Davis Wright Tremaine began its Washington practice in 1944 and soon grew to become a powerhouse regional player, as well as growing to establish offices in many other parts of the US, including Anchorage, Alaska, Washington DC, Bellevue, Los Angeles, and Shanghai. The firm plays a particularly strong role in the fishing, shipping, and small business transactions.
The firm’s corporate finance practice focuses on a few different industries, including real estate.
The firm’s Washington restructuring practice's prowess can be exhibited in its representation of Starbuck Bancshares in Chapter 11 proceedings of AmericanWest Bancorp, including acquisition of AmericanWest Bank in a Section 363 sale. The firm was also involved in the bankruptcy proceedings of retailer Toys R' Us, representing the financial institution with respect to the proceedings.
The team’s M&A practice is focused in the media, gaming, technology, financial services, food and beverage, hospitality and manufacturing industries. The team’s diverse practice can be exhibited in its representation of Field Roast Meat Company in its sale to Maple Leaf Foods. The team’s M&A profile also includes representing Sealaska in a majority interest acquisition if Odyssey Enterprises, a retail and food service seafood producer, and representing Seattle Children’s Hospital in the acquisition of the Laurelon Terrace condominium project, a development site adjacent to the hospital’s central campus.
Founded in 1972 in Silicon Valley, Fenwick & West has pioneered the legal work for technological companies. The firm has since expanded to San Francisco, Seattle, New York and in China with an office in Shanghai. The firm is among the top firms in the nation for M&A work, particularly in the technology and life sciences industries.
Fenwick & West maintains its outstanding reputation in Seattle where the team worked, together with other offices, on a number of deals. The firm represented Dapper Labs on its $15 million financing and advised Axios Zen, a venture creation studio, on its $12 million financing for CryptoKitties.
Foster Pepper’s bigger strength is its real estate practice that has been an integral part of the Pacific Northwest community together with a very active M&A practice. Founded more than one century ago, Foster Pepper has grown with roughly 100 attorneys split between offices in Seattle and Spokane, Washington.
In the M&A space, the group represents both sellers and buyers. The M&A team advised Seattle-based medical technologies company Cenorin on the sale of its AquaGuard division to Covalon Technologies, a Canadian publicly traded medical technologies business.
The law firm’s real estate team advises local and national real estate developers, lenders, investors and property managers. A standout deal in the real estate area was the representation of Touchstone, a subsidiary of Seattle-based Urban Renaissance. Touchstone sold two new high-rise office buildings known as the Troy Block for $740 million. The firm advised Touchstone on its acquisition of the property and on its development and leasing of the project.
Garvey Schubert Barer, founded in 1966, has established itself as an important firm in the Pacific Northwest particularly for M&A and capital markets work. In addition to its offices in Seattle and Portland, Garvey Schubert Barer also has offices in New York, Washington DC and Beijing. Since Garvey Schubert Barer’s foundation, China has been a major focus and the firm is currently one of the 11 United States law firms officially recommended and approved by the Chinese government for representation with Chinese entities.
The Seattle location remains the core of the law firm with more than 50 legal professionals. The location is particularly active in M&A transactions in the manufacturing, industrial, maritime and fishing sectors and the Seattle office has a special relation with the state of Alaska for clients in the maritime and fishing sectors. In the last few years, the healthcare space has grown, and the firm has represented a wide range of entities including hospitals, physicians and physician organizations, health plans and medical device manufacturers.
In one standout deal, the M&A team advised Welco Lumber, one of two members of Alta Forest Product, on its sale to Japanese company Itochu Corporation. The firm also represented wealth management firm Brighton Jones on its acquisition of a majority interest in real estate development firm Blueprint Capital Services based in Seattle. Most of the clients were confidential.
Over the research period, the Seattle office lost partner Peter Cancelmo, who joined Omeros Corporation.
K&L Gates is a recognized global firm with lawyers across five continents. The firm is well-known as a top player in M&A practice across offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and the Middle East. The M&A lawyers represent multinational corporations, emerging growth and middle-market companies, including private equity firms, investment banks and other financial institutions. In addition, the global firm has extensive experience in all practice areas, and it is specialized in cross-practice services.
K&L Gates’ Seattle office was founded in 1883 and it is the city’s oldest law office, in addition to being one of its largest. The location includes 175 lawyers across different practice areas, and it stands out for its M&A practice with an emphasis on technology, health care, retail, energy and manufacturing. The location is also very active in real estate.
The office also has a strong focus on financing and developing renewable resources and thermal generating projects and on working on a range of climate changes issues.
Lane Powell was founded in Seattle in 1875 and is located in Portland, Anchorage and London. With over 140 years of experience, the firm has made a name for itself in the Pacific Northwest.
The firm has gained a reputation for its real estate and M&A practices across a variety of sectors, such as transportation, food and beverage and social enterprise. The firm is also specialized in international deals working, in particular, with Japanese clients in the US.
The M&A team worked on many deals on both the buy-side and sell-side and represented small family-owned businesses, middle market companies and large public companies. The group advised Tokai Carbon on its $310 million acquisition of Fort Worth-based Sid Richardson Carbon and advised KinderCare Education on its acquisition of early education centers across the United States.
The M&A team added partner Tom Falkner to its practice.
Pacifica Law Group is a Seattle-based firm founded in 2011 by former partners of K&L Gates. Despite its young age, the law firm has grown significantly and has acquired a reputation in the real estate practice.
The firm advises landlords and tenants in commercial leasing and it also represents borrowers, developers and property owners.
In addition to the real estate practice, the firm is active in public finance and it serves as bond counsel, trustee counsel, underwriters counsel and special counsel in different types of financings.
As the oldest and largest law firm in the Pacific Northwest, Perkins Coie is an international firm headquartered in Seattle representing a variety of different companies, from start-ups to multinationals, across the US and Asia. The firm has offices in Seattle, Anchorage, Bellevue, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Madison, New York, Palo Alto, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington DC. In addition, the international firm has offices in China and Taiwan.
Perkins Coie’s Seattle office opened in 1912. Key sectors are technology, aerospace, retail, manufacturing, finance, healthcare and natural resources. In Washington, the firm is among the top firms in M&A and real estate.
The M&A team worked on a number of deals. For example, it represented Oberto Sausage Company, a family-owned business, on its acquisition by specialty food manufacturing and distribution company Premium Brands. Another standout deal was the representation of Moeller Manufacturing & Supply on its acquisition by Consolidated Aerospace Manufacturing, a group of manufacturers of fittings, hardware and fastening solutions for the aircraft and aerospace industries.
The real estate and land use group in Seattle hired Devin McComb who was an associate at Stoel Rives over the research period.
Stoel Rives began as an Oregon based corporate firm and has since grown to become a leader in many different industries and sectors throughout the country, as well as internationally. Aside from its headquarters in Portland, the firm has established offices in Anchorage, Boise, Minneapolis, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC. The firm’s corporate finance practice frequently works with traditional and renewable energy projects, having been involved in nearly a quarter of wind energy production in the US.
The M&A team advises local and international clients and often advises clients in the energy, infrastructure, oil and gas sectors, as well as Alaska Native Corporations.
The real estate team in Seattle represents clients in the acquisitions, financings and leasings of real estate across multiple states. One interesting mandate saw the firm advise on the 20,000-square-foot lease by PCC Community Markets in the Rainier Square Development in downtown Seattle.
Over the research period, the real estate group expanded with the addition of eight partners: Beth Clark, Joe Delaney, John Fandel, Michael Kuntz, Colm Nelson, Chris Osborn, John Santa Lucia and Sabina Shapiro. The new hires left Foster Pepper.