Art E. Mertes, admitted to practice in 1994, is a founding Partner of the law firm of Synergy Law Group, LLC (2000). He counsels clients in the areas of Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities & Finance, and Technology & Licensing Law, and he acts as outside general counsel for his clients. His work with companies includes strategies for creation of enterprise value.
A classically-trained M&A and securities deal attorney, his experience is transactions-intensive and includes work with privately-held middle market and emerging growth companies, public companies, financial institutions, family offices/funds, investors, C-level executives, boards of directors, family-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in matters involving business and capital structure, mergers and acquisitions, indemnification, private equity and venture capital, private placements and securities offerings, investor rights and preferences, commercial finance, licensing and subscription agreements, intellectual property protection, customer agreements and T&Cs, joint ventures, distribution and supply, international transactions, executive employment, management equity and incentive compensation, corporate governance incl. board and advisory boards, and corporate contracts and agreements incl. enforcement.
He has negotiated and closed numerous transactions opposite public companies. Industry sector experience includes software, healthcare, mobile, mobile telecom, data, IT, VAR, eCommerce, trading technology, green/clean sector, waste, insurance, specialty consumer, real estate, manufacturing, distribution and tech-enabled services.
Prior to Synergy Law Group, Art held positions as an associate attorney in the M&A practice of Altheimer & Gray, the formerly Chicago-based international firm, and in the corporate law practice of a mid-sized business law firm in Chicago. His early summer associate attorney work at one of Chicago's former and oldest intellectual Property firms provided him a foundation for keen IP insight in corporate strategy and business transactions. Prior to law, Art gained Fortune 500 sales and distribution experience as a top Technical Salesperson for Ingersoll-Rand Company, garnering him key understanding of distribution models and manufacturing.
Art received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Illinois College of Law, and a Master of Business Administration, with highest honors for academic achievement, from the University of Illinois College of Commerce, each awarded in 1994, and holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois College of Engineering awarded in 1988.
Art has been included in various panels / lectured on topics related to Venture & Angel Financing and Mergers & Acquisitions. Art has presented lectures on topics such as Due Diligence in Mergers & Acquisitions (Chicago Bar Association); Angel & Venture Financing (Various Angel Groups); Entrepreneurship Law (University of Illinois Executive MBA and Engineering College’s Entrepreneurship Courses); Capital Formation (Lake Forest Graduate School of Management); Intellectual Property, Licensing, Joint Ventures and Business Organizations (UofI Executive MBA). He is experienced with Angel Investing.
Art serves not-for-profit trade associations and charitable causes, serving as Board Member of the Midwest Business Brokers and Intermediaries Association and Chaired its 2013 & 2014 winter conference. He is an active member of the Entrepreneurship Network Committee of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Chicago Chapter, the long-standing President and Board Chairman of his UofI fraternal association Alumni / Housing Corp which successfully funded and financed a $3 million property acquisition in 2012, and has devoted significant time to charitable and other education-oriented causes including nine years volunteering with LEARN Charter School.