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Matthew J. McGowan

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Bankruptcy Attorney in Providence, RI

Salter McGowan Sylvia & Leonard, Inc.
56 Exchange Terrace, Suite 500
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: 800-578-9149
Fax: 401-453-0073
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2021
Licensed in Rhode Island Since: 1982
Practice Areas: Bankruptcy: Business (40%), Banking (30%), Business/Corporate (30%)
Attorney Profile

As a principal attorney at Salter McGowan Sylvia & Leonard, Inc., Matthew J. McGowan works on creditors’ rights, bankruptcy, receivership and other insolvency matters, and on corporate and commercial disputes, restructurings, loan and other transactional matters, and associated litigation.

Matt also advises banks and credit unions in such insolvency matters, in state and federal compliance and defense matters, and in foreclosure and related proceedings in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

He serves as a court-appointed receiver, trustee and master, including in a number of substantial cases, and his work in representing over 100 police and fire-fighter pensioners in the groundbreaking chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy case of the City of Central Falls gained national attention. He formerly worked in the United States Trustee’s office of the Department of Justice in Boston, Massachusetts.

He has received the highest attorney peer-rating by Martindale-Hubbell* for 20 years and has been recognized as among the top 10 lawyers overall in Rhode Island and among the top 100 lawyers overall in New England in the “Super Lawyers” publication. He has published articles, contributed to regional and national law publications, and has spoken extensively at seminars on bankruptcy and insolvency matters, and formerly taught bankruptcy law at Roger Williams University School of Law. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and Catholic University of America School of Law.

* AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas
  • 40%Bankruptcy: Business
  • 30%Banking
  • 30%Business/Corporate
Focus Areas

Bankruptcy Law, Business Formation and Planning, Limited Liability Companies, Partnership, Sub-chapter S Corporations, Contracts, Business Organizations


14 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2021

Certificates and Credentials

About Matthew J. McGowan

First Admitted: 1982, Rhode Island

Professional Webpage:

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Bankruptcy Practice Under the "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005" Prepared and presented materials for United States District Court Conference, Providence, RI, Sept. 22, 2006
  • Understanding the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 in Rhode Island; The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005, Rhode Island Bar Assn., June 2005
  • Researched and wrote federal Board of Bar Admissions Materials on Bankruptcy Law and Procedure, 2005-11, presented with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Votolato
  • Bankruptcy Appeals and Procedures, Rhode Island Bar Association, October 2004
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Northeast Bankruptcy Conference, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, Speaker on Bankruptcy Topics, July 2004
  • Bankruptcy Litigation, National Business Institute, October 2003
  • Judgment Enforcement in Rhode Island, Lorman Educational Services, May 2003
  • Real Estate in Bankruptcy and Receivership, Rhode Island Bar Association, October 2002
  • Commercial Lending Requirements and Loan Documentation in Rhode Island, August 2001
  • Non-bankruptcy Alternatives, American Bankruptcy Institute, Northeast Bankruptcy Conference, Stowe, Vermont, July 12-15, 2001
  • Collection Law From Start to Finish, National Business Institute seminar, Nov. 8, 2006
  • Author, Why We Should All Be Booing Boodrow, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, July-August 2000 Edition
  • Automatic Stay Implications for Lenders Under BAPCPA, American Bankruptcy Institute, Northeast Bankruptcy Conference, Newport, RI, July 13-14, 2007
  • What All Attorneys Should Know About Bankruptcy and Receivership Law and Practice, Rhode Island Bar Association, Annual Meeting June 18-19, 2009
  • Author, The Peculiar Incidents of Tenancies by the Entirety, Rhode Island Bar Journal, 1999
  • Author and Presenter, Bankruptcy vs. Receiverships: How Do They Differ, and Corporations and LLC's In Insolvency Contexts and How They Differ, R.I. Bar Association, Annual Meeting sessions, 2010
  • Author, Enjoining Enforcement of 100% Tax Penalty in Corporate Chapter 11 Cases, Rhode Island Bar Journal, 1986
  • Advanced Consumer Bankruptcy Issues in Rhode Island, February 2001 Basic Bankruptcy Litigation, May 2000
  • Bankruptcy and Personal Injury Cases: Direct Actions vs. Insurers, October 1998
  • Protecting Creditors from Bankruptcy and Bad Debt Losses, December 1997
  • Speaker at Rhode Island Certified Public Accountants CPE Program on Bankruptcy, November 1995
  • R.I. Tax Officials Assn. Talk on Bankruptcy Law, June 1995
  • Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law, February 1995
  • The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994, R.I. Bar Association, CLE Seminar, January 1995
  • Faculty Member, Environmental Claims in Bankruptcy Cases, American Bankruptcy Institute's First Northeast Bankruptcy Conference, Ogunquit, Maine, July 21-24, 1994
  • Teacher, Roger Williams University School of Law
  • Contributing Author, A Practical Guide to Residential Real Estate Transactions and Foreclosures in Rhode Island, MCLE Treatise, March 21, 2012
  • Contributing Author, Bankruptcy Exemption Manual, West Publishing Company's national Bankruptcy Series, 2000-present
  • Author and Presenter, Recent Developments in Receivership & Insolvency Law and on Municipal Financial Distress, R.I. Bar Association, Annual Meeting sessions, 2014, 2016 and 2017


  • Top 100 Lawyers Overall in New England, Super Lawyers
  • Certificate of Appreciation, United States District Court, District of Rhode Island
  • Highest Attorney Peer-rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Top 10 Lawyers Overall in Rhode Island 

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Court's Board of Bar Admissions, 2005-2011
  • Federal Board of Bar Admissions (Bankruptcy Law Presentation) by United States District Court Judge Torres (2005), and re-appointed for further three-year term by Chief Judge Lisi (2008).

Educational Background

  • Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, 1982
  • University of Rhode Island, 1978

Industry Groups

  • Banks
  • Credit Unions
  • Health Care
  • Internet
  • Medical Device Manufacturing
  • Precious Metals
  • Professional Practices And Family Businesses
  • Seafood Processing
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Office Location for Matthew J. McGowan

56 Exchange Terrace
Suite 500
Providence, RI 02903

Phone: 800-578-9149

Fax: 401-453-0073

Last Updated: 12/29/2020

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