Furton, Matthew T.

Matthew T. Furton


Partner

 

Overview

Matt Furton has a national business litigation practice. Matt's commercial litigation and arbitration practice includes representation of both plaintiffs and defendants, from pre-suit investigation through trial and appellate proceedings. Matt's commercial litigation experience includes claims for breach of contract, fraud, RICO violations, securities fraud, antitrust violations, and various business torts. He has handled jury and bench trials in state and federal courts, obtained and avoided injunctive relief, obtained, enforced, and vacated arbitration awards, prevailed on appeals, and resolved cases through various ADR methods.

Much of the commercial litigation Matt handles arises from the business of insurance. In the insurance industry, he represents traditional insurance industry entities such as insurers, reinsurers, brokers, and third-party administrators in business litigation. His clients also include investors in insurance assets, reinsurance pools, premium financiers, guaranty funds, and joint self-insurance pools that have disputes arising from the business of insurance. His insurance-related litigation and arbitration experience includes complex litigation involving class actions, RICO, antitrust, and consumer fraud claims. Many of these cases are influenced by the heavily regulated nature of the insurance industry. 

Matt also represents clients in connection with intellectual property disputes and litigation. He has served as lead counsel in significant disputes involving copyright infringement, trademark infringement, unfair competition, false advertising, and trade secret misappropriation claims in the software, telecommunications, insurance, toy, entertainment, construction, and financial services industries. Matt has obtained injunctions against infringers, used the DMCA take-down provisions, obtained a declaratory judgment of invalidity and settled a case through a licensing agreement worth more than $50 million.

Many of Matt's engagements involve information technology. He has handled over a dozen significant engagements arising from failed computer system development or implementation projects. He has represented companies in disputes arising from software distribution agreements, troubled IT outsourcing projects, the unauthorized use of software and the unauthorized access of a computer network.

Matt regularly speaks on the art of litigation, insurance law, copyright law, and the intersection of law and technology. He has given lectures on dispute resolution and risk management at Northwestern University School of Law's popular Entrepreneurial Law class. He has given presentations for the Insurance Forum, the Reinsurance Association of America, the Copyright Society of the USA, and the Chicago Software Process Improvement Network. Matt was selected as an Illinois Super Lawyer for business litigation in 2012-2019, and he has been given an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell. He has appeared in courts in approximately twenty states. Other than five years when Matt was an Associate/Partner at a boutique firm focused on technology law, he has been with Locke Lord or its predecessor firm, Lord, Bissell & Brook, since he was a Summer Associate in 1994. Matt represents pro bono clients under certain circumstances where systemic impact is likely.

Representative Experience

Business Litigation

  • Represented a leading bicycle manufacturer in connection with breach of contract, UCC and fraud claims asserted by a logistics and warehouse operator that claimed to be harmed by the bike company’s decision to cease doing business with the logistics company. Defeated TRO and Preliminary Injunction for client and settled amicably. Chicago.
  • Represented a leading distributor of skin care products in a case where a skin care products manufacturer alleged the distributor engaged in price fixing of skin care products. Settled amicably.
  • Represent wholesale commercial insurance brokerage firm against a leading retail insurance brokerage firm in a breach of contract and trade secrets dispute involving the promotion of self-insured products and services. Secured TRO and Preliminary Injunction for client. Oklahoma.
  • Represented leading auto insurer in MDL class action alleging price fixing of auto body repair shop arrangements. Florida.
  • Represented non-standard auto insurer in dispute with insurance software and IT services company over the unsuccessful development and implementation of a customized, enterprise software suite. Settled amicably. Georgia.
  • Represented software company in breach of contract case against enterprise-grade hardware manufacturer involving claims of underpayment of royalties. Settled amicably after preliminary injunction motion practice. Iowa.
  • Represented investors in life insurance assets in dispute with trustee of life insurance trust over $6.5M policy proceeds interpleaded by life insurance company. Recovered over $6.5M in cash and judgments for client against trustee and notary that forged and falsely notarized sales documents. California.

Intellectual Property Litigation

  • Represented real estate developer in copyright infringement action arising out of claims that developer copied plans for $35M empty-nester condo development. Case settled amicably after summary judgment motion was filed. Kansas.
  • Represented leading manufacturer of vaporizers in trademark infringement and breach of contract case with an e-juice company. Defeated TRO and Preliminary Injunction motion for client and settled amicably. California.
  • Represent billion-dollar consumer food brand in trademark infringement and dilution action against a company adopting the same trademark for similar goods. New York.
  • Represented a leading skin care distributor in connection with post-trial motion practice and appeal of adverse rulings and jury verdict in trademark infringement action. Secured reversal of cancellation order. Nebraska.
  • Represented leading VoIP speaker company in contract, copyright and trade secret case over the allegedly unauthorized distribution of VoIP speakers containing chips that circumvented copyright-protection measures. Settled amicably during jury trial. Chicago.
  • Represented a substantial printer maintenance company in copyright and DMCA litigation arising from alleged use of unauthorized software to repair computer equipment. Settled amicably after dismissal of most serious claims. California.

Arbitration

  • Represented a national insurer in multiple AAA arbitrations arising out of loss-sensitive insurance programs. Chicago (and various other jurisdictions including Ohio, Texas, and Georgia).
  • Represented a large, national, multi-line insurer in AAA arbitration arising from process failures in the placement of fleet auto insurance that resulted in an undesirable $3 million claim. Chicago.
  • Represented a Chinese manufacturer of industrial goods in AAA arbitration arising from breach of contract claims related to the development of custom tooling for assembly line equipment. Chicago.
  • Represented software development firm in AAA arbitration with developer over breach of contract claims. Chicago.
  • Represented large company in dispute with software company over allegedly copied software. Georgia and Chicago.

Professional History

  • Partner, Locke Lord LLP
  • Partner, Gordon & Glickson LLP

Professional Affiliations and Recognitions

  • Named in The Best Lawyers in America for Insurance Law (2020)
  • Selected as Illinois Super Lawyer (2012-2019)
  • Secretary and Board Member, Indiana University Maurer School of Law Alumni
  • Board of Advisors, Legal Preparatory Academy
  • Board of Directors, Public Interest Law Initiative
  • Member, American Bar Association
    • Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
    • Intellectual Property Law Section
    • Science & Technology Law Section
    • Litigation Section
  • Member, Chicago Bar Association
    • Judicial Evaluation Committee Member (2017)
    • Chair, Insurance Law Committee (2007 - 2008)
  • Member, Copyright Society of the USA
  • Member, Lawyers Club of Chicago