Matthew D. Cavenaugh
Matthew Cavenaugh is a trial lawyer who focuses on complex business bankruptcy litigation.
A seasoned actor and former judicial law clerk, Matt understands the importance of communicating complex legal arguments with clarity and conviction – both in and out of court. From the moment a client steps in the door until closing argument, Matt uses his distinctive talents for storytelling, humor, and creativity to persuasively and fiercely advocate for his clients.
Matt is at home in bankruptcy court, where he regularly represents secured and unsecured creditors, debtors, Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 trustees, third-party purchasers and other interest holders in a wide variety of insolvency and restructuring matters. Matt has extensive experience representing third-party purchasers of assets through Chapter 11 reorganizations, including oil & gas and intellectual property assets. In addition to bankruptcy litigation, he has extensive experience pursuing and litigating corporate fraud claims.
Prior to joining Jackson Walker, Matt served over two years as judicial law clerk to United States Bankruptcy Judges Wesley W. Steen and Judge Marvin Isgur (SDTX).
B.A., with honors, Trinity University
- Distinguished Student of Drama
J.D., South Texas College of Law Houston
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas
United States District Court for the Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas
Recent representations include:
- Representation of a petitioning creditor in an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding over a chain of retail medical spas. After contentious litigation with shareholders, officers, and affiliates, obtained an order for relief and the appointment of a Chapter 11 trustee over the debtor.
- Representation of a petrochemical company holding a multimillion-dollar unsecured claim against a multinational paint manufacturer. Successfully achieved appointment to creditors’ committee and favorable recovery of claim through bankruptcy asset sale.
- Representation of a national steel processing company in lawsuit concerning fraud and theft by the company’s former finance officer. After a three-week trial, successfully obtained judgment of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, with damages in excess of $1 million.
- Representation of a Chapter 11 debtor in possession owner of an industrial wax company. Following protracted litigation with a competitor, obtained confirmation of a plan of reorganization.
- Representation of former owner of major league sports team in bankruptcy litigation related to sale of broadcast network.
- Representation of a Chapter 11 debtor in possession operator of a petrochemical disposal facility in Laredo, Texas. After protracted litigation with landlord, obtained confirmation of a plan of reorganization.
- Representation of an institutional lender in the recovery of real estate collateral and subsequent bankruptcy auction and sale.
- Representation of national broadcast network in fraudulent transfer litigation.
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2021
- Ranked for Bankruptcy/Restructuring – Texas
- Lawdragon 500 Leading Global Restructuring & Insolvency Lawyers, 2020
- Texas Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, 2018-2021
- H Texas Top Lawyers of Houston, 2020
- The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White Inc.), 2018-2022
- Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2019-2022
- Litigation – Bankruptcy, 2018-2022
- “Top Lawyer: Bankruptcy, Workout, and Debt” in Best of Houstonia, Houstonia Magazine, 2018, 2020
- “Texas Rising Star,” Thomson Reuters, 2013-2018
- Houston Association of Young Bankruptcy Lawyers, President, 2016-2017
- National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges NextGen Program, Participant, 2017
- American Bankruptcy Institute
- Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Moller-Foltz American Inns of Court
- Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, Steer Committee
- “Bigger In Texas: Ch. 11s In Lone Star State Outpace Delaware,” Law360 (May 2021)
- “Brazos Electric Coop Files for Bankruptcy,” The Texas Lawbook (March 2021)
- “Bankruptcy Experts: More Pain and Uncertainty Coming,” The Texas Lawbook (December 2020)
- “The Battle of the Texas Bankruptcy Legal Advisors – A Statistical Analysis of the Firms and Lawyers,” The Texas Lawbook (August 2020)
- “Bankrupt Hertz Seeks Permission To Raise $1 Billion In Preposterous New Stock Sale,” Forbes (June 2020)
- “Texas bankruptcies are up, and Houston is the epicenter,” Houston Chronicle (May 2020)
- “‘There is a Tsunami Coming’,” The Texas Lawbook (May 2020)
- “It’s Official: Neiman Marcus Files for Bankruptcy – Updated,” The Texas Lawbook (May 2020)
- “$20 Per Barrel Oil Sends Energy Companies to Restructuring Specialists in Droves,” Houston Chronicle (March 2020)
- “U.S. Shale’s Growth Rate Peaked Last Year, Slower Gains Ahead,” Reuters; The New York Times (June 2019)