Gwendolyn Griffith - Tonkon Torp LLP

Gwendolyn Griffith

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2010

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. Gwen has been named as a Best Lawyer in Trusts and Estates since 2010 and as a Best Lawyer in Tax Law since 2012.  

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.  


Additional Information

Experience Representative Matters
  • Drafting complex tax allocation and cash distribution provisions for LLC Operating Agreement on behalf of acquisition entity.
  • Reorganization of family business, including private letter ruling from IRS regarding spin-off of portion of the business. 
  • Structuring of cost-sharing arrangement for open source software project.
  • Advice to cooperatives on issues relating to patronage dividends, exempt status, transition to private status, and capitalization through stock issuance.
  • Advice to local government on tax implications of state-funded project on private lands.
  • Advice to §501(c)(3) entity on private foundation status and restructuring to achieve public charity status

Rollins College BA Stanford Law SchoolJ.D. 1981
American Bar AssociationMultnomah Bar AssociationYouth, Rights and Justice

Office Location

Pioneer Tower, Suite 1600
888 Southwest Fifth Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
United States

Practice Areas

Tax Law
Trusts and Estates