Gwen's tax practice includes advice to individuals, businesses, nonprofit entities, and local governments on federal and state tax issues. She is experienced in corporate, partnership, and individual taxation matters, as well as the income tax and transfer tax issues of trusts and estates. Part of Gwen's practice focuses on the "sharing economy," including advice to cooperatives and cost-sharing entities, the creation of collaborative agreements among public and private entities, and innovative grant- and gift-making techniques. Gwen also addresses international tax issues, including foreign investment in businesses and assets, as well as FACTA and FBAR compliance.
In addition, Gwen is the Executive Director of an Oregon state agency that is housed at Tonkon Torp: the Oregon Facilities Authority. In this work, Gwen works closely with the Office of the State Treasurer to help Oregon nonprofits access low-cost financing for the acquisition of facilities and equipment through the issuance of revenue bonds. The Oregon Facilities Authority has issued over $3 billion in bonds in its 23 year history.
Gwen's clients appreciate her ability to listen and to hear not only to what is said, but what is not said, a critical element in helping them achieve their long-term objectives as well as short-term goals. Clients say she deploys a unique combination of intelligence and common sense to help them solve their legal problems, without forgetting the all-important human side of any problem.
Gwen began her law career at the Dallas, Texas law firm of Akin Gump, and then spent a number of years teaching law school. She taught tax law at Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Oregon for many years before joining the Eugene, Oregon boutique firm of Speer Hoyt PC. She came to Tonkon in 2008.
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Local Government Advising
Private Foundation Status
Tonkon Torp Helps Oregon Invest in Oregon
Underneath Tonkon Torp’s Financial Services banner, a specialized Investment Management Practice represents institutional, governmental, and individual investors to advise on investments in funds such as hedge funds, real estate funds, venture capital funds, and private equity funds. For instance, in recent years, the State of Oregon has turned to Tonkon Torp’s expertise to provide legal counsel in connection with its investments. Business attorneys David Forman and Owen Blank, and tax attorney Gwen Griffith each hold an appointment as Special Assistant Attorney General for the state.
Tonkon Torp Wins OR Supreme Court Victory for ACLU of Oregon
Tonkon Torp attorneys Steven Wilker, Sarah Einowski and Gwen Griffith, working on behalf of the ACLU of Oregon, won a large victory in the Oregon Supreme Court that strengthens the public's right to records. Find details and more featured cases here.
Yakima Products Acquires New Headquarters Campus with Help from Tonkon Torp
Tonkon Torp’s real estate and land use team completed a time-sensitive transaction that enabled the fast-growing Yakima Products, Inc., to acquire its new corporate headquarters in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Find details and more featured cases here.
Tonkon Torp Team Delivers Fast, Efficient Counsel in Rejuvenation Sale
The successful sale of Portland-based Rejuvenation to a major, national home furnishings company was facilitated by an interdisciplinary team of Tonkon Torp business lawyers.
Community Involvement & Activities
City of Portland Business License Appeals Board
Portland Tax Forum
Board of Directors
Youth, Rights and Justice
Pro Bono Attorney
Oregon State Bar
Taxation Section Executive Committee
The Tax Advisor
Advisory Editorial Board (professional publication of the AICPA)
2002–2003, Past President, Board of Directors
Multnomah Bar Association
Oregon Women Lawyers
Gwen Griffith and Caroline Harris Crowne Speak at OSB Annual Litigation Meeting
Gwen Griffith Discusses Tax Reform for Thought Leader Forum
Gwendolyn Griffith Presents at Association for Financial Professionals Luncheon
Gwen Griffith Presents at 2017 Northwest Federal Tax Conference
Gwen Griffith Presents The CLiF Project at OSB Pro Bono Fair
Gwen Griffith Appointed to Business License Appeals Board
Best Lawyers in America® Names 49 Tonkon Torp Attorneys to 2018 List
Gwen Griffith Honored with Multnomah Bar Association Pro Bono Award of Merit
Tonkon Torp Sponsors YRJ Justice Luncheon
Gwen Griffith Participates in REGISTERED Panel Discussion
Women Business Leaders Gather at Seminar Co-Hosted by Tonkon Torp
Tonkon Torp Sponsors 2016 YRJ Gala
Tonkon Torp Donates to Youth, Rights & Justice Give!Guide Campaign
Best Lawyers in America® Names 44 Tonkon Torp Attorneys to 2017 List
Tonkon Holds Seminar for Women Business Leaders
Gwen Griffith Speaks to OSB Members on Business Closure Tax Issues
45 Tonkon Torp Attorneys Named Best Lawyers in America® 2016
Gwen Griffith Discusses “Tax Messes” with OATC Members
Publications & Presentations
Gwen is the co-author of a prominent book on the transition of family wealth, Family Wealth Transition Planning, published by Bloomberg in 2008 and now available through Wiley Publications. She is also the author of two leading treatises for law and taxation students published by Aspen Publishers.
Panelist, “Mississippi Burning: Pro Bono Service – Then and Now,” Oregon State Bar’s 25th Annual Litigation Institute & Retreat Meeting, March 2018
"New Math – The New Tax Law and Its Impact," Association for Financial Professionals, January 2018
"Recent Federal Tax Cases and Rulings," Northwest Federal Tax Conference, Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants, November 2017
"CLiF Project (Changing Lives Forever)," Oregon State Bar Pro Bono Fair, October 2017
Moderator, "Turning Points – Stories of Transition: A Seminar for Women Business Leaders," KeyBank Club, October 2016
Moderator, "Been There! Done That! A Seminar for Women Business Leaders," KeyBank Club, October 2015
"Tax Issues of Closing Up Shop," Broadbrush Taxation: Tax Law for the Nonspecialist, Oregon State Bar Taxation Section, October 2015
"Anatomy of a Tax Mess," Mid-Willamette Chapter of the Oregon Association of Tax Consultants, June 2015
"Estate Planning and You," Ameriprise Financial, May 2015
"Issues in Alternative Investment: Is There a Cure for Auditor's Insomnia?" Association of Public Pension Fund Auditors Professional Development Conference, May 2015
"Federal Tax Cases and Rulings 2014," Midvalley Tax Forum, Oregon State Bar Taxation Section, January 20, 2015
"Recent Federal Tax Cases and Rulings," State and Local Tax Conference, Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants, January 2015
"Recent Federal Tax Cases and Rulings," Northwest Federal Tax Conference, Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants, November 2014
"Oops! My Client Didn't Mean to Do That – What Now?" IRS/Practitioners Forum, Oregon Society of CPAs, October 2014
"The Relationship Between a Company’s 'Health' and 'Wealth,'" Growing a Company that is Healthy, Wealthy and Wise: A Seminar for Women Business Leaders, KeyBank/Geffen Mesher/Tonkon Torp, October 2014
"Recent Federal Tax Cases and Rulings," Oregon State Bar Taxation Section, September 2014
"Recent Oregon Tax Court Cases," Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants, January 2014