Matthew J. Barnes

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Matt practices complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts, focusing on partnership disputes, financial fraud matters, breach of contract cases, business torts and forensic accounting matters.   Matt represents small, mid-sized and large businesses as well as their shareholders in claims that encompass a broad array of industries including commercial real estate developers, medical practices, construction companies, not-for-profit organizations, and the service industry.

Financial Fraud is often overlooked or undetected, largely in part by the wrongdoer’s skill at manipulating financial records to achieve personal gain.  It bas been said that lawyers misapprehend accounting principles and fail to comprehend issues revealed in financial statements and related tax returns.  That is what sets Matt apart from other counsel.  Matt has an extensive background public accounting, coupled with his experience as a tax lawyer, that gives him a unique perspective in complex commercial litigation.  That perspective proves to be a valuable asset as it allows Matt to spot inconsistencies and expose the weakness of his adversary’s claim through forensic evaluation.  More importantly, Matt’s fluency in financial transactions allows him to present compelling arguments to the Court in laymen’s terms in all phases of litigation.     

Where necessary, Matt works with financial experts, forensic investigators, and tax specialists to engineer winning trial strategies for his clients.  In addition, Matt has worked with federal and state law enforcement agencies when suspected criminality becomes apparent.  

One of Matt’s success stories was featured in the nationally recognized New York Law Journal. In a complex commercial litigation, Matthew achieved an unprecedented ruling which expanded the Second Circuit’s stringent standard for unsealing criminal records for use in a civil litigation. Matt defended his client against a multi-million dollar partnership dispute commenced in the Suffolk County Commercial Division. Having established that the claim was manifestly at odds with a position taken by the plaintiff to achieve leniency in a prior criminal sentencing, a United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York agreed with our position and granted our motion to unseal various documents from a decade-old criminal conviction.  The documents   unsealed by the federal court served as a foundation for Matt’s judicial estoppel argument against plaintiff’s partnership claims in the Suffolk County Commercial Division. Ten days later, the Commercial Division Justice summarily dismissed plaintiff’s claim in its entirety and permitted our client’s counterclaims to proceed.

Prior to joining the Firm, Matthew gained valuable experience as a tax lawyer in the Mergers and Acquisitions group of a preeminent global accounting/financial services firm in New York.  In addition to those business-related litigations, Matt’s background also serves his clients in the advisory role as well. Matt counsels the firm’s clients regarding business formation, choice of entity structure, tax implications, shareholder or partnership agreements, and succession planning. In addition, Matt counsels the firm’s clients regarding real estate transactions, and all facets of business acquisitions, tax-free mergers, and dispositions.

Since 2011, Matt has been selected for inclusion on the Super Lawyers list in the area of Business Litigation, a recognition for attorneys who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement (no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in New York State are named to the list).  Since 2010, Matt has been appointed as a Receiver of several multi-million dollar businesses on Long Island.     

After obtaining a Bachelor of Business Administration in Public Accounting, Matt attended and graduated from the School of Law at Hofstra University and was the recipient of the Excellence in Commercial Law award. Matt is licensed to practice in New York and is admitted to the United States District Courts for the Southern District and the Eastern District of New York.

Matt is a member of the Nassau and Suffolk County Bar Associations and the New York State Bar Association. Matt has been published in the Suffolk County Bar Association’s periodical, The Suffolk Lawyer.  In addition, Matt is an active member of the Chaminade Lawyers Alumni Association.


Matthew J. Barnes
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Leo K. Barnes

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