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Morgan C. Nighan



Morgan is a tenacious advocate and litigator with extensive experience representing clients in the healthcare and financial services industries. She draws on over a decade of courtroom and litigation experience to help clients meet challenges, resolve business disputes, and manage risk and compliance considerations that impact their success. Morgan takes the time to understand her clients’ businesses, and she presents efficient solutions that resolve disputes and align with their goals.

What do you focus on?

Healthcare

I lead the firm’s Healthcare Dispute Resolution Team, advising clients on pre-litigation compliance counseling, dispute resolution, litigation, government investigations, and corporate restructurings across the country. I have delivered successful results for hospitals and hospital associations in New Hampshire, New York, and Texas through administrative agency litigation against the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

COVID-19

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I counseled hundreds of companies on compliance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Economic Aid Act, and related legislation, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Provider Relief Fund (PRF). I represent clients in administrative litigation regarding these programs against the Small Business Administration (SBA), CMS, and HHS. I provide advice about the risks of distributing COVID-19 vaccines and the immunity protection available pursuant to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act.

Restructuring and Bankruptcy

I represent Chapter 11 debtors, creditors, and other parties in complex bankruptcy litigation. My work includes the contested confirmation trials of Energy Future Holdings Corp. in Delaware, where I litigated and tried claims for $1 billion in principal and interest, and a contested adversary proceeding involving client Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. I frequently represent clients in the healthcare industry as both debtors and creditors. I also co-chair the Boston Bar Association (BBA) Bankruptcy Steering Committee and serve on the board of directors for the New England Chapter of the International Women’s Restructuring and Insolvency Confederation (IWRIC).

Complex Financial Disputes

I represent companies in connection with contract disputes, business torts, employment claims, and other commercial and financial matters.

Government Investigations and White Collar

I defend companies and individuals under investigation by governmental agencies, including U.S. and state attorney general offices, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Trusted Advisor and Connector

I draw on over ten years of experience at Nixon Peabody and the experience and talent of more than 600 attorney colleagues to develop strategic legal solutions for clients. If I am unable to answer your question, I know the attorney who can. 

What do you see on the horizon?

Many companies who accessed COVID-19-related federal stimulus funding through the CARES Act and related legislation face audits or investigations by Congress or federal agencies. My colleagues and I have created a playbook of best practices and defense strategies to mitigate the consequences of these inquiries on our clients.

Representative Experience

COVID-19

  • Provide compliance advice to hundreds of companies related to the PPP loan program and represent borrowers in potential litigation and pre-suit negotiations with the SBA
  • Successfully represented a healthcare company in administrative appeal of the SBA’s denial of forgiveness of a $10 million PPP loan; secured a reversal of the SBA’s decision
  • Represent providers in connection with compliance advice and disputes with HHS related to the PRF
  • Counsel a public company in COVID-19-related “pump and dump” SEC investigation
  • Advise a laboratory in Massachusetts regarding risk mitigation related to COVID-19 vaccine storage and immunity available pursuant to the PREP Act
  • Represent a skilled nursing facility in a civil and criminal investigation in Massachusetts regarding false-positive COVID-19 test results received from a laboratory
  • Advise a digital healthcare company regarding risk mitigation related to COVID-19-testing supply chain and perform extensive compliance analysis regarding PREP Act

Healthcare

  • Represent a hospice care company in SEC False Claims Act investigation regarding Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements
  • Counsel to hospitals in New Hampshire, Connecticut, and New York in litigation against the CMS regarding the calculation of disproportionate share payments under the Medicaid statute; secured an injunction against CMS regarding enforcement of illegally enacted policies (upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit) and won a fee award pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act
  • Represent a large hospital in complex civil litigation and a government investigation related to a Hepatitis C outbreak, with a complex privacy law and privilege overlay

Healthcare Restructurings

  • Represented a nonprofit New Hampshire hospital in restructuring—the deal negotiated allowed the hospital to continue its charitable mission of providing healthcare to its community
  • Advise on restructuring of group of nursing homes in Chapter 11 proceedings in Massachusetts
  • Represent St. Francis Hospital in Chapter 11 restructuring in New York City

