The Firm

The Firm

Firm History

The Seattle office of Lane Powell traces its roots back to 1889, when William Peters of Pennsylvania joined the Seattle firm of Strudwick, Peters & Collins. The same year, John Powell arrived in Seattle to practice law with the firm of Stratton, Lewis & Gilman. By 1900, Mr. Peters and Mr. Powell formed a partnership, Peters & Powell, with offices in the Dexter Horton Bank Building. By 1929, W. Byron Lane had joined the Firm as an associate. A year later, Mr. Powell died. In 1935, his son, George, joined the Firm (now called Evans & McLaren), which eventually became known as Evans, McLaren, Lane, Powell & Beeks. In 1959, Gordon Moss became a partner, ultimately a named partner, and in 1966 Pendleton Miller joined the Firm as a partner, and the Firm’s name was changed to Lane, Powell, Moss & Miller. In 1979, the Firm expanded to Anchorage by merging with Ruskin, Barker & Hicks, and in 1986, the Firm opened an office in Mt. Vernon, Wash. In 1987, it merged with the Seattle firm of Cohen and Kaplan, and in 1988 opened an Olympia office and a London office.

The Portland office of Lane Powell traces its history in a direct line to 1875, the year William D. Fenton was admitted to the Oregon Bar and began practicing law. Many of his first cases were for Southern Pacific Railroad. The Firm grew, and by 1906, Fenton, now a judge, was honored when the University of Oregon named a building after him — Fenton Hall, which eventually housed the School of Law. After Mr. Fenton’s death in 1918, the law firm McCain & Fenton became Hampson & Nelson. In 1926, the Firm moved into the Pacific Building in Portland (where it stayed until 1999, when it moved into the newly built ODS Tower). The Firm’s name changed to Hampson, Koerner, Young & Swett in 1944.  Two years later, in 1946, George Campbell and Frank Spears joined the Firm. John Bledsoe joined the Firm in 1948, the same year the Firm changed its name to Koerner, Young, Swett & McColloch. One year later Herbert Anderson and Oglesby Young joined the Firm, which changed its named once again in 1950 to Koerner, Young, McColloch & Dezendorf. William Lubersky joined the Firm in 1951.  The Firm went through a series of name changes from 1965 to 1988 before joining forces with the Seattle office, in 1965 the name changed to McColloch, Dezendorf & Spears; in 1969 it became McColloch, Dezendorf, Spears & Lubersky; in 1972 it changed to Dezendorf, Spears, Lubersky & Campbell; in 1979 it became Spears, Lubersky, Campbell & Bledsoe; in 1983 it changed to Spears, Lubersky, Campbell, Bledsoe, Anderson & Young; and in 1988 the Firm became known as Spears, Lubersky, Bledsoe, Anderson, Young & Hilliard.

These two successful and long-lived Firms joined forces by merging in 1990 as Lane Powell Spears Lubersky LLP, with the goal of becoming a leading multi-practice Pacific Northwest law firm with primary offices in Seattle and Portland. In 2005, the Firm shortened its name to Lane Powell PC. Staying true to its goal, in 2011, the Portland-based firm Roberts Kaplan LLP (formerly known as Foster Pepper LLP) joined Lane Powell, bringing additional experience and expertise to Lane Powell’s existing Practice and Industry Groups.

Currently, Lane Powell has approximately 200 attorneys in offices located throughout Washington, Oregon, Alaska and London, England. More than 300 staff support the work of these attorneys. The Firm handles matters for clients locally, nationally and internationally. The Firm has extensive experience and expertise in a wide spectrum of practice specialties, and a number of the Firm’s shareholders are nationally known as leaders in their fields. Over the years, a number of lawyers have left the Firm for positions on the Bench, including:

  • The Honorable Mary Jo Heston, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington
  • The Honorable Erik Price, Thurston County Superior Court
  • The Honorable Janice Ellis, Snohomish County Superior Court
  • The Honorable James Robart, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • The Honorable Christopher Marshall, Multnomah County Circuit Court
  • The Honorable Mark Rindner, Anchorage Superior Court
  • The Honorable Trish M. Brown, United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon
  • The Honorable Arthur R. Chapman, King County District Court
  • The Honorable Suzanne M. Barnett, Chief Copyright Royalty Judge, United States Copyright Royalty Board
  • The Honorable Thomas S. Zilly, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • The Honorable Brian K. Clark, Anchorage District Court
  • The Honorable Richard W. Postma, Jr., Anchorage District Court
  • The Honorable William Beeks, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington