Matthijs van Gaalen
Matthijs van Gaalen is a partner who has built a practice where he works with lenders to cost-effectively and efficiently advance mid-market financing transactions.
Innovative, resourceful, and forward-thinking, Matthijs brings a pioneering energy to his portfolio lending practice. His practice is unique in that it benefits from the application of a proprietary management system he helped bring to fruition called LendR, which offers clients a unique approach to the automation and management of commercial lending portfolios. His ability to author the logic and coding for the automation of legal documents allows for timely and effective technological developments.
In 2021, Matthijs was recognized among Canadian Lawyer' "Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers" for his embrace of innovation and technology in commercial financing transactions. In 2018, this portfolio lending practice approach, as well as the related proprietary software, won the Financial Times' "Innovation in the Business of Law" award.
Matthijs not only is entrusted on putting loans on for lenders, but has also handles transactions faced with enforcement, insolvency and restructuring matters, and has represented a range of stakeholders in face of enforcement actions, including financial institutions, debtors, and potential purchasers.
Prior to joining Gowling WLG, Matthijs worked at another top-tier corporate law firm in Toronto and Dubai, where he concentrated on financial services, as well as restructurings, international trade, and regulatory matters. He worked on files that were governed by Canadian, British, American, UAE, and free zone law.
Before launching his legal career, Matthijs owned and operated an export company that sent aftermarket parts from China and the US to Ecuador, and managed a commercial office furniture company. In 2010, he travelled to China on a business trip to find suppliers, and subsequently navigated applicable laws and regulations in order to import transport trucks, agricultural machinery, motors, and replacement parts into Ecuador.
Highly engaged in politics, Matthijs is the past vice-president of the Conservative Party of Canada, and is a current member of the Arbitration Committee. The latter is the highest arbitration and dispute resolution committee of the Conservative Party, and it hears appeals of the National Council's decisions with respect to: (i) the suspension or the removal of a member of National Council, (ii) the disallowance of the candidacy of any person by an electoral district association, and (iii) the leadership selection process. He also served on the CPC's primary governing body, the National Council, from May 2016 to March 2021.
While in these positions, Matthijs brought the same creative energy that he brings to his legal practice every day. Over the course of his tenure, he led initiatives to overhaul the CPC's governance mechanisms through a number of impactful revisions to its governing documents – including its nomination rules, code of conduct, membership revocation rules, and electoral district association constitution.