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

Force Majeure and Contractual Non-Performance During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Never in the experience of most of us has an event so thoroughly interrupted business as usual as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Everywhere, contract parties facing severe stress in their businesses are reassessing their contractual...

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Publication

Hospitality Companies and Their Lenders: Preparing for Difficult Conversations

In a sudden reversal of generally expansionary trends, the hospitality business has been among the most immediate and badly hit economic sectors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting stay-at-home and...

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Publication

7 Ways to Check If Coronavirus Triggers ‘Force Majeure’ Clauses in Your Wine Business Contracts

Never in the experience of most of us has an event so thoroughly interrupted business as usual as the coronavirus pandemic. The wine business runs on contracts: grape purchase agreements, event hosting contracts, vineyard...

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Publication

Questions Wineries Need to Answer Before Talking With Lenders About Coronavirus-Caused Financial Woes

The coronavirus pandemic and public health efforts to combat it will impact different wine businesses in different ways. Those that depend upon on-premise and direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales — such as restaurant, hospitality, and tasting room...

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Publication

Hot Topics Facing Nonprofit Organizations and Their Advisors in 2020

Farella's Nonprofit Education Series features Cynthia Rowland and Matt Lewis discussing current issues nonprofit organizations and their advisors are facing this year. Cynthia and Matt cover: About that nest egg—when nonprofits can, and can’t, access “endowment&rdquo...

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Publication

Three Steps Licensees Can Take to Protect Their IP Rights in Bankruptcy

During periods of widespread economic disruption such as the present, operating businesses must be able to identify and respond to threats to the financial health of their contracting counterparts in order to protect key...

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Publication

Wine Businesses, Lenders, and Difficult Conversations

The COVID-19 pandemic and public health efforts to combat it will impact different wine businesses in different ways. Those that depend on on-premise and direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales, such as restaurant, hospitality, and tasting room...

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