Leon Simson

Leon Simson

Of Counsel

503.802.2067
leon.simson@tonkon.com

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Services & Industries

Education

J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School, 1975, Order of the Coif

M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1971

B.A., Oberlin College, 1968

Bar & Court Admissions

Oregon State Bar
U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Leon is a member of Tonkon Torp’s Corporate Finance, Entrepreneurial Services, and Mergers & Acquisitions practice groups. He is an experienced corporate and business restructuring attorney. Leon represents corporate clients in a wide range of business matters, including finance, license agreements, customer and supplier issues, equipment purchasing and financing, acquisitions and divestitures, and shareholder and director issues.

He has represented purchasers in several transactions in which businesses were purchased from various debtors. The purchased businesses included four steel foundries, an electric power plant, a pulp mill, an RV manufacturer, a cab company, and two printing companies.

Leon’s extensive experience also includes advising clients in complex, court-supervised bankruptcy cases, as well as out-of-court restructurings and workouts.

From 1975-76 he served as a law clerk to the Oregon Supreme Court. Leon was listed in The Best Lawyers in America from 1987-2020 for his work in bankruptcy and from 2013-2020 for his work in corporate law.

Representative Matters

In re Stayton SW Assisted Living, L.L.C. (the Consolidated Sunwest Related Entities)

(Bankr. D. Or.) – Tonkon represented debtor, Stayton SW Assisted Living, L.L.C., and over 700 substantially consolidated affiliates, in a Chapter 11 proceeding that resulted in a confirmed Plan of Reorganization. The biggest and most complex bankruptcy case ever filed in Oregon, the consolidation, restructuring and $1.2 billion sale involving over 700 of Sunwest entities demanded legal expertise in bankruptcy, securities, tax, real estate, corporate governance, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulated industries and commercial transactions. Al Kennedy and Tim Conway worked with a team of Tonkon lawyers and paralegals who developed and executed a complex resolution that restructured obligations owing to over 90 secured lenders, sold 146 senior living facilities (including approximately 1,200 tenant-in-common interests held by investors), and resulted in distributions to creditors and investors exceeding 100% of their claims.

In re Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation

(Bankr. D. Or.) – Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation designed and manufactured single-engine, composite airplanes that were rated as the world's fastest production model piston aircraft. Tonkon represented Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case that resulted in the sale of the company to Cessna Aircraft and subsequent confirmation of the company's Plan of Reorganization. 

Representation of Shopping Center Developer

Represented a shopping center developer and owner in a Chapter 11 proceeding which resulted in a successful confirmed plan of reorganization.

In re Pope & Talbot, Inc.

(Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) – After this venerable Portland-based forest products company filed its bankruptcy case in the Southern District of New York in late 2007, Tonkon represented the buyers in two different acquisitions. Al Kennedy orchestrated the acquisition of Pope & Talbot's operations in South Dakota and Wyoming by a strategic buyer. Leon Simson represented a private equity fund in the acquisition of Pope & Talbot's Oregon pulp mill.

Representation of Trustee in Bankruptcy Matter

Represented trustee in a successful re-opening of a closed bankruptcy case to deal with newly discovered estate funds.

Padrick v. Dean, et al

Brought adversary proceeding in bankruptcy court on behalf of liquidating trustee to recover profits and damages from the misappropriation of funds that the debtor corporation was supposed to hold for clients. Obtained settlement of $800,000.

Sale of Cadet Manufacturing Company

Tonkon Torp negotiated and finalized the sale of Vancouver-based Cadet Manufacturing to an Irish company called Glen Dimplex, the world's largest electric heat manufacturer.

Game Development

General representation of a game developer.

Venture Capital Investment Negotiation

Negotiated a venture capital investment for a game development company.

Oregon Solar Projects

Represented the developer in the development, construction and sale of 7.3 megawatts of solar energy projects in Eastern Oregon, including Oregon's largest operating solar facility, the 5 MW Outback project. 

Purchase of Oregon Pulp Mill

Represented Wayzata Investment Partners, a private equity fund, in connection with a $31.2 million cash purchase of an Oregon pulp mill from the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee.

Sale of Industrial Equipment Manufacturer Assets and Real Property

Represented a heavy equipment manufacturer in the sale of its business assets and real property which involved debt payoff, real property sale and leasing, and product manufacturing issues.

