Matthew P. Downer

Associate Litigation


Matthew Downer is a litigation associate in Kirkland’s Washington, D.C., office. His practice focuses on complex commercial cases at the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts across the country. He has represented clients in litigation matters across a broad array of subject areas, including class actions, anti-trust, contracts, labor and employment, mergers and acquisitions, patent infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and unfair trade practices.

Before joining Kirkland, Matthew served as a Law Clerk for Judge Raymond Kethledge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and for Judge Amul Thapar of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Prior to law school, Matthew managed business operations for a technology company in Palo Alto, California and, before that, served four years in the United States Marine Corps, deploying to Afghanistan in 2010.


Thought Leadership

Tentative Interpretations: The Abracadabra of Administrative Rulemaking and the End of Alaska Hunters, 67 VAND. L. REV. 875 (2014)

The People or the Court: Who Reigns Supreme, How, and Why?, 4 J.L.: PERIODICAL LABORATORY OF LEG. SCHOLARSHIP 31 (2014)


Gellhorn-Sargentich Writing Award, Administrative Law Section of the ABA

Kirkland & Ellis Pro Bono Award, 2016, 2017

Memberships & Affiliations

Federalist Society, D.C. Young Lawyers Steering Committee


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 2017District of Columbia
  • 2015Tennessee


  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Supreme Court of Tennessee


  • Vanderbilt Law SchoolJ.D.2014

    Order of the Coif 

    Executive Editor, Vanderbilt Law Review

    Thomas W. Beasley Scholar 

    Federalist Society, Vice President

  • Harvard UniversityA.B., Government2007