Matthew J. O’Hara is a Partner in the Litigation Practice of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee. Mr. O’Hara was previously a Partner with Freeborn & Peters, which combined with SGR in 2023.
Mr. O’Hara is a business trial lawyer who concentrates his practice in the litigation and trial of complex commercial matters in federal and state courts and matters involving the law of lawyering. He has tried cases involving the federal securities laws, antitrust laws, breach of fiduciary duty, trade secrets, trademark infringement, breach of contract, legal malpractice, contract reformation, unjust enrichment, license agreements, executive employment, the Uniform Commercial Code, fraud, and criminal defense. Mr. O’Hara also litigates private shareholder and partnership disputes, fraudulent transfers, defamation, and other commercial matters. He has represented clients in investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. He is also experienced in briefing and arguing state and federal appeals. In the legal industry, Mr. O’Hara represents law firms and lawyers in litigation, counseling, and disciplinary defense, and serves as an expert witness in cases involving legal ethics and professional liability.
Mr. O’Hara is very active in providing pro bono legal services. In 2008, he was one of the recipients of the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago’s “Bill of Rights in Action” Award. He has been quoted concerning his pro bono representations in a variety of publications and on a number of news programs, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald, The Wall Street Journal, El País (Spain), ABC (Spain), El Mundo (Spain), Radio Free Europe, the BBC, Radio Nacional Argentina, the American Lawyer, the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and the CBA Record.
Before joining the Firm, Mr. O’Hara was a Partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, where he served on the Executive Committee and as co-chair of the Lawyers Professional Liability practice group. Mr. O’Hara began his legal career in 1996 at Sachnoff & Weaver, Ltd., which merged with Reed Smith LLP in 2007. He served as a deputy general counsel to Reed Smith, advising the firm on ethics and risk management.
Mr. O’Hara earned his B.A. in English & Economics, with honors, from Northwestern University. He received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he graduated as Valedictorian.