Matthew (Matt) represents fast-growing innovative businesses, ranging from entrepreneurs with a vision to established later-stage companies. With all his clients, large or small, he seeks to provide practical, creative and thoughtful advice to help them navigate legal challenges and pivotal transactions and achieve their business objectives.
Matt is passionate about working with companies that are developing technological, scientific and business innovations that will transform industries and improve lives. He is a dedicated, responsive counselor and advocate for his clients, and seeks to be a long-term partner in the growth and success of his clients’ businesses.
Matt has experience advising clients on a broad range of corporate and intellectual property matters. He assists early stage companies with establishing a solid legal foundation for future success, including selecting and implementing appropriate corporate structure, equity compensation and intellectual property protection arrangements. He also acts as outside general counsel to clients of all stages, helping them to proactively manage the legal aspects of their businesses, and to structure, negotiate and close business transactions quickly and effectively. Matt’s transactional experience includes seed and venture capital financings, strategic collaborations and joint ventures, debt financings, corporate reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions, and initial public offerings. He also advises executive management and boards of directors on legal and securities law compliance matters and corporate governance.
Matt’s clients include leading public and private life sciences and technology companies, as well as many prominent venture capital firms. His life sciences experience spans a broad range of biopharmaceutical technologies and indications, as well as genomic and medical device technologies. Matt also has extensive experience with digital health and technology-enabled healthcare businesses. In the technology sector, Matt’s experience includes enterprise software, virtual currencies, autonomous vehicles and other industrial technologies.
A central aspect of Matt’s practice is representing private and public companies through multiple rounds of funding and other significant transactions. In the past five years, Matt has handled more than 125 private financings, including seed, venture and other institutional rounds, accounting for over $2.5 billion in capital raised. Representative recent and ongoing engagements include:
- AnaptysBio, an antibody drug development company, in its $40M mezzanine private financing round, and its 2017 IPO and subsequent follow-on offerings totaling over $500M
- Apeel Sciences, a developer of plant-based coatings to preserve fresh produce and reduce food waste, in its $70M Series C financing and $250M Series D financing
- Arcutis Biotherapeutics, a developer of medical dermatology drugs, in connection with company formation, multiple rounds of financing including $95M Series C cross-over financing and 2020 IPO
- Calico, a research and development company focused on the biology of aging, in its initial formation and separation from Google (now Alphabet) and its $2.5B strategic collaboration with Abbvie
- Castlight Health, an enterprise software and healthcare navigation company, in multiple rounds of private financing, its 2014 IPO and its $135M acquisition of Jiff
- Devoted Health, a next-generation technology-enabled health insurance plan, in a key strategic collaboration and multiple rounds of financing, including its $300M Series B financing
- DiCE Molecules, a novel drug discovery platform company, in its conversion to a limited liability company, multiple rounds of private financing and its strategic collaboration agreements with Sanofi and Genentech
- GRAIL, a cancer diagnostics company focused on early detection, in its spin-out from Illumina, $100M Series A financing and blockbuster $1B Series B financing
- PassageBio, a gene therapy drug development company, in connection with company formation and negotiation of foundational license agreement with Penn, $115M Series A financing and $110M Series B financing
Matt also advises clients on pivotal transactions, including M&A transactions, IPOs and strategic collaborations. Representative recent examples include:
- Aeglea Bio, an enzyme therapeutics drug development company, in its corporate restructuring, mezzanine round of financing and its 2016 IPO
- Channel Medsystems, a medical device technology company, in its agreement to be acquired by Boston Scientific
- Denali Therapeutics, a drug development company focused on neurodegenerative diseases, in its collaboration and option agreement with F-star, and subsequent $450M acquisition of an F-star affiliated entity pursuant to exercise of the option
- Interpreta, a healthcare and genomic information analytics company, in its acquisition by Centene Corporation
- Loxo Oncology, a drug development company focused on targeted cancer therapeutics, in its mezzanine financing round and its 2015 IPO
- Sutro Biopharma, a protein therapeutics drug development company, in connection with a strategic collaboration and acquisition option agreement with Celgene
- The County of Santa Clara in connection with a pro bono engagement to launch California’s first “pay for success” project, which deployed an innovative funding and care delivery model to address chronic homelessness in Santa Clara County
Matt also frequently negotiates licenses on behalf of clients from leading universities, including Stanford University, the University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, Berkeley.
What Can You Expect When You Work with Matt?
Clients look to Matt as a dedicated business partner and trusted legal advisor for the long run, and someone who will sweat the details so that they can stay focused on running their business. With Matt as your lawyer, you can expect to work with someone who will dig in and seek to deeply understand your business and the people involved, and use this knowledge to provide actionable, business-savvy legal advice. In addition, Matt is able to draw from his broad range of experience, across transaction types and industries, to help provide well-informed judgments and creative solutions for his clients.
Matt operates as part of a team, and seeks to bring to bear the full range of resources, collective knowledge and connections offered by Fenwick to assist with his clients’ success. He feels fortunate to work with and be backed by a law firm with a deep knowledge and core strategic focus on working with fast-growing innovative businesses, and with an exceptional and long-standing culture of collaboration.
More About Matt
Matt is an enthusiastic student and learner, who is continuously grateful for the learning opportunities presented by his clients and his practice. He is also a frequent lecturer and teacher, who has taught semester-long courses on negotiation at Stanford Law School and on legal issues for entrepreneurs at Wharton San Francisco.
In the early days of his practice, Matt served part-time as the acting general counsel for Virgin America, as the company prepared to launch a new commercial airline service. In this capacity, Matt helped negotiate a broad range of commercial agreements, ranging from the purchase of coffee makers to outsourced maintenance services for the entire airline fleet. He also advised on the complex financing and corporate restructuring arrangements that enabled Virgin America to obtain the federal regulatory approvals necessary to begin operations.
When he is not caring for his clients or his family and two fast-growing children, Matt can be found trying to squeeze in a bit of exercise, be it a P90X workout in the garage or an early morning mountain bike ride, occasionally plunking on a musical instrument or cooking up a creative meal.
- Apeel Sciences
- BioAge Labs
- Castlight Health
- Channel Medsystems
- Devoted Health
- DiCE Molecules
- Federation Bio
- Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
- Lyra Health
- Matrixx Software
- Maze Therapeutics
- Mindstrong Health
- Passage Bio
- Sonoma Biosciences
- Sutro Biopharma
- Terns Pharmaceuticals
- Virgin America
Education & Admissions
J.D., magna cum laude
Order of the Coif
B.A., cum laude, Economics
Admitted to practice in California