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