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Meet New Partner Matthew Maltz

January 27, 2021

Newly-elected Varnum partner Matt Maltz is a corporate attorney based in the Ann Arbor office. Matt has a broad range of transactional experience focused on M&A, joint ventures, equity investments and private equity transactions. He also provides general corporate and day-to-day legal advice to public and private companies and entrepreneurs at all stages of growth.

Q: What attracted you to become a lawyer?

A: The single largest factor, among many, motivating me to become a lawyer was the intellectual challenge. In particular, the work of taking complex ideas or business goals and putting them into a clear and concise package of words is especially satisfying.

Q: How did you decide to focus on your practice?

A: I’ve always preferred the collaborative aspect of corporate work generally, and mergers and acquisitions in particular. There is nothing more rewarding than sitting across the table and convincing opposing counsel and/or the counter-party why our solution is the best resolution to the last thorny issue in a deal.

Q: What does client service mean to you?

A: Client service means understanding the particular business goals a client is trying to achieve and efficiently tailoring our representation to realize their vision. As a lawyer that means understanding that every client is different and has their own risks and business model. In order to provide client service, a lawyer needs to understand what that particular client needs and cares about rather than just the way something “typically” works.

Q: What do you most enjoy about being a Varnum lawyer?

A: Since joining Varnum, I’ve been so impressed by the way in which everyone at the firm is pulling towards the same goal: provide excellent client service. In what has been a challenging year for everyone, that focus has been evident and it’s gratifying to know that everyone at the firm is doing everything they can to help their clients navigate these uncharted waters.

Q: What is your proudest career achievement?

A: As a corporate attorney, the thing I take the most pride from is consistently doing the little things right. I’ve helped close multi-billion dollar deals and deals worth hundreds of thousands dollars. Regardless of the deal size, I pride myself on making sure the things that start as too mundane for the business team to focus on remain that way and don’t cause an issue the day before, the day after, or the year after Closing.

Q: How have you and your clients adapted together over the past year?

A: Other than the obvious of Zoom calls and virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings, COVID-19 has shown once again how important it is to adapt and stay abreast of new developments. Whether it’s applying for a loan or forgiveness or treatment of a PPP Loan in connection with the acquisition or sale of a business, everyone is working with imperfect knowledge and rapidly changing guidance. Flexibility and communication with clients in order to make sure that they are abiding by the most up-to-date guidance and understanding where guidance is still evolving has been paramount.

Q: Are there particular successes or results that you are proud of?

A: Every finalized transaction brings its own sense of accomplishment. Recently I helped a sole proprietor struggling in the wake of COVID-19 sell his company to a much larger competitor. While in these circumstances nobody is likely to get their “wish-list,” we developed a list of components necessary to make the deal a success. We kept those goals in mind throughout the transaction and managed to hit them all, including continued involvement in the business on an ongoing basis and freedom to operate independently if the partnership soured. While every transaction is different, setting forth specific goals for success at the outset and negotiating with those goals in mind ensures that attorney and client are aligned as to what it means to be successful when a deal closes.  

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