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Jonathan Hugg is co-chair of the Financial Services Litigation Group. His practice concentrates on commercial and appellate litigation, with an emphasis on financial institution, real estate, regulatory enforcement, and municipal matters. He has 25 years of wide-ranging experience prosecuting, defending, and resolving contractual disputes and business torts across Pennsylvania and up and down the Northeast Corridor.

He regularly litigates matters of critical legal importance to financial institutions and lenders, including cases involving: commercial loan work-outs and lender liability, including to consumers; fraudulent transfers; privacy and bank secrecy; disputes arising under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), including lien priority disputes; fiduciary matters; bankruptcy trustees and adversary matters in bankruptcy court; loan participation agreements; and check fraud and warranties. He frequently counsels and represents companies and their directors, officers, and employees involved in pre-indictment investigations by federal and state authorities.

Mr. Hugg served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Appeals Unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted more than 130 matters, both as appellee and appellant, before the Pennsylvania Supreme and Superior Courts. He maintains an active appellate practice.

Mr. Hugg often publishes and speaks regarding business law issues, most recently regarding the impact of COVID-19 on commercial disputes, new fraudulent transfer legislation in Pennsylvania, and the impact of “cryptocurrency” and emerging “blockchain” technologies.

News & Publications

Community & Pro Bono

  • Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Hearing Committee Member, 2005-2011, 2022-present
  • Montgomery County Voter ID Working Group, Co-chair, 2012
  • Election Day Voter Protection Coordinator, Montgomery County, 2007-12


  • Boston College Law School, J.D., Winner of the 1994 National Administrative Law Moot Court Competition, 1994
  • Swarthmore College, B.A., Political Science, with honors, 1990

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania, 1994

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania

Professional Affiliations

  • Philadelphia bar Association, Business Law Section, Business Litigation Committee, Member
  • American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Member

Other Distinctions

  • Noted in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers for Business Litigation, 2014-2020

Representative Matters

Bankruptcy & Restructuring

  • Prosecuted 5 year fraudulent transfer action, through state, federal, and bankruptcy courts, to achieve full recovery of defaulted multi-million dollar commercial loan; bankruptcy court granted administrative claim status to community bank client, thereby allowing bank to “prime” IRS and all other creditors.
  • Lead counsel in a 3½ year commercial loan workout involving nine separate federal and state lawsuits in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. The community bank client substantially recovered the entire eight-figure, ten-year-old debt owed by the bank’s borrower, with significant contributions from his foreign partners, despite fraudulent transfer and lien priority issues.
  • Defeated on summary judgment a million dollar claim by U.S. bankruptcy trustee attempting to strip bank of collateral lien in securities accounts.
  • Achieved 100% recovery of the principal balance of an under-secured, non-performing multi-million dollar commercial loan in rare Chapter 12 farm bankruptcy.

Financial Services Litigation

  • Negotiated 85% reduction of mid-six figure administrative penalty imposed by state regulator upon community bank client.
  • Persuaded trial court to dismiss contentious consumer protection claim alleging the forged execution of loan documents and credit damage; appellate court unanimously affirmed, explicitly adopting the basis argued to the trial court. 
  • Negotiated through multiple, protracted mediations a no-cash settlement of multi-million dollar consumer class action against community lender allegedly engaged in the unfair collection of defaulted loans.
  • Defeated on summary judgment a multi-million dollar lender liability claim by a prominent local nonprofit against an international bank. 
  • Quieted title and returned to first priority a multi-million dollar residential mortgage held by a Fortune 10 bank against claim of consumer fraud by home-owner.
  • Overcame jurisdictional objections and won an award of full counsel fees for community lender in protracted federal court action against, inter alia, the federal government, to interplead multi-million deposits by indicted fraudster.

Internal Investigations

  • Served as Special Counsel to investigate allegations of sexual abuse in a municipal youth sports program.


  • Over more than two years of court-supervised multi-party negotiations among adjacent real estate developers, secured no-payment settlement, full release, and dismissal of alleged nuisance and construction defect claims.
  • Obtained dismissal on the eve of the trial of a multi-million dollar claim against a commercial landlord for alleged breach of a lease; landlord received full indemnification from the violating tenant, including counsel fees.
  • Persuaded trial court to strike lis pendens, confess error, reverse its grant of summary judgment, and enter a declaratory judgment that community bank client attempting to sell commercial property was entitled to retain entire six-figure deposit, despite agreement of sale allowing buyer “sole discretion” to cancel transaction; demonstrated in discovery that buyer violated implied duty of good faith and fair dealing by fabricating documentation allegedly justifying termination of deal.
  • Won a $1.7 million fraud verdict after a 10-day trial in the Commerce Program of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.
  • Defeated defamation and invasion of privacy claims against a U.S. Congressman for allegedly false campaign literature and tactics.
  • Obtained an extremely rare writ of prohibition against a trial judge, on an emergency basis, from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in the case of Mayer v. Garman, 912 A.2d 762 (Pa. 2006).
  • Authored the winning brief in the unanimously decided Pennsylvania Supreme Court case of Sphere Drake v. PGW, 782 A.2d 510 (Pa. 2001).
  • Briefed and argued the Commonwealth’s case in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Commonwealth v. Collins, 702 A.2d 540 (Pa. 1997).
  • Won a civil contempt finding and five-figure award of counsel fees for human services non-profit against a recalcitrant vendor after a 3-day remote bench trial in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.
  • After twice obtaining dismissal of claims, negotiated settlement on behalf of commercial landlord of multi-million-dollar action by national tenant to enforce right of first refusal and re-development provisions of lease, thereby enabling sale of landlord’s billion-dollar real estate portfolio. 

Municipal Matters

  • Lead counsel in three-year defense of a suburban municipality and 25 current and former officers and employees in an unprecedented lawsuit filed by a real estate developer seeking recovery in excess of $80 million based on an alleged conspiracy between elected officials, municipal staff and solicitor and community members to deny land use approval for proposed construction.
  • Devised and executed successful legal, lobbying and media strategy to defeat powerful and vocal institutional and community support for the grant of a multi-million dollar government subsidy to client’s direct competitor.
  • Represented a grassroots citizens’ group in its successful effort, including more than 20 contentious public hearings, to thwart the rezoning and sale of one of the last old growth forests in suburban Philadelphia.
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