Biography

Matt Lewis has delivered practical, focused, and above all, effective solutions to business and legal issues for owners, managers, investors, borrowers, and lenders in a wide range of fields for over three decades. His practice concentrates on the real estate, wine, and energy industries.

A generalist by design, Matt has a particularly strong background in debt financing transactions, representing borrowers in a variety of deals, many of them either in the wine business, or midsized private companies. In addition to his transactional work, Matt also serves as a strategic and operational adviser to investors in and owners of closely held clients, counseling them on organizational matters, operations, and other day-to-day issues. He is particularly skilled at brokering internal conflicts and working with stakeholders with differing views to arrive at an appropriate, executable path forward for the enterprise.

Matt’s experience includes all aspects of formation, development, financing, and dissolution. He has also advised numerous clients with respect to loans, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, joint ventures, private placements, sales, intellectual property licensing, and foreign investments.

As a practitioner, Matt brings to his deals a unique combination of innovation and strategic focus, grounded in decades of experience. Matt often finds that  a transaction in one field  will be informed by experience or knowledge arising from a completely different transaction he has overseen. Just as his clients deeply understand, and so ably manage their own businesses, Matt knows the ins and outs of the transactions that they may only engage in once every few years, enabling him to anticipate and plan for what the other party may do next.

Matt’s goal is to get the deal done and his clients to the right result. He seeks, and focuses on the issues that move a deal forward. He usually finds that a  win-win negotiation is the best way forward and that the key to understanding his counterparty’s goals and priorities is to continuously ask the question, “How will the person on the other side of the table be rewarded  and what will they risk for agreeing to this?” Answering  this hypothetical helps Matt structure his negotiations.

Matt represents both borrowers and lenders in commercial and real estate single loan, portfolio, and other structured financing transactions and the sale and acquisition of financial assets, with an emphasis on secured transactions. He provides advice on creditor and debtor rights issues, including workouts, reorganizations and restructurings, collections, repossessions, and rights in bankruptcy. A trusted advisor to the wine industry, Matt also advises wineries, vineyards, farms, ranches, processors, and other agribusinesses in all aspects of acquisitions, development, operations financing, and sales.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Former Chair, Uniform Commercial Code Committee, Business Law Section, State Bar of California

Firm Highlights

Publication

San Francisco COPA Program Rules Released

The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) released program rules for the Community to Purchase Act (COPA) on September 3, 2019. The recently enacted COPA program (codified in Chapter 41B of the...

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Publication

California Supreme Court Ruling Clarifies That the Notice-Prejudice Rule Is a Fundamental Public Policy That May Override Choice of Law Provisions

In  Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Company , the California Supreme Court resolved two previously open questions in insurance law: (1) it concluded that the notice-prejudice rule [1]  is a fundamental public policy...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Advises on Sale of 2,300-Acre Foote Ranch

Farella Braun + Martel represented a trust that owned 50% of the iconic 2,300-acre Foote Ranch in Sonoma, California in disputes with the ranch’s co-owners and in the subsequent $23.7 million sale of the...

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Event

CalCPA: Wine Industry Conference

Lauren Gilbreth will present the session "Succession Planning" at the CalCPA - Wine Industry Conference. The ever dynamic wine industry is fraught with complicated tax, labor and accounting issues. Please join us as we...

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News

Ninth Circuit Upholds Data Miner's Injunction Against LinkedIn

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sided with data analytics company hiQ Labs, Inc. and upheld an injunction barring LinkedIn from blocking it from accessing information made publicly available by the professional networking site’s users...

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Publication

3 Lessons For Calif. Insureds From Late-Notice Rule Decision

In Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Company,[1] the California Supreme Court resolved two previously open questions in insurance law: (1) it concluded that the notice-prejudice rule[2] is a fundamental public policy of California...

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News

A Major Victory for hiQ Labs, Ninth Circuit Upholds Its Right to Access Publicly Available LinkedIn Data

In a blockbuster ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed startup hiQ Labs, Inc.’s preliminary injunction (PI) against LinkedIn granted by Judge Edward Chen of the United States District Court for the Northern...

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Publication

Changing Climate, Changing Laws: Addressing CEQA’s New Wildfire Risk Requirements in Project Development

Wildfires pose an increasingly serious threat to the public and environment in California. So it should be no surprise that the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) amended Appendix G of California Environmental...

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Event

Women in Cleantech & Sustainability

Lysondra Ludwig will speak at the WCS Talks - a full day TED-Style event and startup pitch competition hosted by Google.

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Event

Complex Civil Litigation Symposium

Doug Dexter is a member of the planning committee for the 2019 Complex Civil Litigation Symposium.

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