2023: Doing Business In USA - Washington, Oregon, and Alaska

Published on Jan 21, 2024

Doing Business In USA - Washington, Oregon, and Alaska

1. What is the current business climate in your jurisdiction including major political, economic and/or legal activities on the horizon in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska that could have a big impact on businesses?

The current business climate in the Pacific Northwest is one of cautious optimism, as the region continues to build back up toward the pre-pandemic economic outlook. The Pacific Northwest is still a mainstay of the USA technology sector, as evidenced by the continued influx of startups and ongoing workplace presence of globally recognized industry leaders like Amazon, Google, Meta, and more. In addition, employee turnover continues to trend down toward levels seen before the pandemic.

General economic uncertainty continues to affect markets all over the USA, as will the coming election cycle.

2. From what countries do you see the most inbound investment? What about outbound?

Most inbound investment to the Pacific Northwest comes from countries in the Pacific Rim, including Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and China.

3. In what industries/sectors are you seeing the most opportunity for foreign investment?

Technology continues to be a leading sector for foreign investment, particularly related to startups.

4. What advantages and pitfalls should others know about doing business in your region?

The USA continues to be a country that is generally very friendly to business creation and formation. In addition, spending power for much of the USA consumer market remains strong, particularly relative to other countries around the world.

Still, rapid inflation and high-interest rates continue to cause concern for some and can diminish spending. Foreign exchange rates, which can often be affected by the strength of the dollar, are another consideration for foreigners looking to invest or do business in the USA.

5. What is one cultural fact or custom about Washington, Oregon, and Alaska that others should know when doing business there?

The Pacific Northwest often strikes a casual tone in its workplace feel and way of doing business, though this is not always the case and can depend on the industry. Technology, for instance, prides itself as an industry on its casual approach to professionalism, while other specialized professional services can sometimes be more formal in their operation.

Our Firm

1. What distinguishes your firm from others in your market?

Lane Powell is a widely respected law firm of diverse and cutting-edge thinkers who thrive on advocating for our clients—individuals, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies—by advising them on critical business challenges and complex legal matters.

With over 160 attorneys across more than 35 practice areas and industries in offices in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, we are well-versed in the challenges that face our clients on a regional, national, and international level. Our longstanding client relationships in Asia solidify our position as a gateway to and from the Pacific Rim.

Not only do we serve our clients as their trusted legal counsel, but also as advocates and advisors—occupying a more valuable seat at the table. We represent them on their boards. We empower their business strategies. We help clients confront and survive disruptions in their industries as we have in our own.

2. What are three words that describe the culture of your firm?

Trusted. Diverse. Collaborative.

3. How does your firm participate in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and/or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives?

Building a welcoming and inclusive workplace takes dedicated and consistent efforts. We build intentional programs that strive to improve the diversity not only of Lane Powell but also of our communities and our profession. Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee oversees the application of our DEI Strategic Plan, which has covered the following:

  • Since 2011, we have been a member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). We invest in our people by sponsoring attorneys for LCLD’s Fellows and Pathfinders Programs each year and participating in the Leaders at the Front Pledge. We have also been honored to receive LCLD’s "Top Performer" award across multiple years.
  • We have achieved Mansfield Rule Certification Plus Status for the past three years in programs 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0., which aims to increase the representation of historically underrepresented lawyers in leadership roles and as partners at law firms by broadening the pool of candidates considered.
  • We have been a member of the Bloomberg Law Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Framework for the past three years. Since its inception in 2021, the Framework recognizes firms for their diversity efforts and distinguished performance against six core pillars: demographics, leadership and talent pipeline, recruitment and retention, business innovation and strategy, marketing, and diversity and inclusion in the community.
  • We also offer two diversity scholarships annually to law students and summer associates and participate in the Gregoire Fellows Program and Multnomah County Bar Fellows Program.

Lane Powell sponsors a wide array of community organizations and non-profits each year through its Community Engagement Committee. Among those organizations are the United Way, Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Food Lifeline, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and more.

4. Are there any new and exciting initiatives, practice areas or industry focuses in your firm?

Our newly formed Health Care Transactions Team is particularly exciting.

The team's national presence and diverse client base enable us to effectively represent our healthcare clients on a broad spectrum of transactional needs. Simply stated, our goal is to help them get their deals done on time and in a cost-efficient manner.

Our team assists health care organizations and health care providers with a full range of transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, leases, project-based financings, accounts receivable financings, management agreements, development agreements, physician practice combinations, management services organizations, and more. Helping our clients close deals effectively and efficiently is the heart of what we do.

In a firmwide sense, we continue to utilize new technologies in our firm operations to stay at the cutting edge of efficiency for our clients.