2021 Vault Rankings
About Tonkon Torp LLP
The reach of Oregon-based firm Tonkon Torp extends far beyond its home state. The firm has represented some of the largest and most influential companies in the world, including Portland General Electric, sneaker giant Nike, and real estate mammoth Blackstone.
Once an Oregonian, Always an Oregonian
Though its reach extends beyond, Tonkon Torp's roots remain in Oregon. In 1974, Moe Tonkon's three-person firm welcomed some new additions: Frederick Torp and five other attorneys from Stoel Rives. Among the original crew of founding partners was renowned Oregonian Brian G. Booth, who is credited with revitalizing the literary and natural heritages of the state. A fervent literary arts advocate, Booth created the Oregon Book Awards, Oregon Literary Fellowships, and Literary Arts organizations; co-founded the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission; and was the first chairman of the Oregon Parks Commission. Booth and Nike founder Phil Knight attended the University of Oregon together, which led to a longstanding professional relationship between Nike and Tonkon Torp; the firm represented the company for 20 years.
Doing it All
Attorneys at Tonkon Torp cover a full range of practice areas, including bankruptcy, corporate, cannabis, employment, environmental, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and tax. And the firm’s work has not gone unrecognized. Best Lawyers in America® named six Tonkon attorneys as 2019 Portland Lawyers of the Year. And 31 of the firm’s attorneys made it onto the 2019 Oregon Super Lawyers or Rising Stars lists. The firm has also been recognized as one of the “Most Admired Companies” in Oregon by the Portland Business Journal every year since 2005.
Green in the Evergreens
If you’re looking for a firm that values the environment, look no further than Tonkon Torp. Its Sustainability Committee seeks to integrate sustainability into everyday life at the firm—the firm even remodeled its office with an eye toward green practices. Tonkon also has a sustainability policy which extends to its purchasing, energy use, business travel, waste reduction, and more. Among its recognitions include the 2016 Oregon State Bar Sustainability Leadership Award and 2015-2021 Gold Certification from the City of Portland’s Sustainability at Work program.
Tonkon Torp is also home to a well-regarded specialty energy practice group, which has been at the forefront of noteworthy environmental initiatives on the West Coast. Recently, the firm counseled a pro bono client on the terms of a Blue Skye Fund grant to install a rooftop solar array on one of its buildings.
As part of its diversity initiatives, Tonkon Torp offers a fellowship to a first-year law student who is a person of color or a member of an underrepresented group. This fellowship includes a 10-week paid summer associate position following the recipient's 1L year, as well as a $10,000 academic scholarship.
News & Awards
Tonkon Torp led one of Oregon's most notable M&A deals of 2019 for its client, Columbia Helicopters, Inc. (CHI). Founded in 1957, CHI is one of Oregon's most recognizable brands, best known for their fleet of heavy-lift Chinook helicopters. In 2018, a deal to sell CHI was struck with a company based in Texas. Due to a number of factors unrelated to CHI or the deal, the buyer couldn't finance the transaction and terminated the purchase. Tonkon Torp worked diligently to ensure that disengaging from the deal, which included collecting a $20 million breakup fee, would not hinder CHI's ability to smoothly engage with a new buyer. Within two months of the scuttled sale, CHI had located a new buyer in AE Industrial. Since a substantial amount of legwork for a sale had already been completed, the parties truncated the negotiation process and quickly came to agreement on terms. The sale closed in August 2019.
In 2019, Tonkon Torp assisted their pro bono client of over 40 years, Albina Head Start (AHS), in the purchase of a building they had been long-term leasing for their Tina Clegg Center. The Center houses both a Head Start program serving 60 low-income families and administrative offices that coordinate and provide services for numerous additional families. The building owners gave AHS short notice to vacate the premises before sale, so AHS' decision to purchase the building was significant in maintaining the success of their work in the Center. In addition to coordinating the purchase, Tonkon Torp helped AHS secure off-cycle grants from community foundations in a short timeframe and raise the necessary funds for purchase.
In August 2019, 48 Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 39 practice areas were selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2020. A majority of attorneys have been named to the list in past years, and most have been recognized for more than five years. “We are honored that our peers in Portland’s legal community have recognized the talent of such a diverse field of Tonkon Torp lawyers,” shared Darcy Norville, Managing Partner. “The diversity of practices included on the list reflects our dedication to assembling collaborative teams of attorneys to solve the unique and complex business problems of our clients.”
In May 2019, Tonkon Torp celebrated a complete appellate victory for its client, Con-way, with a decisive win in the Oregon Court of Appeals. The appeal affirmed a 2014 judgment that settled the question of who bore responsibility for a portion of defense and indemnity costs associated with three Superfund sites, including the Portland Harbor, and more than 1,500 asbestos lawsuits. The Court of Appeals, without ever reaching the substance of the appeal, issued an opinion affirming the judgment on the grounds that the trial court should have directed a verdict in Con-way's favor. The appellate win, undoubtedly significant for Con-way, was also favorable for every other insurer in the case.
1600 Pioneer Tower
888 S.W. Fifth Avenue
Portland, OR 97204-2099
Phone: (503) 221-1440
Managing Partner: Kurt Ruttum
Hiring Partner: Parna Mehrbani
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
50 - 100
1st year: $135,000
Summer Associate: $2,500/week
Director of Human Resources
No. of U.S. Offices: 1
No. of International Offices: 0
Bankruptcy & Creditor Rights
Cannabis Industry Group
Corporate Finance & Transactions
Environmental & Natural Resources
Financial Services & Investment Management
Information Privacy & Security
Labor & Employment
Mergers & Acquisitions
Nonprofit & Tax-Exempt Entities
Real Estate & Land Use
Tax & Employee Benefits
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.