J. Riley Lagesen

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

$ $$$

Southwest 5th Avenue 1300
Portland 97201 OR US

Riley Lagesen founded and chairs DWT’s national restaurant industry practice group and is considered a leading business and legal force in the United States restaurant industry. He represents many of the nation’s most recognized brands and culinary talent and has significant experience with financing transactions of all types, including private equity, family office, and high net worth individuals.

He is also known nationally for his development acumen and connections and assists many concepts with navigating traditional and non-traditional development strategies, including franchises, joint ventures, licenses, and management agreements.

He leads approximately 60 professionals on DWT’s restaurant team, which he specifically formed due to his many years as a restaurant employee, manager, and owner in Los Angeles prior to entering the practice of law. He collaborates extensively with restaurant leaders and elected officials around the United States on forward-thinking food policy initiatives.

As the creator and driving force behind the not-for-profit and invitation-only Restaurant Highbusiness, leadership, and advocacy summit, Riley galvanizes industry leaders through a day of education, networking, and fun with many of the most influential minds in the business.

Professional & Community Activities:

  • Creator, Restaurant High
  • The Kitchen Community Learning Gardens Program
  • Guy Fieri’s Cooking with Kids Foundation
  • Coach, CYO Track & Field


  • J.D., Lewis & Clark Law School, 2003, cum laude
  • B.F.A., Filmic Writing, University of Southern California, 1993


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Southwest 5th Avenue 1300
Portland 97201 OR US
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Lina Stillman

Broadway 42
New York 10006 NY US