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 $35 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 $45 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


    • 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

          News Release

          Schiff Advises Wintrust on $570M Purchase of Loan Portfolio from Allstate

          Schiff Hardin advised Wintrust Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: WTFC) on its purchase of a $570 million loan portfolio from The Allstate Corporation (NYSE:ALL) and becoming the preferred national lender to Allstate agents.

          News Release

          Schiff Advises Cresset in Merger with Berman Capital Advisors

          Schiff Hardin LLP advised Cresset Asset Management, LLC in its merger with Berman Capital Advisors, LLC, creating a $19.8 billion multi-family office serving clients from 11 offices across the country.

          News Release

          Schiff Assists New Owners in Purchase of Oak Park’s Beer Shop

          In September 2021, Schiff Hardin LLP advised the new owners in the management buyout of the Beer Shop in downtown Oak Park, Ill.

          News Release

          Schiff Hardin Advises Deringer-Ney, Inc. in Asset Acquisition of Hoyt Corporation

          Schiff Hardin served as deal counsel to Deringer-Ney in its acquisition of the business and assets of Hoyt Corporation, which was completed on April 30, 2021.

          News Release

          Schiff Hardin Advises Tuthill Corporation in Sale of Tuthill Vacuum & Blower Systems for $184 Million

          Schiff Hardin represented its long-standing client Tuthill Corporation, in the sale of its Tuthill Vacuum and Blower Systems division to Ingersoll Rand Inc. for $184 million dollars, completed January 31, 2021.

          News Release

          Eighty-One Attorneys Named to 2021 Leading Lawyers

          Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to have 81 attorneys named to the 2021 Leading Lawyers list.


          Senate Approves Additional Funding for Small Businesses

          Earlier today, the U.S. Senate passed a bill appropriating additional funding to the Paycheck Protection Program, which ran out of funds in the middle of last week. The House is expected to pass the measure on Thursday, after which President Trump is expected to sign it into law.

          News Release

          Eighty-Eight Attorneys Named to 2020 Leading Lawyers

          Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce that 88 attorneys have been named to the 2020 Leading Lawyers list.

          News Release

          Schiff Hardin Advises Wintrust in Two Chicago-Area Bank Acquisitions

          Schiff Hardin advised Wintrust Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: WTFC) on the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire STC Bancshares Corp., the parent company of STC Capital Bank, which operates five banking offices located in the communities of St. Charles, Geneva, and South Elgin, Ill.

          News Release

          2019 Leading Lawyers Lists Recognize 95 Schiff Attorneys

          Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to have 95 attorneys named to the 2019 Leading Lawyers list.

          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.

          • “Overcoming Challenges and Working with Entrepreneurial Clients - A Lawyer’s Perspective,” Northwestern Pritzker School of Law 14th Annual Entrepreneurship Law Conference, Chicago, Ill. (Mar. 1, 2019)
          • “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
        • Awards & Honors

          • Illinois Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin's Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2009-2021)
          • The Legal 500 United States – M&A/Corporate and Commercial: M&A – Middle-Market (Sub-$500m) (2016, 2018)
          • Outstanding Achievements in Innovative Legal Services in Mergers and Acquisitions, Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Report U.S. (2010)

        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