By Jonathan Ater
Senior Partner, Ater Wynne LLP
Ater Wynne is known for innovative thinking. We carry on a tradition of outstanding service to our clients and communities, which traces back to C.E.S. Wood (1852-1944), the first biographer of Chief Joseph, and one of Portland’s most influential citizens in the first quarter of the 20th Century. Today, the firm lives by Wood’s words, memorialized on Portland’s Skidmore Fountain: “Good citizens are the riches of a city.”
In1922, Gunther F. Krause joined Wood’s law practice in Portland. Krause, a Portland native, graduate of Reed College and Columbia Law School, went on to establish his own law firm by the early 1930’s. In 1966, Jonathan Ater joined Gunther Krause’s firm, then known as Krause, Lindsay and Nahstoll. After Gunther Krause’s death in 1967, U.S. District Judge Gus J. Solomon described him as “one of the best lawyers in Oregon. He had great judgment and an abundance of good common sense.”
That tradition of good judgment and common sense has carried on through our firm for almost 80 years. Our firm has grown, changed names several times, and expanded our focus through the years, adding a significant energy and environmental practice in the 1970s, building our expertise representing entrepreneurial companies and investors in the 1980s, and more recently expanding our services to tribal entities, wealth preservation, and economic development for clients throughout the Western United States.
The firm expanded to Seattle in 1987 and now also has an office in Menlo Park. The firm has many areas of expertise, organized generally into our thriving business and litigation departments.
Ater Wynne took its current name in 1990 as Ater Wynne Hewitt Dodson and Skerritt. In 1998 we shortened our name to Ater Wynne LLP.
We are today one of the oldest firms in the Pacific Northwest, but we are also one of the newest and youngest firms. We are often recognized as among the best lawyers in the region, and in that way, we honor the traditions of our founders.
But, we don’t live in the past. We practice on the cutting edge of the law, we provide creative and valuable legal advice to our clients, and we are honored to be good citizens who contribute to our communities and make them better places to live.
Jonathan Ater, Senior Partner