Matthew T. Hurst - Partner

Phone: 312 346-3466   Email:

Matthew T. Hurst concentrates his practice in securities, ERISA, and general class action litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Hurst practiced at a large national defense firm, where his clients included Illinois Tool Works, Peoples Energy, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Volvo, AOL Time Warner, Ameritech/SBC, HCA, and Ty Inc. Many of these clients turned to Mr. Hurst in high stakes litigation. For example, Mr. Hurst helped litigate a $100 million public utility reconciliation dealing with the Enron collapse, and served as liaison counsel in a $1 billion products liability case.

Furthermore, both Crain’s Investment News and Money Management have sought Mr. Hurst’s insight into constitutional issues related to his challenge of 529 college savings plans on the basis of discriminatory taxation principles. Besides these issues, Mr. Hurst has successfully litigated diverse and challenging cases, including:

ERISA Litigation

Young v. Verizon’s Bell Atlantic Cash Balance Plan, No. 05-7314 (N.D. Ill.). (Denlow, Mag. J.).
Mr. Hurst litigated this ERISA class action alleging that Bell Atlantic made a multi-billion dollar error in calculating plan participants’ opening balances when it converted from a traditional pension plan to a cash balance plan. This five year litigation clarified the rights of participants to have errors in plan documents resolved in court, rather than through the administrative process.

Schumacher v. AK Steel, No. 09-794 (S.D. Ohio) (Beckwith, J.).
Mr. Hurst successfully obtained summary judgment in this ERISA class action stemming from AK Steel’s failure to perform a “whipsaw calculation” when converting employees’ benefits. The case raised novel issues of whether a release obtained from class members, purporting to release “all claims,” can validly waive the right to ERISA benefits when the fiduciary failed to inform participants of pending litigation. Mr. Hurst is currently defending an appeal to the Sixth Circuit.

Dooley v. Saxton, No. 12-1207 (D. Or.).
Mr. Hurst is currently litigating this ERISA case against an ESOP plan. The complaint alleges that participants’ accounts were improperly cutback and revalued by certain amendments to the plan.

Conducted litigation against Arthur Anderson, during liquidation, to preserve retirement benefits of retired partners. Despite the threat of impending bankruptcy and absence of ERISA protections, litigation allowed clients to recover a portion of their benefits.

Corporate Governance & Fiduciary Duty Litigation

In re: optionsXpress Co. S’holder Litig., No. 11 CH 10657 (Mason, J.).
Mr. Hurst was co-counsel in a successful derivative action against the board of directors of optionsXpress stemming from its acquisition by Charles Schwab.

In re: Netezza Co. S’holder Litig., No. 5858-VCS (Del. Ch.) (Strine, V.C.).
Mr. Hurst was co-counsel in this successful derivative action involving both the fairness and disclosures made during the acquisition of the company by IBM.

In re: Huron Consulting Group S’holder Litig., No. 09 CH 30826 (Agran, J.).
Mr. Hurst served as liaison counsel in this derivative action stemming from allegations of accounting fraud at Huron.

In re: PNB Holding Co. S’holder Litig., No. 028-N (Del. Ch.) (Strine, V.C.).
Mr. Hurst served as co-counsel in this shareholder action challenging the S-Corporation conversion of a community bank in downstate Illinois. Litigation resulted in a seven-figure verdict in the class’s favor.

Miscellaneous Matters

Mr. Hurst is currently litigating against Bank of America for failing to properly supervise the administration of a trust designed to provide perpetual care for cemetery grave sites. The case raises several issues of first impression under Illinois law.

Currently litigating three False Claims Act cases against major internet retailers for failure to collect and remit sales taxes despite a physical presence in the state.

Counsel in several actions challenging the constitutionally of the taking of property and discriminatory taxation schemes. On brief in appeal before U.S. Supreme Court case involving dormant commerce clause jurisprudence.

Established right of action for homeowners to bring suit against their homeowners’ association to maintain common elements. Willmschen v. Trinity Lakes Improvement Ass’n, 362 Ill. App. 3d 546, 840 N.E.2d 1275 (2nd Dist. 2005).

Mr. Hurst is admitted in the following jurisdictions:

  • Illinois
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Wisconsin

In 1995, Mr. Hurst graduated from Skidmore College in New York, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with honors in Government and Economics. He graduated from Northwestern University Law School in 1999, where he was on the Dean’s List and coached teams for the Northwestern Mock Trial Institute. Mr. Hurst currently serves on the Judicial Evaluation Committee of the Chicago Bar Association.