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Thomas H. Wolfendale

Of Counsel
+1.206.370.8386
Fax +1.206.370.6211
In over 40 years as an attorney, Mr. Wolfendale's litigation and legal counseling work has involved civil and criminal practice in state and federal courts as well as regulatory agencies and private dispute resolution forums. Work has encompassed subject areas such as construction contracts and projects, environmental civil and criminal matters, municipal governance, tort, products liability, CERCLA, RCRA, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and land use issues. He has represented public and private individuals, entities and corporations, developers, architects, engineers, general contractors, and subcontractors, as plaintiffs and defendants in these matters. Mr. Wolfendale has served as chair of the Uniform Contracts, Rules and Regulations Subcommittee of the Washington State Bar Association Section on Public Procurement and Contract Law, currently serves as the Chair of the Washington State Bar Association Construction Law Section and was an executive board member of both the Environmental and Land Use Law and Public Procurement and Private Construction Law Sections of the Washington State Bar Association. He has lectured on the subjects of public procurement, construction law, environmental and land use law before attorneys' organizations and private business groups.

Professional Background

Mr. Wolfendale was a senior deputy prosecuting attorney for 10 years in the civil and criminal divisions of the King County Prosecutor's Office, where he represented King County in criminal, tort, eminent domain, employment law and construction matters. Since 1981, he has been in private practice with firms whose practices have included public and private clients engaged in large and complex private and public construction and environmental activities as well as municipal governance, torts, trademarks and products liability issues. The work has ranged from the conception of a construction project through to completion, including consideration of environmental issues and regulatory review, project delivery system selection, procurement methods, contract drafting, construction counseling, and resolution of construction disputes. With public sector work, he has litigated and counseled public and private clients on public sector law matters, including public transit, public correctional facilities, public water treatment, facilities, public records act requests, open public meetings, jurisdictional issues and board conduct. Mr. Wolfendale also brings, from public and private sector litigation practice, experience with cases involving products liability, employment discrimination and toxic torts. In addition to litigating matters before courts and administrative agencies, he has served as an arbitrator and mediator for the American Arbitration Association, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and for private parties, while counseling and assisting clients on the effective use of alternative dispute resolution processes to successfully conclude problems.

Achievements

Mr. Wolfendale has been selected to the Washington Super Lawyers List (2003-2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014) and to the Corporate Counsel Edition in Construction Law.  He was also recognized by Martindale Hubbell for preeminent status in Transportation Law.

Speaking Engagements

  • Construction 101: WSBA Construction Law Section Spring CLE, April 2014
  • Ch. 39.10 RCW Procurement Procedures: WSAMA Spring Conference, 2012
  • Risk Allocation, Construction Contracts, Terms and Sample Forms: Benton County Bar Association and WSBA Construction Law Section Course, 2012
  • Contract Negotiations and Philosophy of Risk Shifting: ABA Form on the Construction Industry, 2011

Mr. Wolfendale’s representation of public sector entities covers a wide range of matters:

Tort

  • Represented city in class action case arising from alleged odors from regional wastewater treatment facility

Employment Law

  • Represented county in action alleging discrimination in the promotion of law enforcement officers
  • Represented county in action arising from child protective custody matter

Construction

  • Represented county in action arising from construction of park athletic field facilities
  • Represented county in action arising from construction of county road
  • Represented county in action arising from construction of new correctional facility
  • Represented special public governmental entity in the drafting, negotiation and post construction issues arising from construction of a new correctional facility
  • Represented transit agency in construction of park and ride garage
  • Represented regional transit agency in failure of embankment on commuter rail line
  • Represented city in dispute arising from improvements to regional wastewater treatment facility
  • Represented school district on contractor dispute issues
  • Represented airport on runway construction dispute
  • Represented public development authorities on community centers and public market construction projects
  • Represented public utility district on contract dispute arising from construction of dam project
  • Represented public utility district on contract dispute arising from methane gas scrubber project on co-generational facility
  • Represented state university in contract dispute with contractor on energy plant renovation

Land use and Zoning

  • Represented county in siting of potential regional shopping center

Procurement

  • Represented port authority on procurement of taxi services
  • Represented county on public works procurement issues and disputes
  • Represented port authority on procurement related to WWTF
  • Represented state university in procurement of energy plant renovation

Eminent Domain

  • Represented city in action arising from road widening project
  • Represented county in actions to acquire rights of way for roads

Environmental

  • Represented transit agency regarding site conditions at facility

Contract drafting

  • Represented city public utility division in drafting contract documents for major new water filtration system
  • Represented public development authorities on the drafting of design professional and construction documents for major art museum, major historic museum and major public market renovation

