Dave A. Hepler


Dave Hepler helps clients lease, purchase, sell, and finance real property throughout Oregon and Washington. In his nearly 20 years of practice, Dave has handled numerous large, complex real estate transactions; he also enjoys assisting start-up and mom-and-pop companies on smaller deals.


Dave’s active leasing practice includes institutional and private real property owners throughout the western United States, as well as businesses with locations throughout the country. Dave’s leasing focus includes office, industrial, and retail projects. He understands that each client has different priorities in lease negotiations, and that some clients prefer to focus on “big ticket” items while others strive for optimization of every provision. Having drafted and negotiated hundreds of leases, Dave brings this extensive experience to the table in advising his clients where they will get the most bang for their buck in lease negotiations. This experience also helps maximize efficiency in negotiating subordination, nondisturbance, and attornment agreements, tenant estoppels, franchise addenda, and all other lease-related documents.

Real Property Acquisition and Disposition

Dave has deep experience buying and selling real property of all kinds, including office towers, shopping centers, industrial and warehouse facilities, bare land, agricultural land, and ranches. As the need arises, he draws upon the expertise of his Schwabe partners focusing on land use and entitlements and environmental practice. Dave believes in proactive communication, so that his clients are not left guessing as to the status of a transaction and the numerous deadlines they may face. As the former chair of Oregon’s largest real estate and land use department, Dave is a team player who can draw on junior attorneys to assist with aspects of transactions in order to deliver the best and most efficient results.

Timberlands and Forestry

Schwabe has been a U.S. News Best Law Firms Tier 1 timber law firm for years, and Dave has headed up or participated in many of our most challenging and interesting transactions. Although timberlands transactions look and feel like other real estate transactions in many ways, they have distinct features that are most efficiently handled by someone with Dave’s experience. Unique title issues, road use agreements, logging contracts, log supply agreements, and conservation easements are examples of the areas of industry knowledge that Dave and Schwabe bring to the table. When technical issues arise around environmental conditions, endangered species, tribal lands, entity structuring, tax issues, or water law, Dave draws on his deep internal connections with Schwabe’s Natural Resources industry group to craft efficient and effective solutions.

Real Property Finance and Opinion Practice

Dave began his legal career at the San Diego office of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, drafting and negotiating loan documents for several lender clients. Upon moving to Portland to join Schwabe in 2003, he built on that practice by representing borrowers on real estate loans large and small. He is a long-standing member of Schwabe’s Legal Opinion Committee.

Dave is the former chair of Schwabe’s Real Estate & Land Use practice group. Before pursuing a legal career, he was a professional drummer.



  • Represented the Port of Vancouver in the development of the largest petroleum transloading facility in the country.
  • Represented a timberlands investment management organization in the acquisition of a 1.88-million acre timberland portfolio.
  • Handle ongoing leasing of substantial retail and office portfolios for several large real estate investment companies.
  • Represent Concordia University in the development of a collaborative facility with Portland Public Schools that will establish the country’s first graduate program/elementary school campus.
  • Serve as national real estate and operations counsel for four major cinema circuits.‎
  • Represented a major financial institution in the sale of its 40-story office complex in downtown Portland.

Memberships & Awards


  • U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers, “Law Firm of the Year” in Timber Law, Team Member (2015 and 2018)
  • U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers, National Tier 1 Firm in Timber Law, Team Member (2015-2018)

Resources & Ideas

Seminars & Speaking Engagements

Law Seminars International

Construction Work Letters 
The lawyer's role; how to get accurate information and enough detail into the document
February 6th & 7th, 2020

Community Activities

Community Activities

  • Make-a-Wish Foundation, Board of Directors (Present)
  • Clackamas Service Center, Board of Directors (Former)
  • Three Rivers Land Conservancy, Board of Directors (Former)




Oregon State Courts

California State Courts

Washington State Courts

Outside The Office