Financial Institutions, Banking Services, Restructuring

  • Represent many companies in connection with accessing CARES Act funding, including PPP funds, the Main Street Lending Program, and the PRF
  • Counsel to the indenture trustee for bondholders of an energy company in one of the largest bankruptcy litigations in US Bankruptcy Court, including three contested confirmation trials of complex intercompany liabilities, corporate governance, and rights to post-petition interest and “make-whole” premiums
  • Represent Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in a bankruptcy adversary proceeding against J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.
  • Represent State Street bank in various employment and compliance-related litigation
  • Represent several companies in fraudulent transfer and preference actions
  • Advise on restructure of a for-profit school in Chapter 11 proceedings in Massachusetts
  • Represent a banker involved in municipal bond financing of 38 Studios video game company against SEC fraud claims
  • Represent a bank in two FINRA arbitrations regarding language in U5 disclosures
  • Represent a registered representative in FINRA arbitration regarding suitability of annuity products
  • Represent Canadian bank in international check kiting scheme. Secured an attachment and trustee process in Massachusetts Superior Court
  • Defeated preliminary injunction in the Business Litigation Session of Massachusetts Superior Court on behalf of life insurance company in cost-of-insurance litigation

Complex Commercial Disputes

  • Represent Boston-based brewery in a purported class-action securities fraud case in the Southern District of New York
  • Won successful jury verdict for a fitness franchisor, after a six-day jury trial in Massachusetts Superior Court regarding the violation of non-compete agreements
  • Represent a music technology company in suit against former CEO for fraud and corporate theft; secured a preliminary injunction and trustee process in Massachusetts Superior Court
  • Obtained successful outcome for real estate developer in mechanic’s lien litigation, with decision affirmed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
  • Represented a real estate developer in a commercial dispute regarding radiant heat flooring installation; defeated motion to attached real estate in Massachusetts Superior Court
  • Counsel to companies in shareholder disputes related to merger transactions and books and records demands under Delaware law
  • Represent a fitness franchisor in purported class-action lawsuit related to allegations that membership agreements violate New Jersey consumer protection laws
  • Represent the founder and majority shareholder of a technology company in a shareholder dispute regarding a breach of fiduciary duty in connection with a company asset sale

Government Investigations and White-Collar Defense

  • Counsel a multinational corporation in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigation
  • Represent a company in an investigation regarding alleged violations of Massachusetts bribery and gratuity statutes
  • Represent a global manufacturer in multiple Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations

Pro Bono

  • In partnership with the ACLU, representing two teachers in a constitutional challenge to the “Banned Concepts Act” in New Hampshire
  • Represent a Virginia death row inmate in the United States Supreme Court
  • Represent a political party in a First Amendment case in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • Preserved New York State women prisoners’ access to prison nursery programs by successful appeal to the New York Court of Appeals
  • Volunteer hundreds of hours with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Election Protection program
  • Represent Chelsea Housing Authority in fraud litigation against its former executive director

ACLU-NH, NEA challenge attempt to have "divisive concepts" lawsuit tossed

New Hampshire Union Leader | May 23, 2022

This article covers a brief filed by a group of parents, teachers, and lawyers in a case challenging a New Hampshire law that regulates what can be taught in classrooms. The brief, which objects to attempts to dismiss the parties’ lawsuit, highlights concerns that the law discourages public school teachers from teaching and talking about race, sex, sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity in the classroom. NP is mentioned as one of the organizations that filed the initial lawsuit in December 2021. The NP team includes Manchester Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Dave Vicinanzo, Boston Complex Disputes partner Morgan Nighan, and New York GIWC partner Travis Hill.

