• Yale Law School (J.D., 1998)
  • Tulane University (B.S., Economics, 1995), summa cum laude

A. Matthew Ashley is a partner in the Newport Beach office of Irell & Manella LLP and a member of the firm's litigation practice group. Mr. Ashley's practice is in business litigation, with an emphasis in complex commercial matters. With a coast-to-coast practice, Mr. Ashley has handled high-stakes litigation over mortgage and asset backed securities, class action defense, intellectual property, tax shelters, hedge funds, subprime mortgage disputes, business torts, securities fraud, trade secrets, broker-dealer regulation and activities, professional negligence, employment law, contract disputes, commercial insurance recovery, and real estate.

In 2014-2018, Super Lawyers magazine named Mr. Ashley a Southern California “Super Lawyer,” and national legal publication, Law360, featured Mr. Ashley in its Trial Pros series. 

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Representative Matters

Countrywide Mortgage Backed Securities Cases

Matt Ashley played a leading role in the firm's representation of the former CEO and Chairman of Countrywide in a series of securities fraud cases over mortgage backed securities, helping to secure dismissals of the vast majority of the cases at the pleading stage.

Subprime Lending Cases

Mr. Ashley recently defended a series of securities fraud and breach of fiduciary duty cases involving subprime lending, mortgage backed securities, and monoline credit guaranty insurance. For instance, Mr. Ashley  served as lead counsel for a group of senior officers of a bankrupt subprime lender who were charged with a variety of claims under state law, including breach of fiduciary duty.

Confidential AAA Arbitration

Mr. Ashley recently served as lead trial counsel for a partner in a real estate joint venture who was sued by his partner for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract. After a full hearing on the merits, all claims of wrongdoing alleged against Mr. Ashley's client were rejected by the Arbitration Panel.

Edward M. Wolkowitz, as Trustee for Imperial Credit Industries, Inc. v. Perry A. Lerner, Santa Monica Pictures, LLC, and Corona Film Finance Fund, LLC (C.D. Cal.)

Mr. Ashley served as lead trial counsel for a bankruptcy trustee suing a former director of the bankrupt company and that director's affiliated companies. The trustee alleged that the former director breached his fiduciary duties to the company by selling an unfair and unreasonable tax shelter to his company.  After a ten day trial, Mr. Ashley's client prevailed on all claims. The tax shelter transaction was voided, and the defendants were ordered to return all money paid in the transaction plus prejudgment interest for over a decade, totaling $27 million.

212 Investment Corp. et al. v. Myron Kaplan, Kaplan Nathan & Co. LLC, et al. (New York Supreme Court and AAA arbitration)

Mr. Ashley was lead trial counsel for one of two co-general partners who were sued in a three year arbitration and trial court proceeding over an alleged hedge fund fraud. After seventeen days of arbitration hearings, the three member Panel denied all claims against Mr. Ashley's client and awarded Mr. Ashley's client all of his attorneys' fees and costs expended in defending himself, totaling in excess of $1.6 million. The other general partner suffered a $77 million arbitration award.

Confidential AAA Arbitration

Mr. Ashley was part of the trial team in a confidential AAA arbitration involving a dispute over San Diego and North Los Angeles County real property worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Mr. Ashley's client was alleged to have improperly and fraudulently obtained partnership property in breach of his fiduciary duties to his partner. After sixteen days of arbitration hearings, the arbitrator denied all claims against Mr. Ashley's client and awarded him the disputed real estate. No challenge to the arbitration award was ever made.  

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Professional Activities

  • Orange County Bar Association; Association of Business Trial Lawyers; Federal Bar Association
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Bar & Court Admissions

  • 1998, California
  • United States District Courts within California; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; Second Circuit Court of Appeals