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John Reed

John Reed focuses on corporate law and mergers and acquisitions. He has extensive experience in business sales and purchases, and acts as general outside counsel for a number of mature, closely held companies in a variety of industries, including a telecommunications and power utility, a wholesale grocery cooperative, various forest products companies, art museums, private galleries, and artists. John also advises, writes, and speaks on issues involving lawyer professional conduct and legal ethics.

John's clients include: Alaska Power & Telephone Co., Associated Grocers, Pacific Denkmann Co., Pacific Market International, PEMCO Mutual Insurance Co. and affiliates, ProBuild (formerly Lanoga), and Seattle Art Museum.

Representative Experience

Acquisition of business for ProBuild (formerly Lanoga Corporation)

Numerous acquisitions of lumber, building materials, and home component manufacturing businesses throughout the United States. (Ongoing) Read more

Cassirer v. Kingdom of Spain

Action under Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act to recover Pissarro painting looted by Nazis from plaintiff's grandmother in 1939 and now held by the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid. The Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld en banc the district courts' denial of defendants' motion to dismiss, holding that they are subject to suit under the immunity exception for claims involving property taken in violation of international law. The pending claim is now sub judice in the 9th Circuit. (Ongoing)

Outside general counsel for Francine Seders Gallery

Representing client, a prominent Seattle art gallery, serving as its outside general counsel. (Ongoing)

Outside general counsel for Seattle Art Museum

Davis Wright Tremaine has proudly represented the Seattle Art Museum for more than 65 years. Currently serving as outside general counsel, handling and providing advice on a variety of matters, including intellectual property rights with respect to works in the permanent collection and loaned works; provenance and good title; acquisition of art works; NAGPRA; preparation, negotiation and analysis of purchase and sale agreements, loan agreements, commission agreements and exhibition agreements; tax exempt organizations; charitable gifts; corporate governance; tax exempt bond transactions; labor and employment law; and real estate transactions. (Ongoing)

Sale of business for Associated Grocers, Inc.

Sale of wholesale grocery business to Unified Western Grocers, Inc. (2007) Read more

Real estate transactions

Represented successful bidder in a §363 sale of 27 building supply stores/lumberyards located throughout the Midwestern United States. (2004)

Rosenberg v. Seattle Art Museum v. Knoedler-Modarco

Defended art museum in claim to recover Matisse painting that was allegedly looted during the Holocaust, and assert claim against art gallery that sold painting to museum donor. (2000)

Acquisition of business for Alaska telecommunications companies

Represented a consortium of Alaska telecommunications companies in its acquisition of GTE Alaska.

Art acquisition for several private collections

Represented private collectors in connection with their acquisition of art collections and collections of archival works.

Art law disputes for Jacob Lawrence

Represented artist in connection with termination of one of his dealers, with recovery of works that he had on consignment with the dealer and with various art law agreements and disputes, including licensing and commission agreements.

Formation of nonprofit corporation for Photographic Center Northwest

Handled the conversion of Photographic Center Northwest from a for-profit corporation to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Chair, Corporate Act Revision Committee, Washington State Bar Association
  • Past Chair, Business Law Section, Washington State Bar Association

Professional Recognition

  • Named as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" by Best Lawyers in Corporate Law, 2007-present; named in Corporate, M&A and Securities Law, 1995-2006
  • Selected to "Washington Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 2004-2015
  • Named as one of the “Top 500 Dealmakers in America” by Lawdragon, 2007
  • Named as one of  "Puget Sound's Top Business Lawyers" by Seattle Business Monthly, 2006