Real Estate Litigation
Tonkon Torp takes a prudent and practical approach to real estate matters. Our real estate attorneys have helped clients solve problems and achieve their objectives for more than 40 years. We understand that in real estate, time is money, so we strive to deliver prompt turnaround on projects without sacrificing quality. We customarily assign matters to a single attorney who takes responsibility for the project. However, we can also assemble a knowledgeable and efficient team when needed.

Sales & Acquisitions

We assist our clients with all aspects of purchasing, selling and financing both developed and undeveloped real estate. Particular areas of expertise include negotiations, title, permitting, due diligence, environmental compliance, ownership structures, 1031 exchanges and property tax. We focus on getting the transaction closed on time and on budget while meeting our clients' business objectives. 


Our leasing expertise ranges from modest to multi-million dollar transactions for both landlords and tenants. We have decades of experience with leases in all commercial settings, including industrial parks, office buildings, shopping centers, warehouses, energy projects and special use facilities.

Environmental & Natural Resources

Many real estate matters involve environmental liability, discharge permits, water rights and other natural resources issues. We advise clients in structuring transactions and managing their property — including a wide variety of commercial, industrial and timberland properties — to address these matters. More information about our environmental law abilities can be found on our Environmental & Natural Resources page.

Land Use & Development

We help clients successfully navigate Oregon's complex land use laws to secure appropriate zoning entitlements and related permits, and we defend those approvals on appeal. With our help, our clients have developed a wide variety of projects including industrial complexes, retail centers, office buildings, residential subdivisions, apartments, condominiums, energy projects, and special use facilities.


We assist owners and developers of commercial and industrial projects, both large and small, to negotiate and document their architectural services agreements, construction contracts, and financing arrangements. We also help our clients resolve construction-related disputes and to address the wide range of other issues that arise with any complicated development project.

Administrative Law

Government administrative agencies are crucial but often-overlooked regulators with significant control over our clients’ real estate and development objectives. We help navigate these complexities.


Tonkon Torp litigates real property disputes involving leases, contracts, easements, liens, timber trespass, property taxes, construction, condemnation, environmental liability, and boundary lines. More information can be found on our Real Estate Litigation page.

Workouts and Bankruptcy

Our real estate expertise includes significant experience in workouts, loan restructuring, lease modifications, foreclosures, and bankruptcies that involve real estate assets.

Read our Ear to the Ground Blog for frequent updates and articles on commercial real estate in the Pacific Northwest and beyond!
Tonkon Torp's lawyers have substantial expertise in litigating real estate disputes. We have successfully litigated real estate cases in state and federal courts and in arbitration proceedings. We represent clients in the wide range of disputes that can arise in connection with real estate matters, including:
  • Commercial leasing disputes and eviction proceedings
  • Specific performance of land sale contracts
  • Boundary issues, encroachments, adverse possession, timber trespass and quiet title cases
  • Foreclosures and liens
  • Easements
  • Condemnation proceedings

Representative Real Estate Litigation Matters

  • Represented property developer in an action against its anchor tenant, after the tenant defaulted on a lease which had provided the basis for $25 million in building renovation financing. The matter settled shortly before trial for a substantial recovery. In related cases, we defended the owner against numerous construction lien claims and the lender's foreclosure proceeding.
  • Represented a building owner in a declaratory judgment action to determine ownership and rights to advertising space located on an old remnant wall. This case involved historical research, expert forensic engineering, and boundary, trespass and adverse possession issues.
  • Defended a ranch owner in eminent domain proceedings brought by local municipality to establish a waste water pipeline through the ranch. The condemnation taking consisted of temporary and permanent easements for construction and operation of the pipeline. The matter settled shortly before trial, for 10 times more than the municipality's original offer and with greatly improved engineering and safety requirements to benefit our client.
  • Represented a warehouse owner in eminent domain proceedings brought by Tri-Met in connection with the Milwaukie Light Rail project. Obtained favorable settlement for our client.

Real Estate & Land Use Transactional Practice

Our real estate and land use attorneys have decades of experience. We help landowners, developers, builders, investors, tenants and lenders solve problems and achieve their real estate objectives. More information can be found on our Real Estate & Land Use Law page.

Read our Ear to the Ground Blog for frequent updates and articles on commercial real estate in the Pacific Northwest and beyond!

Tonkon Torp Secures Favorable Ruling for the Heathman Hotel

Tonkon Torp was hired by the Heathman Hotel in 2015 with the goal of gaining a swift resolution to a dispute regarding McCormick & Schmick’s lease renewal terms. Find details and more featured cases here.

Tonkon Torp Stays the Course in the Mississippi Avenue Lofts Project

The process to acquire, complete and sell the Mississippi Avenue Lofts involved a broad range of legal transactions from Tonkon Torp, including a funding round, multi-party loan and purchasing agreements, litigation and a final sale. Find the details and more featured cases here.

Beardsley v. Weiner

Represented Fountain Village Development, which owns a portfolio of historic buildings in downtown Portland, in bankruptcy proceedings that included a dispute over who owned the rights to revenue from advertising on what had been a common wall on one of the company's properties.

City of Hermiston v. LGW Ranch, Inc.

Represented LGW Ranch, Inc., a cattle ranching operation, in a condemnation proceeding involving diversion of treated municipal wastewater. The matter was resolved through a negotiated agreement favorable to our client.

Condemnation Proceeding Representation

Represented the building owner in a condemnation proceeding involving a warehouse in Portland which is in the path of a new light rail line under construction. The client claimed that the condemning authority's offer of $1.2 million for the warehouse undervalued the property. The matter was resolved through a negotiated settlement favorable to our client.

