Van Ness Feldman and GordonDerr Announce Merger
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Van Ness Feldman and GordonDerr LLP announced in recent days that the two law firms will merge, and will use the name Van Ness Feldman, A Professional Corporation. The merger is expected to be effective by the end of the first quarter of 2012. In transition, Van Ness Feldman’s Seattle office will operate under the name Van Ness Feldman GordonDerr.

The merger will enable the combined firm to assist a wide, national range of clients in the areas of developing natural resource, energy, infrastructure, and sustainable real estate projects.


Van Ness Feldman is a nationally and regionally recognized energy, environment, transportation and natural resources law and public policy firm with offices in Seattle and Washington, DC. The firm also maintains a highly regarded health care policy practice. GordonDerr is a preeminent real estate, land use, water law, and civil litigation firm located in Seattle. The combined firm will have 116 professionals and 175 total employees firmwide, with 27 professionals and 40 total employees in Seattle.

Howard Feldman, Van Ness Feldman’s co-founder and Chairman, was quoted as saying in the December 14th marketwatch.com press release: “This is a great moment in each firm’s distinguished history. We are proud to take the next step in our growth in Seattle by joining with a firm that provides our clients, both regionally and nationally, with the added benefit of GordonDerr’s comprehensive capabilities in supporting strategic planning and decision-making.”

Jay Derr, GordonDerr’s Managing Partner, who will lead the combined firm’s Seattle office was quoted as saying: “More and more, the development and regulatory needs of our clients are triggering federal agency involvement. This can be through federal laws and regulations such as the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and the like, or through the need to shape policy or secure appropriations from Washington, DC. Energy policy, the increased emphasis on renewable energy, climate change and sustainable design and construction issues arise with increasing frequency in the work we do with clients in the Pacific Northwest. Our clients and prospective clients — be they developers, investors, municipalities, port authorities, special use districts, or other entities — will benefit from Van Ness Feldman’s substantive expertise and its prominent position with policymakers and regulators in Washington, DC.”

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Rick Agnew, who currently manages Van Ness Feldman’s Seattle office and will become the firm’s national Chairman on January 1, 2012, was quoted as saying: “This combination offers great value and benefits for each firm and its clients. Both firms are known as leaders in their areas of practice, our cultures mesh well, and we will now offer a broader array of services to clients. Moreover, our enhanced Seattle platform will provide even more support for Pacific Northwest regional work, including our work on energy and natural resource projects in Alaska and for Alaska Native interests generally.”

Van Ness Feldman was founded in 1977, and has nearly 100 professionals in Washington, DC and Seattle, WA. The firm assists clients with managing their interactions with the U.S. government and structure successful projects, investments, and commercial ventures.

Founded in Seattle in 1979, GordonDerr is a preeminent Pacific Northwest law firm concentrating in real estate, land use, environmental law, water law, and civil litigation.


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