Truly Seltzer maker says investors' stock suit has no case

Law360 | March 17, 2022

This article covers a motion to dismiss a class action securities lawsuit against Boston Beer Co. related to sales of hard seltzer, and mentions Boston Complex Disputes partners George Skelly and Morgan Nighan and Rochester Privacy & Technology partner Rick McGuirk for representing Boston Beer Co

Government audit and enforcement regarding pandemic relief funds in 2022

New Hampshire Bar News | January 28, 2022

Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Morgan Nighan, Manchester Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner David Vicinanzo, and Manchester Complex Commercial Disputes associate Kierstan Schultz contributed this article related to healthcare providers that have received coronavirus relief funds, and what those organizations should be aware of as we enter the audit and enforcement phase of government relief programs.

NH's largest teachers' union joins suit over law restricting teachings on racism, oppression

New Hampshire Public Radio | December 20, 2021

This following article covers a new lawsuit in New Hampshire challenging a state law that regulates what can be taught in classrooms—arguing the law’s vague language prevents students from having an open and complete dialogue about the perspectives of historically marginalized communities, as well as on topics concerning race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. The federal lawsuit was brought by the National Education Association – New Hampshire and two school administrators, with the plaintiffs represented by a broad coalition including NP, the ACLU, the ACLU of New Hampshire, Disability Rights Center – New Hampshire, and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders.

The NP team working on this case includes Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense practice group leader David Vicinanzo, of Manchester, Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Morgan Nighan, and New York City GIWC partner Travis Hill.

Second lawsuit filed challenging NH anti-discrimination law

Associated Press | December 20, 2021

This following article covers a new lawsuit in New Hampshire challenging a state law that regulates what can be taught in classrooms—arguing the law’s vague language prevents students from having an open and complete dialogue about the perspectives of historically marginalized communities, as well as on topics concerning race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. The federal lawsuit was brought by the National Education Association – New Hampshire and two school administrators, with the plaintiffs represented by a broad coalition including NP, the ACLU, the ACLU of New Hampshire, Disability Rights Center – New Hampshire, and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders.

The NP team working on this case includes Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense practice group leader David Vicinanzo, of Manchester, Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Morgan Nighan, and New York City GIWC partner Travis Hill.

NH race, gender censorship law challenged by teachers

Bloomberg Law | December 20, 2021

This following article covers a new lawsuit in New Hampshire challenging a state law that regulates what can be taught in classrooms—arguing the law’s vague language prevents students from having an open and complete dialogue about the perspectives of historically marginalized communities, as well as on topics concerning race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. The federal lawsuit was brought by the National Education Association – New Hampshire and two school administrators, with the plaintiffs represented by a broad coalition including NP, the ACLU, the ACLU of New Hampshire, Disability Rights Center – New Hampshire, and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders.

The NP team working on this case includes Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense practice group leader David Vicinanzo, of Manchester, Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Morgan Nighan, and New York City GIWC partner Travis Hill.

Whistleblower-initiated FCA investigation highlights risks to PPP borrowers, other pandemic relief beneficiaries

The Banking Law Journal | December 13, 2021

A cross-practice team contributed this article covering the first False Claims Act settlement over Paycheck Protection Program funds that arose from a whistleblower complaint, and it offers insight on the implications of this action for other beneficiaries of coronavirus relief. The NP team comprises Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense practice group leader and Manchester partner David Vicinanzo; Washington, DC partner Adam Tarosky, and Chicago partner Christopher Hotaling, both of the GIWC group; Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Morgan Nighan; and New York Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy partner Robert Christmas.

PPP borrowers - beware of whistleblowers

New Hampshire Business Review | October 25, 2021

Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense practice group leader David Vicinanzo, of the Manchester office, and Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Morgan Nighan co-authored this article on the threat whistleblowers can pose to businesses that received PPP funds, using a recent DOJ settlement as an example to put PPP beneficiaries on alert.

Big changes in SBAs EIDL program sparks new interest

Rochester Business Journal | October 08, 2021

Rochester Complex Commercial Disputes associate Eric Ferrante contributed this column highlighting recent changes to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program that may make it more attractive to businesses on the fence about seeking government relief funds. The article is based on a client alert Eric co-authored with Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Morgan Nighan, Chicago Global Finance partner Robert Drobnak, and Director of Global Strategies David Kaufman.

