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Matthew A. C. Zapf has more than 30 years of experience representing clients in ;various phases of litigation. He focuses his practice on a wide-range of complex commercial litigation and FCPA counseling. Additionally, Matt counsels companies on document retention programs, the use of internal litigation management systems to handle litigation claims more efficiently, and assists clients in creating litigation prevention programs. He also has a great deal of experience in litigation and arbitration matters outside of the United States.

Previously, Matt served as head of the litigation department of another national law firm and as Chief Litigation Counsel for Caterpillar Inc. In those capacities, he served as regional and national counsel for clientele on a full range of complex litigation matters.

Matt is also a strong supporter of pro bono work, and regularly appears in the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of criminal defendants.


  • Commercial Litigation
  • Product Liability and Toxic Torts
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Federal Corrupt Practices Act
  • Employment Litigation
  • Class Action/Mass Tort


Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Illinois Super Lawyers, 2005-2023     
  • Listed, Leading Lawyers Network, 2010-2023
    • Products Liability Defense Law
    • Toxic Torts Defense Law
  • Team Member, Law360 "Product Liability Practice Group of the Year," 2011, 2021-2022
  • Team Member, The American Lawyer’s “Products Liability Litigation Department of the Year,” 2018
  • Member, Chicago Bar Foundation
    • Board of Directors
    • Grant's Committee
    • Vice-Chair, "Investing in Justice" Campaign
    • Lincoln Circle of Justice
  • Board of Directors, Illinois Association of Court Appointed Special Advocates
  • Member, Chicago Bar Association
  • Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University School of Law (Trial Advocacy)
  • Faculty, Bartlett Center for Trial Strategy, Bluhm Legal Clinic
  • Lecturer, The John Marshall Law School
  • Lecturer, Marquette University Law School
  • Member, Parish Council, Saints Faith, Hope & Charity Parish, Winnetka, Illinois


  • J.D., Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, 1987
    • Note and Comment Editor, Northwestern University Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology
  • B.A., magna cum laude, University of Notre Dame, 1984
    • Rhodes Scholar Candidate
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, including Trial Bar