Ports and their tenants in the Northwest are represented by Schwabe.
Schwabe lawyers have partnered with our Northwest ports for over three decades to support growth, expand trade, and improve local economies.
A partner for ports
With deep experience in maritime transportation, heavy industry, real estate and development, and the regulation of port authorities, Schwabe helps clients navigate the unique issues they face in pursuing economic growth and regional connectivity.
For decades, we have represented ports throughout the Northwest–from the Columbia River system to the coasts of Oregon and Washington. We are extremely involved in the ports community and represent industry organizations serving the interests of public ports on the Columbia and Snake River system.
Schwabe provides comprehensive legal services for ports of all sizes, assisting clients in addressing environmental concerns, property acquisition, leasing and development, rail and maritime agreements, public meeting law compliance, general counsel services, and regional navigation issues. Drawing on Schwabe’s vast collective experience and contacts, we help our clients stay apprised of and prepared for industry developments and trends.
Connections and opportunities
The key to a port’s success is its ability to maintain and grow relationships with other public and private entities, both tenants and local partners. The development of these relationships is a foundation for all that we do.
9 PNW ports
Represented by Schwabe
MILLIONS of cargo tons
go through ports Represented by Schwabe
You Know It’s Maritime!
The maritime industry is a driving force in the global economy and affects us all, wherever we live. Our podcast aims to raise awareness of the extraordinary people and amazing companies involved in this industry.
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Schwabe client Port of Seattle explains how to tackle human trafficking through an innovative program.
- Provide ongoing general counsel services for important ports, including drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts and leases, licenses, and other real estate transaction documents. Consult and advise regarding the Washington Public Records Act and Public Meetings Act. Manage litigation and other non-general counsel legal work. Provide day-to-day general recommendations and discussions with staff on compliance, legal risks, legal strategies, and legislative and constitutional authority.
- Achieved a summary dismissal of a six-figure salvage claim against a vessel-owner client by educating a state-court fact-finder on complex nuances of federal maritime salvage law.
- Represented a port in a complicated settlement involving the Columbia River Channel Deepening, development of real property, and ultimate transfer of a portion of the property—subject to conservation easement—to a non-profit land trust.
- Represented a Pacific Northwest coastal port in litigation following an oil spill from a port-owned marine terminal constructed from WWII-era cargo ship hulls.
- Worked with an important regional port in the significant expansion of freight access capabilities, providing support on substantial environmental, permitting, acquisition, condemnation, and construction issues.
- Represented maritime clients regarding highly contentious labor disputes with the longshoremen’s union, which have involved several administrative hearings, lawsuits, and appeals to both the Ninth Circuit and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeals.
- Developed a long-term (25 years) container terminal lease, requiring extensive due diligence on environmental, labor, tax, and commercial contracting issues.
- Successfully represented a port client in high stakes dispute with a former rail Led client through confidential arbitration, lawsuit, and settlement.
- Represented port in reviewing Washington constitutional and statutory authority for the port’s involvement as purchaser and subsequent lessor in the development of a special events center.
- Analyzed the authority of four port districts to obtain land for dredge material outside of their representative port districts.
- Represented a private marine construction company in Oregon in addressing natural resource damage claims asserted by federal and state agencies and several Indian tribes.
- Represented port in an adjudication by the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council of an energy project proposed by a port tenant.
- Represented a private marina owner in a Clean Water Act citizen suit against a municipality for unpermitted discharges of stormwater and pollutants into the marina’s moorage basin.
- Represented an international terminal operator in entering a long-term lease with a Pacific Northwest port.
- Represented a Pacific Northwest port in successfully recovering all damages resulting from a major ship casualty at the port’s general cargo terminal.
- Represented port in commercial eviction proceedings and other lease-related disputes.
- Routinely assists the Port of Vancouver port in responding to and/or challenging public records requests, including litigation when necessary.
- Successfully challenged an illegal transit tax imposed against passing ships by a Columbia River Port under the Tonnage Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Port was ordered to repeal its tax and return all collected funds.
- Assisted client with permitting and due diligence in the acquisition of marine to truck aggregate transloading facilities.
- Provided legal advice to a client on leasing and developing a port terminal for the export of bulk commodities.
- Advised a container terminal on stormwater permitting; negotiated and assisted with the development of a strategy to alter timelines to meet clients’ development and operational needs.
- Represented a developer in an administrative appeal of a denial of a permit to construct a dock in the Columbia River.
- Drafted and negotiated 80-year ground lease for industrial development on port property.
- Negotiated and drafted dredging license and sand agreement along the Columbia River.
- Prepared 50-year lease and construction of a commercial dock with capital contributions from the tenant towards construction costs.
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