Matthew David Ridings
Matt is a partner in the firm's Competition, Antitrust & White-Collar Crime practice group. Matt's practice covers the landscape of competition and anti-corruption related matters, but focuses on criminal and civil antitrust litigation, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and criminal anti-corruption defense, white collar criminal defense, and government investigations. Matt is an experienced litigator that has won jury verdicts in criminal and civil court and has represented both domestic and foreign defendants in criminal investigations and prosecutions.
In addition to litigation, Matt proactively counsels clients on compliance issues related to antitrust, anti-corruption, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Matt has drafted and negotiated distributor and franchise agreements, licensing agreements, sales representative agreements, and other general commercial contracts.
White Collar Crime / Internal Investigations
- Won jury verdict acquitting construction executive of all charges in federal corruption and fraud prosecution (only defendant to win acquittal in 60+ charged).
- Won reversal of convictions in the “Amish Beard Cutting” cases, the first cases brought in the United States under the Hate Crimes Prevention Act for religiously motivated violence.
- Led FCPA and anti-corruption due diligence team in acquisition of multi-national telecommunications company with operations in 70 countries, including Africa, Asia, Russia, and South America.
- Conducted international criminal investigations in emerging markets, including Beijing and Shanghai, and investigated criminal allegations throughout Asia and Europe.
- Represented Taiwanese national in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice; no charges filed.
- Represented foreign national in ongoing world-wide antitrust cartel investigation involving the United States Department of Justice, Japan Fair Trade Commission, and European Commission.
- Conducted investigation into Securities and Exchange Commission allegations of insider trading surrounding a private equity buyout.
- Investigated federal bribery and corruption allegations in connection with construction of public works project.
- Conducted internal investigation regarding alleged false and fraudulent statements made in connection with the sale of securities.
- Conducted investigation of alleged kickback scheme in connection with the sale of securities to public entities.
Antitrust, Distributorship and Anti-Corruption Counseling and Compliance
- Compliance with antitrust laws in business, including application of Sherman and Robinson-Patman Acts, pricing and vertical relationships.
- Compliance with FCPA, UK Bribery Act, and other anti-corruption laws, including the development and implementation of compliance programs.
- Antitrust and anti-corruption compliance training for sales and other high-risk employees.
- Proper structuring of distributorship and franchise arrangements.
- Termination of franchises, distributors, and sales representatives.
- Creation and maintenance of a compliant supply chain, specifically including structuring of pricing programs in compliance with antitrust laws, lawfulness of loyalty discounts and rebates, and appropriate use of vertical distribution arrangements, including resale price maintenance, minimum advertised pricing programs, territorial and customer limitations, and other similar marketing plans.
- Protection and licensing of intellectual property.
- Preparation of distributor, franchise and related licensing agreements.
- Preparation of and lawful use of covenants not to compete.
Antitrust, Competition and Intellectual Property Litigation
- Represented manufacturer of offshore oil drilling equipment in response to Request for Additional Information and Documentary Materials (Second Request) from the Department of Justice and Canadian Competition Bureau; no merger challenge filed.
- Won multi-million dollar jury verdict against former employee accused of misappropriation of corporate trade secrets.
- Won jury verdict and monetary damages for media licensing company in copyright infringement litigation involving Internet infringement.
- Won dismissal of multi-million Dollar antitrust claim against corporate scrap metal executive.
- Secured injunctive relief enforcing non-disclosure and non-competition covenants against several employees in the polymers industry.
- Obtained restraining order preventing Food & Drug Administration from blocking the importation of electronic cigarettes, ruling upheld on appeal.
- Successfully defended manufacturer against price discrimination antitrust claim.
- Secured judgment and permanent injunctive relief enforcing manufacturer's trade dress rights in its products.
- Represented auto glass manufacturer in patent litigation against infringing foreign manufacturer.
- Representation of a manufacturer in an action by a distributor alleging violation of the New Jersey Franchise Practices Act.
- “The Defend Trade Secrets Act: Consequences for Trade Secret Litigation,” Thompson Hine Business Litigation Update, July 2014
- “Court Clarifies Foreign Government ‘Instrumentality’ Under FCPA,” Thompson Hine FCPA/Antibribery Update, May 21, 2014
- “Supreme Court Clarifies False Advertising Standing,” Thompson Hine Unfair Competition Update, April 2014
- Editor, Antitrust Discovery Handbook, 3rd Ed., American Bar Association, 2013
- "Conquer Modern Coconspirator Declarations," For The Defense, January 2013
- "Seeking a Downward Departure for Small Business Impact," For The Defense, July 2011
- Author/editor, Antitrust Law Development (Sixth), 2010 Annual Review, American Bar Association, 2011
- Co-author, "Antitrust Conspiracies in Franchise Systems After American Needle," Franchise Law Journal, 2011
- Contributing author, Business Torts: A Fifty State Guide, Aspen Publishing, 2007 to 2014
- Contributor, Antitrust Handbook for Franchise and Distribution Practitioners, American Bar Association, 2008
- Contributor, Antitrust Law and Economics of Product Distribution, American Bar Association, 2006
- Benchmark Litigation Under 40 Litigation Hot List, 2019
- Selected for inclusion in 2013, 2015, 2017 to 2019 Ohio Super Lawyers® as a Rising Star
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2014, 2016 to 2019
- American Bar Association
- Ohio State Bar Association, Member, Antitrust Section Council, 2011 to 2014
- Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
- Cleveland Legal Aid Society
- Sixth Circuit Criminal Justice Act appointment