Known as a “smart, thoughtful and practical” attorney (Chambers USA), Matthew Hamermesh helps helm the Appellate and Bankruptcy Groups.

Matt quickly grasps the details of a client’s business and analyzes relevant legal issues to understand and achieve his clients’ goals. Matt’s bankruptcy and appellate clients are in a wide range of businesses, including insurance, financial services, manufacturing, real estate, education, nonprofits and start ups, and are affected by varied areas of the law. His talent for understanding these nuances enables him to provide efficient, yet thorough, service for his clients.

Matt’s considerable appellate experience includes appeals of a great variety of civil and bankruptcy cases. On several occasions, he and his colleagues have convinced the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reinstate trial court decisions that the intermediate appellate courts — the Superior Court or Commonwealth Court — had reversed. He has also worked on numerous appeals of multimillion-dollar jury verdicts, representing both parties seeking relief from them and those trying to preserve them.

As chair of the Bankruptcy Practice, Matt represents a variety of clients in bankruptcy litigation. With extensive experience in bankruptcy, insolvency, and debtor-creditor litigation, he has successfully represented debtors, creditors, official committees, and other parties in interest in numerous business bankruptcy and commercial cases. Clients turn to Matt for representation in highly contentious bankruptcy cases, including disputed Chapter 11 filings and adversary proceedings. His thorough evaluation of each situation results in creative solutions for clients – whether debtors, creditors, or otherwise – allowing them to get the most that they can out of a bankruptcy or non-bankruptcy proceeding while avoiding the decline in business value that can accompany any financial difficulties.

Devoted to the improvement of the practice of bankruptcy and insolvency law, he is an active member of the Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project (CBAP), the Philadelphia bankruptcy bar’s pro bono arm, and is serving as president of CBAP in 2024 and 2026. He also served as co-chair of the committee that redrafted the local bankruptcy court’s rules.

His pro bono work involves representing indigent clients, including prisoners’ civil rights, bankruptcy, uninsured personal injury defense, and death penalty defense, including a successful effort to demonstrate that a client was not subject to the death penalty because of his mental retardation. In addition, Matt has been appointed as pro bono counsel in several cases in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Prior to joining Hangley Aronchick, Matt was a law clerk for Chief Judge Edward R. Becker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Representative Appellate Matters

