Founded in 1908, Davis Wright Tremaine has worked with small clients as well as those of Fortune 500 stature, with a focus on litigation, entertainment, environmental, intellectual property, and employment law. Today, the firm has more than 500 attorneys across eight domestic offices.
Winning the West Coast
More than eight decades after it kick-started to life in Seattle, Davis Wright Tremaine merged with another reputable Seattle firm and began its expansion in and beyond the Pacific Northwest. Through its Anchorage, Alaska office, Davis Wright Tremaine made headlines when it served as lead counsel in a 30,000-plaintiff lawsuit filed by seafood and fishing industry interests against Exxon Valdez for the massive oil spill off the coast of Alaska.
Gradually the firm forged a string of offices dotting the West Coast, becoming the first Seattle-based firm to open up shop in San Francisco in 1991, and snagging prominent West Coast names like Starbucks, Microsoft, and the Seattle Times as clients.
The firm moved to the East Coast in 1981 when it acquired a Washington, DC telecommunications boutique and made its move to the Big Apple in 1998.
Davis Wright Tremaine has continued to grow in its core practice areas as well as copyright and middle-management M&A. The firm’s practice areas include brand protection and advertising, corporate and business transactions employment law, environmental law, litigation, real estate, and technology + privacy and security.
DWT has a powerful entertainment division, boasting clients like Spike Cable Networks, MTV Networks, Viacom, Discovery Communications, Comcast Communications, and NBC Universal, and is particularly well known for its First Amendment litigation. The firm's attorneys have represented author J.D. Salinger in a copyright suit, batted off litigation against controversial filmmaker Michael Moore by citing First Amendment rights, and defended CBS from FCC fines stemming from a certain legendary Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction. Recently, the firm made headlines in its defense of BuzzFeed in the Steele Dossier case. DWT is among the top 3 law firms in Vault’s Media, Entertainment, & Sports ranking and its practice has been named Media & Entertainment Group of the Year by Law360.
With an eye toward innovation, DWT employs “legal solution architects” who work together with firm lawyers to address clients’ and the firm’s business initiatives and challenges. The firm brings together creative problem solving strategies, collaboration strategies like Lean Six Sigma, and project management. Projects have included creating an automated legal document system and heat map of protected intellectual property.
The national business publication “The Deal” named DWT partner Sarah Tune its 2018 Middle Market Food & Beverage Dealmaker of the Year. The Deal also gave its 2018 Food and Beverage Middle Market Deal of the Year award to a transaction handled by our Food + Bev team, in which Portland’s Craft Brew Alliance acquired three regional beer brands.
In its annual Power Lawyers issue, the magazine devoted three pages to a special profile of DWT’s media and First Amendment group, writing: “As the media increasingly finds itself under attack in the Trump age, this firm has become its best line of defense.”
The article, entitled “More Than Money: Getting Female Founders The Social Capital They Need” was written by an alumna of the Project W Women Entrepreneurs Boot Camp. It described the success of Project W in helping women founders form “relationships with people who have the wisdom, power, and money to be the founder’s first customers, advisors, and advocates.”
DWT represented NWIRP in this important case, in which our client sued DOJ after being instructed to “cease and desist” from providing limited legal services to unrepresented immigrants in deportation proceedings. Our client challenged the order in federal court and won a ruling granting preliminary injunctive relief, after which a settlement was reached allowing NWIRP to continue offering services to individuals who cannot afford private representation. The agreement also ensures access to due process and paves the way for other nonprofits across the country to expand the legal services they offer.
- Successfully defended BuzzFeed in internationally watched defamation case challenging BuzzFeed’s publication of the Steele Dossier.
- Successfully defended Greenpeace in two separate cases in which large natural resources companies tried to use the RICO statute to silence environmental activism.
- Successfully defended Northwest Immigrant Rights Project from an effort by the Trump administration’s Department of Justice to stop the group from aiding individuals in deportation proceedings.
- Successfully litigating on behalf of Microsoft, secured landmark reform of the Department of Justice’s approach to digital surveillance, protecting the constitutional rights of email users and providers.
- Media & Entertainment Practice Group of the Year, (Law360 2017, 2018, 2019)
- Top Performer, Microsoft Law Firm Diversity Program (2019)
- Innovative Law Firm of the Year, (International Legal Technology Association 2015, 2016)
- 50 Best Law Firms for Women (Working Mother magazine 2014-2018)
- Appellate Hot List, (National Law Journal 2017)
1201 Third Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: (206) 622-3150
Managing Partner: Jeff Gray
Hiring Partners: Ken Payson (Seattle), David Ubaldi (Bellevue), Adam Caldwell (DC), Aaron Stuckey (Portland), Nancy Clapp (LA), Roxanne Elings (NY), Jeff Bosley (SF), Gregory Fisher (Anchorage)
Total No. Attorneys 2016:
500 - 750
1st year: $140,000
Summer associate: $2,500/week Seattle, WA
1st year: $160,000
Summer associate: $2,800/week Washington, DC
1st year: $180,000
Summer associate: $3,000/week New York, NY
1st year: $190,000
Summer associate: $3,200/week Los Angeles, CA
1st year: $180,000
Summer associate: $3,000/week San Francisco, CA
1st year: $180,000 Bellevue, WA
1st year: $160,000 Anchorage, AK
1st year: $115,000
Summer Associate Offers:
10 out of 10 (2Ls) (2018)
No. of Summer Associates:
18 total (10 2Ls; 8 1Ls)
Seattle, WA (HQ)
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Business & Tax
Technology & Privacy & Security
Real Estate & Land Use
Media, Entertainment, Patent, Technology & Advertising
Food & Beverage
*See firm website for additional departments and specific practice areas and industries