Overview

Matt counsels private companies and their owners and investors. He helps clients build, manage, expand and invest in successful businesses that thrive in dynamic industries.

Matt has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, joint ventures, private offerings, private equity and venture capital investment, and other strategic transactions.

More than a “deal lawyer,” he partners with clients, large or small, in planning and executing their growth strategies. Since 2001 he has served as M&A counsel for a $29 billion financial holding company, negotiating more than 55 mergers and acquisitions of banks and bank holding companies, broker-dealer and asset management firms, mortgage banking and premium finance companies, and large commercial loan portfolios. At the other end of the development spectrum, he helps entrepreneurs and startups see around the corners ahead by implementing good corporate design, built with efficient and cost-effective functionality. Matt frequently partners with colleagues in our Private Clients group to build sustainable platforms for family owned businesses transitioning to the next generation of leaders. He serves as outside general counsel to several long-standing private company clients.

Clients value Matt’s direct but friendly manner, responsiveness, accountability for himself and his teams, and skills in executing a plan.

Before law school, Matt was a lieutenant in the United States Navy (1989-1993). He served as damage control officer on the destroyer USS Stump (DD-978) and division officer aboard the battleship USS Iowa (BB-61).

  • Experience

    • Manages and executes acquisition strategy for a $29 billion financial holding company, and provides ongoing representation for its acquired banks and affiliates.
    • Advises portfolio of food and beverage ingredient manufacturing companies in their formation, capital raising, governance and business activities, including $6 million preferred stock investment in Ecuador-based beverage ingredient manufacturer.
    • Advised management team of commercial products manufacturing company in their management buyout and restructuring, and successful sale of non-core businesses.
    • Advises portfolio of life science/nanotech start-ups in all aspects of formation, Series A, B, and C rounds, spin-offs, licensing, governance, and on-going operations.
    • Adjunct professor, Entrepreneurship Law Center of Northwestern University School of Law, where he supervises teams of students in their representation of entrepreneurs and start-up companies.
    • Together with Tax and Estate Planning team members from our Private Companies Group, devised, planned and executed the building of a new investment, asset management and governance platform for a large family office and its diversified holdings, creating a structure that will enable smooth transition to successive generations.
    • Represented large publicly-owned food and beverage company in negotiation of its strategic divestitures of its non-core businesses, including certain well-known brands.
  • Credentials

    Education

    • Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, J.D., 1998
      Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business, Coordinating Note and Comment Editor
    • University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1989, cum laude

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
      • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

          Teaching Appointments

          • Northwestern University School of Law, Entrepreneurship Law Center, Adjunct Professor
        • Insights

          TITLE
          News Release

          Schiff Hardin Advises Wintrust on Three Year-End Acquisitions

          Schiff Hardin LLP advised Wintrust Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: WTFC) on the recent completion of three bank and financial institution acquisitions.

          Alert

          Qualified Opportunity Zones: An Introduction to New Opportunities under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

          The IRS and Treasury Department issued proposed regulations that explain how investors can take advantage of the statute’s unique opportunity for deferral and exclusion of capital gains taxes by investing in designated distressed communities or QOZs.

          Event

          2018 International Institute of Nanotechnology (IIN) Symposium

          Northwestern University International Institute for Nanotechnology

          Location:
          Evanston, Ill.
          News Release

          Schiff Hardin Advises Wintrust on Two Chicago-Area Bank Acquisitions

          Schiff Hardin advised Wintrust Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: WTFC) on the successful completion of its acquisition of Chicago Shore Corporation, the parent company of Delaware Place Bank.

          News Release

          The Legal 500 Recognizes Three Schiff Hardin Practices for the Third Time in a Row

          Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce that three of its practice groups have been recognized for the third consecutive year by The Legal 500 United States 2018 guide, a nationwide analysis of law firms with input from more than 300,000 corporate counsel on which firms provide the most cutting-edge and innovative advice.

          Event

          Food(ie) Entrepreneurs

          13th Annual Entrepreneurship Law Conference

          Location:
          Chicago, Ill.
          News Release

          95 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2018 Leading Lawyers Lists

          Ninety-six Schiff Hardin lawyers have been named to the 2018 Leading Lawyers lists for Illinois and Michigan.

          News Release

          Schiff Represents Pillars in Merger to Create New Innovative Organization: Pillars Community Health

          Schiff Hardin LLP represented Pillars in its merger with Community Nurse Health Center, effective January 1, 2018.

          Alert

          Top 10 Issues Facing Financial Institutions in 2017: #10 – Compliance with Consumer Laws

          Regardless of any potential Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) overhaul, financial institutions that offer or provide products or services directly or indirectly to consumers still face challenges complying with consumer laws.

          Alert

          Top 10 Issues Facing Financial Institutions in 2017: #9 – Data Security and Privacy

          On top of addressing general cybersecurity concerns, financial institutions must also minimize the risk of a data breach that could compromise customer financial or personally identifiable information.

          Speeches & Presentations

          Matt has given numerous presentations to privately held and family-owned business owners, in-house legal and corporate development teams, wealth management advisers, start-up incubators and legal clinics on a variety of topics, including restructuring and business succession, corporate governance issues, negotiating mergers and acquisitions, private company ownership transition, and early stage capital raising.

          • "Food(ie) Entrepreneurs," 13th Annual Entrepreneurship Law Conference (Mar. 16, 2018)
          • Family Business Owner Roundtable: Building an Effective Board and the Role of Outsider Directors (Feb. 25, 2013)
        • Citizenship

          Civic and Charitable Memberships

          • Marillac St. Vincent Family Services, Member of Executive Committee and Secretary, Board of Trustees, Capital Campaign Steering Committee

        Celebrating Schiff’s Veterans: Matt Galo on Going From Military Service to Client Service

        After four years in Naval ROTC at Notre Dame, Matt began serving on active duty in 1989 as a line officer in the Atlantic Fleet. He first served as a Division Officer (2nd Division - boats) aboard the battleship USS-Iowa (BB-61), and then served as Damage Control officer (DCA) aboard the Spruance-class destroyer USS Stump (DD-978). He completed his active duty in 1993, and started law school at Northwestern in 1995. MORE