  • Briefed, argued and won an appeal to Pennsylvania Superior Court representing defense concerning $1 million jury verdict based on flawed expert testimony about plaintiff’s claimed long-term injuries and plaintiff’s misuse of court interpreter. Garced v. United Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia & Vicinity.
  • Led briefing on appeal in obtaining a decision for the defense from Pennsylvania Superior Court limiting liability of mental health services organizations for death and injuries to third parties from assault committed by patient of organization. Sinoracki v. Children’s Serv. Ctr. of Wyoming Valley.
  • Led appellate team in obtaining a decision for the defense from Pennsylvania Superior Court, defeating plaintiff’s request for a new trial of $100,000 jury verdict and rejecting the plaintiff’s procedural and evidentiary challenges. Landau v. Jadco Enterprises, Inc.
  • Part of appellate team representing the Philadelphia District Attorney in appeals to Pennsylvania Supreme Court of successful challenge to impeachment proceedings brought by members of the state legislature.
  • Managed complex appellate litigation involving oversight of troubled school district. Appellate litigation involved multiple appeals, request for Supreme Court Kings’ Bench review, and extensive disputes over stays pending appeal. E.g., Commonwealth, Dept. of Educ. v. Empowerment Bd. of Control of Chester-Upland School Dist.
  • Briefed, argued and won appeal of a bankruptcy court’s decision dismissing the Chapter 13 bankruptcy of debtor on motion of creditor, because debtor did not meet qualifications for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Bennett v. Bon Secours Mercy Health, Inc.
  • Part of appellate team advising insurer in various appeals in Pennsylvania courts concerning coverage for loss of business due to COVID-19 pandemic under business property insurance policies.
  • Appointed as pro bono counsel for a mother facing a potential termination of parental rights. Briefed and argued a successful appeal to Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Interest of K.T., 296 A.3d 1085 (Pa. 2023)
  • Led a team a special litigation counsel for a municipality in Chapter 9 bankruptcy case, prosecuting action against bondholders challenging claim that their loans are secured by revenues owed to city by third parties. Won summary judgment for municipality as to all amounts in dispute. City of Chester v. PHCC, LLC (In re City of Chester). Also defeated bondholders’ challenge to eligibility of municipality to file Chapter 9 bankruptcy case. In re City of Chester.
  • Led a team defending a bank in fraudulent transfer claim brought by Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee concerning Ponzi scheme perpetrated by the bankrupt debtor. Obtained recommended decision from bankruptcy court granting summary judgment on substantially all of trustee’s claims. Feldman as Trustee of Estate of Image Masters, Inc. v. ABN AMBRO Mortg. Grp., Inc.
  • Serving as lead bankruptcy counsel for an excess insurer of the Boy Scouts of America, representing insurer’s interests in bankruptcy proceedings and appeals, as well as coverage action and other proceedings.
  • Advising the directors’ and officers’ policy insurer of USA Gymnastics as bankruptcy counsel in bankruptcy proceedings, coverage action and appeals.
  • Acting as special litigation counsel for debtor in Chapter 11 bankruptcy case and representing client in patent litigation and motion practice concerning whether the dispute should be resolved in bankruptcy court or the original forum.
  • Counseled a receiver of company that leased automobiles to rental-car companies. Managed receivership of $26 million book value of assets, of which receiver recovered nearly $20 million, including through litigation with lessees nationwide.
  • Advised the receiver of owner of several office buildings. Managed receivership through refinancing of property and recovery of damages and attorneys’ fees for owner’s contempt of receivership order.
  • Served as lead counsel for a nonprofit corporation in a contested Chapter 11 bankruptcy case arising out of a dispute with its bank over real estate loans. Guided client through numerous evidentiary hearings on the use of cash collateral and the bank’s effort to appoint a trustee, as well as litigating lender liability and equitable subordination claims. Ultimately used mediation to negotiate a settlement that resolved the dispute with the bank and allowed the nonprofit to return to focusing on its original mission.

Representative Business and Complex Litigation Matters

  • Acting as trial counsel for national law firm in defense of legal malpractice claims arising out of bankruptcy case filed by plaintiff.
  • Representing the Pennsylvania Treasury in various cases relating to administration of unclaimed property law, including enforcement of subpoena for holder records in connection with audit of records of holder of unclaimed property, and defense of constitutional claims brought by alleged owner of unclaimed property held by Treasury.
  • Represents owners of apartment buildings and other business properties in challenges to school district’s attempts to reassess commercial properties as violations of constitutional requirement of uniformity in taxation, including discovery, trials, and appeals.
  • Served as lead counsel for several former officers of a large, bankrupt company in a successful defense of securities class action, civil RICO, and related claims, in which summary judgment was granted in favor of clients. In re DVI, Inc. Securities Litigation.

Honors & Awards


Ranked in Chambers USA, Pennsylvania: Bankruptcy and Restructuring, 2012 – 202

Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights and Reorganization Law, 2013 –2024

Listed in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers for Bankruptcy: Business, 2014 – 2024

Named a 2011 Lawyer on the Fast Track by The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly

Received the Juvenile Law Center’s First Annual Pro Bono Award, 2008

Repeatedly named a Pennsylvania and New Jersey Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazines as the result of a statewide survey of lawyers

Michigan Law Review, Articles Editor

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Memberships & Community

Eastern District of Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Conference, 2001 – Present

American Bankruptcy Institute, 2001 – Present

American Bar Association, Litigation and Business Law Sections

Pennsylvania Bar Association, Appellate Advocacy Committee

Philadelphia Bar Association, Appellate Courts Committee


Quoted in “Pa. Superior Court Affirms Sanctions for Plaintiffs, Vacating of $1M Jury Verdict,” The Legal Intelligencer, December 12, 2023

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