Products Liability

  • Represented transit agency in dispute with bus manufacturer
  • Represented transit agency in dispute with tire manufacturer

Boundary Lines

  • Represented two different transit agencies with statutory process to redefine boundaries

Construction Law
Mr. Wolfendale has advised public and private owners on construction law issues since 1976. While a senior deputy prosecuting attorney for King County, he provided project and day-to-day advice to the County Department of Architecture, which oversaw all county capital projects with the exception of road building. Mr. Wolfendale entered private practice in 1981 and has practiced with firms, whose clients have been involved in large and complex private and public construction projects. From 1982-1988, his practice dealt primarily with private sector clients such as design professionals, general contractors, and subcontractors. Since joining K&L Gates in 1988, Mr. Wolfendale has primarily represented public sector clients such as Klickitat PUD, Cowlitz County PUD, Renton School District, Bellevue School District, Steilacoom Historical School District, Riverview School District, King County School Coalition, Pierce County, Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle, City of Yakima, City of Centralia, Clackamas County in Oregon, Pacific Hospital Public Development Authority, Seattle Chinatown International District Public Development Authority, Pike Place Market Public Development Authority, Pierce Transit, Sound Transit, Clark County Transit, Port of Seattle and the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District in matters ranging from project delivery system selection to contract drafting and negotiation to procurement issues and dispute resolution (during and post-construction). Mr. Wolfendale has served as arbitrator and mediator in construction disputes, both privately and as a member of the American Arbitration Association.

Mr. Wolfendale serves as Chair of the Washington State Bar Association Section on Construction Law 2011-2012.

Environmental Law
Tom Wolfendale's civil and criminal counseling and litigation practice in state and federal courts includes construction contracts and projects, environmental civil and criminal matters, and land use issues. He has represented public and private owners and corporations, developers, architects, engineers, general contractors and subcontractors, and private citizens' groups in construction, environmental and land use disputes. He has served as chair of the Uniform Contracts, Rules and Regulations Subcommittee of the Washington State Bar Association Section on Public Procurement and Contract Law, and was an executive board member of both the Environmental and Land Use Law and Public Procurement and Private Construction Law Sections of the Washington State Bar Association. He has lectured on the subjects of construction law, and environmental and land use law before attorneys' organizations and private business groups. He has been recognized as a "Super Lawyer" by the Washington Law & Politics publication for his work in construction and environmental law.

Tom was a senior deputy prosecuting attorney for 10 years in the civil and criminal divisions of the King County Prosecutor's Office, including representation of the King County Airport. He also brings to the firm, from public and private sector litigation practice, experience with cases involving products liability, employment discrimination and toxic torts. In addition to litigating matters before courts and administrative agencies, he serves as an arbitrator and mediator for the American Arbitration Association, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, the King County Superior Court and for private parties, while counseling and assisting clients on the effective use of alternative dispute resolution processes to successfully conclude problems.

Recent Presentations and Publications

  • Ch. 39.10 RCW Procurement Procedures: WSAMA Spring Conference, 2012
  • Risk Allocation, Construction Contracts, Terms and Sample Forms: Benton County Bar Assn and WSBA Construction Law Section Course, 2012
  • Allocation of Risk of Delay in Generation Projects: WPUD Association, Attorneys Conference, 2011
  • Contract Negotiations and Philosophy of Risk Shifting: ABA Form on the Construction Industry, 2011
  • Lecturer on Payment and Performance Issues: University of Washington Construction Law Class, Construction Management Program, 2011 and 2012

Examples of Environmental Law Practice

  • Representation of vegetable processing corporation in toxic tort groundwater contamination case
  • Representation of former operators of site against claims from new owners regarding responsibility for site cleanup
  • Representation of corporation in permitting and opening of regional landfill
  • Representation of dairy farms in citizen suits under the Clean Water Act
  • Representation of fruit processing facility in acquiring water (NPDES) permits
  • Representation of city in citizen suit under the Clean Water Act
  • Representation of waste hauler in CERCLA Superfund cleanup case
  • Representation of private corporation in chlorine spill case
  • Representation of corporation and corporate president in federal criminal environmental prosecution
  • Representation of pulp and paper corporation in state air discharge permit case
  • Representation of pulp and paper corporation in toxic tort formaldehyde exposure cases
  • Representation of municipality in achieving permits for waste-to-energy incinerator
  • Representation of private incinerator corporation in air permit proceedings
  • Representation of private asphalt manufacturing corporation in air emission violation cases
  • Representation of public water and transit authority in cleanup action of sewage waste treatment facility
  • Representation of a beef processing facility in groundwater and air emission cases

Achievements

  • Named to the Washington Super Lawyers and to Corporate Counsel Edition in Construction Law