Condominium Project Representation

Represented the purchaser of a troubled green condominium project in North Portland. This Multnomah County Circuit Court case involved over 20 parties, including the architect, general contractor, subcontractors and suppliers. The building, although brand new, experienced significant construction defects, including a prematurely failed roof and acoustic separation issues. The case was ultimately settled following a series of joint expert investigations and a comprehensive mediation process.

Crandall v. Rajaratnam

Obtained a favorable award following a week-long arbitration on claims of recession and damages relating to the purchase and sale of real estate.

Fraud and Breach of Contract Defense

Defended a real estate developer against claims of fraud and breach of contract arising from a mixed residential-business-church development project. The client sought our help less than two weeks before the scheduled arbitration hearing. We prepared witnesses, including experts, and assembled documentary evidence in time for the hearing, and we succeeded in protecting our client from any personal liability.

Kramer v. City of Lake Oswego

Tonkon Torp represents the City of Lake Oswego, Oregon in a lawsuit concerning ownership of and access to Oswego Lake. After Tonkon's lawyers were successful in moving to have the case dismissed in federal court, the lawsuit is now pending in Oregon state court.

Land Use

Represented a large industrial landowner in a series of appeals successfully challenging the City of Portland's North Reach River Plan ordinance as failing to comply with Oregon's statewide land use planning goals and the City's own comprehensive plan. (Land Use Board of Appeals, Oregon Court of Appeals, Oregon Supreme Court)

Port of Arlington v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Tonkon Torp represents the Port of Arlington, Oregon in ongoing federal court litigation arising out of the Corps' revocation of the Port's permit to build a dock facility in the Columbia River.

Property Developer Representation - Breach of Commercial Lease

Represented property developer in an action against its anchor tenant, after the tenant defaulted on a substantial lease which has provided the basis for $25 million in building renovation financing. The matter settled shortly before trial for a substantial recovery. In related cases, we defended the owner against numerous construction lien claims and the lender's foreclosure proceeding.

Sale of 90 Acres of Undeveloped Property in Oceanside, CA

Assisted client to complete the sale of 90 acres of undeveloped real property in Oceanside, CA, the last remaining large undeveloped coastal parcel between Camp Pendleton and the Mexican border. The client's family had tried unsuccessfully to sell the property for over 40 years. The current tenant of the property became obligated to purchase the property but instead filed litigation against the seller to delay the sale or create leverage. After foreclosure of the tenant's interests in the property, a third party buyer ultimately purchased the property for about 97% of the tenant's purchase price while also reimbursing the tenant's lender and funding a nuisance settlement with the tenant.

Site Certificate for Oregon Wind Facility

Represented client to obtain a site certificate from the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council to construct a 500 MW wind energy facility in Morrow and Umatilla Counties. The project faced stiff opposition from Umatilla County, some local landowners and a local anti-wind coalition. The project presented unique issues related to energy transmission, as the available corridors to connect the project to the interstate transmission grid were constrained and presented considerable development challenges. After a five-year process, including a contested case before an administrative hearings officer that was resolved by a successful motion for summary judgment over the opposition of the Department of Energy, the Council issued a site certificate authorizing construction of the facility.

Thomas Michael Anderson, as Trustee of the Timothy P. Moyer Trust, et v. Sturgeon et. al.

(Multnomah County Circuit Court) - Defended president of property management company against claims for breach of contract and breaches of fiduciary duty. Obtained summary judgment dismissing complaint in its entirety.

WHI Hotel, LLC, et al. v. Wilsonville Holiday Partners LLC, et al.

Defended Wilsonville Holiday Partners (WHP) against claims for breach of warranty and misrepresentation in a hotel property sold by WHP to buyers in 2008. The buyers claimed that alleged defects in the hotel allowed water intrusion from the roof and windows. The case was tried to a jury in Washington County Circuit Court. Plaintiffs sought damages of $5 million and punitive damages of $15 million. After the jury had deliberated to impasse, the case was settled on terms favorable to the client, for a small fraction of the amount sought by plaintiff, and the settlement consisted mainly of forgiveness of a note from buyers to seller for seller financing of a portion of the purchase price.

Court Decision Favors Businesses Claiming Insurance Coverage for COVID-Related Losses

Companies across the state, and around the country, have suffered significant loss of income due to interruptions to their business caused by the spread of COVID-19 and the ensuing government-ordered closures. These companies have been disappointed…
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Commercial Real Estate in the Age of Coronavirus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought a whirlwind of changes to how business is done in Oregon and across the country, and commercial real estate is no different. Enough time has passed, however, that a pattern of prominent issues has begun…
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Important Deadlines Loom for Landlords Under Portland Residential Renter Protection Ordinance

For a very limited time, residential landlords can rescind some pending Notices of Termination and Notices of Rent Increases that would otherwise trigger Relocation Assistance under Portland's new Renter Protection Ordinance. The Portland City…
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Curb the Pain of Recent Property Tax Increases: Appeal By Dec. 31

Due to the convergence of unusual circumstances and Oregon's unique property tax laws, property taxpayers have an opportunity to obtain significant tax savings this year and for the following five years by appealing their "real market values" this…
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Deadline Extended for Resolution of Certain Measure 37 Claims

On May 10, 2007, Governor Kulongoski signed House Bill 3546, which extends the time period for government entities to decide certain Measure 37 claims from 180 to 540 days.
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Deadline to File Certain Measure 37 Claims is December 2, 2006

Oregon's Ballot Measure 37 (now codified as ORS 197.352) took effect on December 2, 2004.
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