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Matthew H. Adler

Matthew H. Adler is a partner in the Philadelphia office of Pepper Hamilton LLP, where he chairs the International and Domestic Arbitration Practice Group and co-chairs the Commercial Litigation Practice Group. He is a past member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Mr. Adler handles commercial disputes before international, administrative and judicial bodies, including federal and state courts, government agencies and arbitration panels in the United States and abroad. He has tried cases before the courts and arbitral panels in a number of different commercial areas, including breach of international supply contracts, sovereign immunity, sale of business, restrictive covenant, intellectual property, insurance coverage, real estate and lender liability.

Mr. Adler consistently wins cases for the firm’s clients in all of these arenas. The following recent decisions are representative of his work:

  • LT Propco LLC v. Westfield Garden State Plaza Ltd., A-2529-09T1 (affirmed New Jersey Appellate Division 2010) (motion to dismiss for major developer sued by sub-tenant)
  • Medallion Products v. McAlister, N.D. Ill., No. 06-2597 (2008 dismissal on summary judgment of 12 of 14 counts vs. client including Lanham Act, false advertising, and breach of contract; 2009 dismissal of remaining 2 counts; plaintiff dismissed all claims with no monetary or other consideration from client)
  • GNSS v. Tenex, May 2007, Stockholm Chamber of Arbitration (liability award against state-owned enterprise invoking force majeure defense)
  • Moran v. DaVita, D.N.J., No. 06-5620, March 23, 2009 (summary judgment dismissal of contract and employment claims)
  • Trans-Global Petroleum v. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, ICSID Case No. Arb. 07/25 (June 2008 denial of sovereign’s motion to dismiss in first reported ICSID Rule 41(5) decision)
  • El Hennawy v. DaVita, Kings County, NY (2005 summary judgment in $155 million defamation claim)
  • Evans, Conger, Broussard & Mcrea v. Maconaghey, Montgomery County, No. 02-04737 (Montgomery County, PA Court of Common Pleas) (2007 two-day successful bench trial in restrictive covenant action)
  • Sportvision v. SportsMedia Technology Corporation, N.D. Cal. No. C04-3115B2 (2005 summary judgment for client in trademark dispute over color yellow as used in Monday Night Football’s “first down” line)
  • GNSS v. Tenex, No. 04-1007 (4th Cir. 2005) (holding foreign government nuclear sales entity liable for suit under commercial activity exception in Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act)
  • Whitesell Enterprises v. Brandywine Realty Trust, Camden County NJ Equity Division, No. C-71-99 (affirmed New Jersey Appellate Division 2004) (summary judgment for defendant on plaintiff’s claims of liability and defendant’s counterclaims in case of first impression under New Jersey law on unilateral and mutual mistake in contract)
  • Pennsville et al. v. Conectiv, New Jersey Appellate Division, No. 57252, November 2004 (successful defense of rate structure for utility in suit by developers seeking class action status)
  • DeMarco v. A.R. DeMarco Enterprises, Inc., Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Atlantic County, 2003, No. ATL-C-80-04 (successful defense of motion by shareholder in close corporation to prevent sale of corporate assets and to displace management in favor of appointment of receiver)
  • Karl v. Renal Treatment Centers, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, May Term, 2000, No. 3129 (jury verdict for defendant client on contract claims involving merger agreement, Fall 2002)
  • Brandywine Realty Trust v. Grubb & Ellis, Bergen County, NJ, No. BER-L-7828-99, (2000 summary judgment for plaintiff in commercial real estate broker commission case)
  • New Knight v. Wilson, No. 96-01119 (Chester County, PA Court of Common Pleas) (2000 one-week jury trial, verdict for plaintiff client on post-closing adjustments in asset purchase agreement)
  • African Holding Co. v. OPIC (1995 liability award against U.S. government expropriation insurer for United States client with assets expropriated in Zaire)
  • 1726 Cherry Street Partnership v. Bell Atlantic Properties, Inc., No. 2023, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, January Term, 1990 (March 22, 1993) (successful defense of commercial real estate developer in seminal case under Pennsylvania’s parole evidence rule).
In addition, Mr. Adler has represented clients in complex commercial litigation matters, that have settled with successful results for the firm’s clients. A selection of engagements includes the representation of:
  • an Israeli seller in post-closing adjustment litigation following buy/sell agreement
  • a major national developer in suit by national brand shopping center concerning expansion rights (New Jersey court)
  • a buyer of mortgage services business in post-closing adjustment litigation (Pennsylvania court)
  • a national telemarketing business in contract and intellectual property right dispute with alleged licensor (Louisiana court)
  • a Dutch buyer of U.S. equipment business in post-closing dispute.
Mr. Adler is presently representing parties in a variety of complex transborder commercial disputes, including:
  • representation of buyer (London, England court) (pending)
  • arbitration proceedings in India concerning international disputes in real estate joint venture
  • representation of Italian biotech company in licensing and contract disputes with U.S. licensees (California and Pennsylvania courts, and Geneva (ICC) arbitration (pending).
In addition, Mr. Adler counsels clients on a variety of international and administrative issues, most recently in the first major case to be heard by the New Delhi branch of the London Court of International Arbitration. He also has acted in international arbitration for parties in London against a former Soviet Republic over privatization fees, in parallel U.S. litigation and Swedish arbitration proceedings concerning Russian uranium, and in China regarding sale of commercial equipment. He has arbitrated cases before the China International Economic Trade and Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

In April 2008, Mr. Adler, on behalf of a United States company suing the Jordanian government before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), won a case of first impression regarding ICSID’s rules of pleading cases against sovereign states. In March 2007, Mr. Adler won a liability award against a Russian government-owned seller of uranium involving issues of first impression regarding force majeure claims by sovereign states.

Mr. Adler was selected for inclusion on the 2014 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list.

Mr. Adler is an adjunct professor of international law at Rutgers Law School. He is a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law and the State Department’s Working Group on a Judgment Enforcement treaty. He is a vice chair of the American Bar Association’s Section on International Law, Committee on Private International Law. He has published in American and English journals on a number of topics in international litigation and arbitration, including a 2006 article in the Northwestern University School of Law’s Journal of International Law and Business on the pending Hague Conference treaty on judgment enforcement. Mr. Adler is a frequent speaker on these subjects.

Mr. Adler joined Pepper as a litigation associate in 1989, and became a partner in January 1993. Prior to joining Pepper, he was an associate with the Washington, D.C. office of Steptoe & Johnson, and then spent three years in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the United States Department of State, where he concentrated in international arbitration and Latin American affairs.

B.S. 1980 Cornell University
J.D. 1983 Columbia Law School

Bar Admissions
Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Matthew H. Adler
Phone: 215.981.4802
Fax: 215.981.4750
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Practice Area(s)
Class Action Litigation

Commercial Litigation
Insurance & Reinsurance

International and Domestic Arbitration

Israel Desk
Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Practice Team

Pro Bono/Public Service


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