Sale of Pulp Mill

Represented Wayzata Investment Partners, a private equity fund, in connection with a sale of Halsey, Oregon pulp mill.

Founding Shareholder Representation

Represented founding shareholders regarding the sale of computer software to a national company.

Solar Energy Facility

Assisted in the development and sale of two separate solar energy facilities.

License Agreement Negotiation

Negotiated a license agreement on behalf of a client who holds patents.

Representation of Restaurant Owner

Represented a company that owned a chain of restaurants in a Chapter 11 proceeding which resulted in a successful confirmed plan of reorganization. On behalf of this company, Leon Simson led a Tonkon Torp team to seek protection under Chapter 11 and to produce a fast track resolution that resulted in a confirmed plan of reorganization allowing the reorganized company to emerge from bankruptcy.

In re Lumber Products, Inc.

(Bankr. D. Or.) – Lumber Products was a manufacturer and distributor of building products. Tonkon represented the company in its Chapter 11 case. The company was sold through a 363 sale and a plan was confirmed within six months of the petition date.

Construction Arbitration

Successful five-day arbitration to recover damages for defective road construction.

Obsidian Renewables

2012 was a year of full-scale retreat for most renewable energy developers, both in Oregon and nationwide. Key tax credits and other incentives had expired or were expiring, and low natural gas prices kept demand for renewables low. This did not deter local developer Obsidian Renewables.

Tonkon Torp Completes Complex Asset Sale for Privately Held Business

In late 2014, Tonkon Torp represented a privately held heavy industrial equipment manufacturer in a complex transaction that included selling business assets and real property, and leasing other related business property. The selling company is a long-term client of the firm.

Solar Project Sale Shines Light on Tonkon Team

Tonkon Torp represented our long-standing client, Obsidian Renewables, in sale of the Black Cap Solar II project to PSEG Solar Source, a New Jersey-based utility. Find details and more featured cases here.

Community Involvement & Activities


Professional Memberships

American Bar Association
Multnomah Bar Association

The Best Lawyers in America

1987–2020, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law (Chapter 12 Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Out-of-Court Workouts, Workouts and Restructurings)
2013–2020, Corporate Law

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Super Lawyers

2014-2019, Oregon Super Lawyer – Business/Corporate
2007-2010, Oregon Super Lawyer – Mergers & Acquisitions

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2020 List for Best Lawyers in America® Includes 48 Tonkon Torp Attorneys

Forty-eight Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 39 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2020. A majority of attorneys have been named to the list in past years, and most have been recognized for more than five years.

31 Tonkon Torp Attorneys Honored on 2019 Super Lawyers Lists

Thirty-one Tonkon Torp attorneys in nine practice areas have been included in the 2019 Oregon Super Lawyers or Rising Stars lists.

Tonkon Torp Attorneys Present at May 2018 TiE Bootcamps

Through the efforts of Tonkon Torp’s Entrepreneurial Services Practice Group, Tonkon Torp attorneys presented at, or attended, five TiE Bootcamps in May. Tonkon Torp hosted a Bootcamp on May 3, at which Lindsay Reynolds provided an overview on hiring independent contractors versus employees and Eric Beach spoke on developing intellectual property strategies.

Best Lawyers in America® Names 51 Tonkon Torp Attorneys to 2019 List

Fifty-one Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 41 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2019. Nearly all attorneys have been named to the list in past years, and have been recognized for more than five years

31 Tonkon Torp Attorneys Honored on 2018 Super Lawyers Lists

Thirty-one Tonkon Torp attorneys in 11 practice areas have been included in the 2018 Oregon Super Lawyers or Rising Stars lists. Tonkon Torp partner and bankruptcy authority Albert Kennedy has been once again recognized on the Top 50 list of Oregon lawyers rated most highly by their peers statewide.

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Publications & Presentations

“Formation Issues Faced by Startups,” TiE Oregon Bootcamp, October 2017

“Building a Healthy Startup: Avoiding Common Founder’s Mistakes,” May 2017

“When Do You NEED to Talk to a Lawyer,” TiE Oregon Bootcamp, November 2016

“Demystifying the Cap Table,” November 2016

“Hot Topics in 363 Sales,” 27th Annual Northwest Bankruptcy Institute, Oregon and Washington State Bar, April 2014