Creating and running a successful business is hard work, and every business leader needs trusted advisors. Mike has lived that life, having spent thirty years in business as an investment banker, consultant, board member, and management. After he was admitted to the bar in 1976 in Wisconsin, Mike joined Foley & Lardner in Milwaukee. In October of 1978, Mike joined Smith Barney Harris Upham as a Public Finance investment banker in their Chicago office. He spent the next 20 years as a public finance investment banker, joining Lehman Brothers in New York in 1982 and moving to Morgan Stanley in New York in 1990. After leaving the Morgan Stanley in 1998, Mike consulted with startups and software companies, ran a startup for four years, and held positions as chief executive officer, president, or division head in three other businesses for the next 10 years.
In 2008, my family and I moved to Florida, took the Florida bar exam, and was admitted to The Florida Bar in 2009. I recently opened Gort Law, P.A. and now serve small and medium-sized businesses, startups, and real estate investors. I bring my real-world experience of what legal services business leaders need to delivering solutions tailored to the needs of each business.
During my years as an investment banker, I had the benefit of virtually unlimited access to the top law firms in New York City and the rest of the country. Whether creating a new financial instrument or structuring a bond issue for a public client, having the best legal talent available at the table during the initial discussions and throughout the entire process was a key success factor.
My goal is to deliver a comparable level of service to the startup and small and medium-sized businesses in Florida. I want to make the applicable resources of an in-house general counsel available to the leadership of such businesses, tailored to meet their needs and budget, including support for financing, contracting, employment law, privacy, cyber-security, risk management, litigation management, and corporate governance and formation.
One major factor that shaped my life was my early service in the United States Army as a helicopter pilot. After graduating from flight school, I volunteered to train as a medevac pilot and was sent to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. There, I met my wonderful wife Maria, and we were married after a whirlwind courtship. We have been married now for 48 years.
After we left the service in 1972, I went back to finish college at the University of Michigan supported by Maria’s work as a nurse and the GI Bill. After graduating with high honors, we moved to Washington D.C where I attended law school at George Washington University Law School, graduating again with high honors. Maria worked as a nurse in Arlington Virginia, and after the GI Bill ran out after our first year, she again enlisted in Army and was stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where she was the assistant head nurse of the VIP ward.
From 1982 through 1998, we lived in Greenwich Connecticut, and I commuted to New York to work for Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley. Both of our children still consider Connecticut as their original “home”. From 2000 through 2008, the family moved way too many times, and eventually settled in Jupiter Florida, where we enjoy Southern Florida living.