Novel challenge emerges for denials of PPP forgiveness

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | November 25, 2020

This article—covering challenges that some businesses, including indirect marijuana businesses, could face as they apply to have PPP loans forgiven—quotes Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Morgan Nighan on borrowers’ potential legal argument that loan forgiveness denials are based on SBA guidance that is unlawful because it conflicts with language of the CARES Act.

Auction Set for LRGHealthcare's Assets

Laconia Daily Sun (N.H.) | November 06, 2020

This article covers an upcoming auction of LRGHealthcare’s assets as part of the nonprofit hospital operator’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, noting an initial $30 million bid from Concord Hospital. Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy practice group leader and Boston partner Victor Milione, Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Morgan Nighan, New York City counsel Chris Desiderio and associate Chris Fong, both of the Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy group, are representing LRGHealthcare, and the auction is scheduled for Dec. 16 at NP’s Manchester office.

LRGHealthcare Files for Bankruptcy, Concord Hospital May Acquire

Business NH magazine | October 20, 2020

The following article covers nonprofit hospital operator LRGHealthcare’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing as it seeks a buyer, mention Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy practice group leader and Boston partner Victor Milione, Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Morgan Nighan, New York City counsel Chris Desiderio and associate Chris Fong, both of the Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy group, for representing LRGHealthcare.

New Hampshire Hospital Group Seeks Bankruptcy Relief

Reuters Legal | October 19, 2020

The following article covers nonprofit hospital operator LRGHealthcare’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing as it seeks a buyer, mention Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy practice group leader and Boston partner Victor Milione, Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Morgan Nighan, New York City counsel Chris Desiderio and associate Chris Fong, both of the Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy group, for representing LRGHealthcare.

LRGHealthcare to Sell Assets in Ch. 11

The Deal | October 19, 2020

The following article, covers nonprofit hospital operator LRGHealthcare’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing as it seeks a buyer, mention Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy practice group leader and Boston partner Victor Milione, Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Morgan Nighan, New York City counsel Chris Desiderio and associate Chris Fong, both of the Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy group, for representing LRGHealthcare.

Promotions

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | February 13, 2020

This roundup of promotions in the Boston legal industry mentions two members of NP’s 2020 new partner class: Government Investigations and White-Collar Defense partner Rob Fisher and Complex Commercial Disputes partner Morgan Nighan.

Movers & Shakers

The Deal | February 04, 2020

This column of notable executive moves in the legal industry included a write-up on the promotion of Nixon Peabody’s 2020 new partner class: Laura Bacon, Shariff Barakat, Katie Baynes, Robert Fisher, Kimberly Harding, Brian Mahoney, Sonia Nayak, Dara Newman Histed, Morgan Nighan, Chris Porzio, Rachel Pugliese, Dana Roper, and Peter Trimarchi.

Career Tracker: Lawyers on the Move

Reuters Legal | February 03, 2020

This roundup of personnel moves in the legal industry highlights the 13 members of Nixon Peabody’s 2020 new partner class: Laura Bacon, Shariff Barakat, Katie Baynes, Robert Fisher, Kimberly Harding, Brian Mahoney, Sonia Nayak, Dara Newman Histed, Morgan Nighan, Chris Porzio, Rachel Pugliese, Dana Roper and Peter Trimarchi.

Chancery energizes investor bids to probe corporations

Law360 | January 17, 2020

Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner George Skelly and partner-elect Morgan Nighan analyze a recent decision in Delaware Chancery Court that could broaden stockholders’ ability to inspect a corporation’s books and records without evidence of a specific violation by directors.

Contact

Morgan C. Nighan

Partner

Boston

Phone: 617-345-1031


Fax: 855-451-6607

Boston College Law School, J.D., cum laude

University of Albany, B.A., summa cum laude

Massachusetts

New Hampshire

New York

U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of New Hampshire

U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

Morgan Nighan has been selected to the Massachusetts Rising Stars list in New England Super Lawyers Magazine in 2018-2020, as well as Boston Magazine’s “Top Women Attorneys in Massachusetts.”

  • American and Boston bar associations
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation
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