not The Pro Bono You’re Looking For,” Bankruptcy Law360, December 22, 2015
  • Co-author, "US v. Apex Oil: Will High Court Revisit Ohio v. Kovacs?" Bankruptcy Law360, June 30, 2010
  • Co-author, "Dealing with Insolvent and Bankrupt Distributors," chapter 7, Product Distribution Law Guide, updated annually
  • Co-author, "Condemnation," chapter 19, Wisconsin Law of Damages, updated periodically
  • Co-author, The Law of Eminent Domain: Condemnation, chapter on Wisconsin law, published by the American Bar Association, updated annually
  • Co-author, "Third Circuit Expands Insider Exposure," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, April 2009

Representative Matters

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Represented the official committee of unsecured creditors of a bank holding company in a chapter 11 reorganization case in the United State Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The committee included the indenture trustees of several issuances of trust preferred securities as well as senior noteholders.
Foley successfully defended the client's right to take challenge to condemnation, allowing project to proceed as scheduled.
Judgment was granted for our client as a matter of law on issues relating to secured claim and anti-modification provisions of Section 1322(b)(2) in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Wisconsin.