Stephen C. Willey

Steve represents both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of commercial disputes, including intellectual property matters, business torts, contracts, securities claims, corporate governance, and employment-related issues. Known for his strategic and client-centric litigation approach, Steve tries cases, handles appeals, engages in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and assists clients with litigation-related counseling.

Prior to joining Fennemore, Steve practiced with Savitt Bruce & Willey in Seattle, Latham & Watkins in Menlo Park, and Perkins Coie in Seattle.  Steve also brings experience from his time as the sole Corporate Counsel for a start-up, handling a range of legal matters. A cum laude graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, Steve is licensed in both Washington and California.

In other lives, Steve taught high school, was a free-lance writer, did a stint as a chef, and worked in a nightclub. Steve lives on Bainbridge Island with the lovely and talented Gretchen and their three children. When not working like a dog or (metaphorically) arm-wrestling with his teenagers, Steve likes piña coladas, getting caught in the rain, the feel of the ocean and, of course, the taste of champagne.

Education

  • J.D., cum laude, University of Wisconsin
  • B.A., Williams College

Areas Of Practice

Experienced, forward-thinking advocates who go beyond the expected for clients in dispute prevention and resolution.

Create. Protect. Thrive.

Your Technology and Intellectual Property Assets Are The Lifeblood Of Your Business: We Partner With You To Protect Your Critical IP —and To Identify and Implement IP Strategies To Help You Thrive.

Fennemore has one of the most robust estate and trust litigation practices in the Southwest and California.

Our attorneys practicing in the employment and labor relations area advise and defend management in virtually all aspects of the employment relationship.

Our privacy and data security practice addresses the administrative, regulatory and litigation concerns of business in the face of mounting threats and increasing state and federal regulation in the areas of data privacy, data breach and security.

Our professional liability practice group offers service and experience in all aspects of professional liability, including conflict avoidance through counseling, dispute resolution through mediation and arbitration, representation in actual or threatened litigation, and representation in professional licensing and disciplinary proceedings. 

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

  • Landis v. PFD and Baseball of Seattle.  Defended claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act regarding sightlines, distribution, and pricing for accessible seats at T-Mobile Park; obtained defense verdict at trial, partial affirmance on appeal, and complete defense judgment on remand.
  • Nippon Dynawave Packaging Co. v. North Pacific Paper Company.  Prosecuted claims and defended counterclaims arising from site services agreement for interconnected industrial facilities; obtained favorable settlement.
  • InfoFlows v. Corbis.  Prosecuted claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, fraud and breach of contract relating to digital image tracking technology, and defended related counterclaims; obtained $36 million jury verdict and defeated counterclaims in three-week trial.
  • Reynolds v. Reynolds.  Defended challenge to revocable living trust, by which child sought to dispossess parents as beneficiaries; obtained ruling of declaratory relief that maintained parents’ beneficiary status and entitlement to trust proceeds after bench trial.
  • Kumar v. Convenience Retailers, LLC, et al.  Defended employment discrimination claims under Title VII and Washington’s Law Against Discrimination; obtained defense verdict at trial.
  • Sornsin, et al. v. Scout Media, et al.  Defended officers and directors of defunct media company against statutory wage claims; obtained summary judgment dismissal, affirmed on appeal.
  • Optistor Technologies v. Nutanix et al.  Defended cloud software and infrastructure-solution provider and its employee against claims for breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation, and tortious interference; obtained summary judgment ruling, including voiding of employee non-compete, and then favorable settlement.
  • Shareholder Insite, Inc. v. WTAS, LLC, et al.  Prosecuted claims for breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation, tortious interference, and civil conspiracy; obtained preliminary injunction after expedited discovery, and then favorable settlement.
  • ChemPoint v. Xenon Arc Inc., et al.  Defended technology startup and founders against claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, false advertising, usurpation of corporate opportunity and breach of fiduciary duty; obtained ruling entitling clients to advancement of fees under plaintiff’s articles of incorporation; obtained partial summary judgment, and then favorable settlement.
  • Maier v. Sesame Communications Inc.  Prosecuted claims for breach of employment agreement, wage and hour law violations, and tortious interference with exercise of stock options arising from termination of company founder and CEO’s employment; obtained favorable settlement.
  • Amazon v. Expedia.  Defended claims and prosecuted counterclaims for breach of linking and co-branding agreement between national e-commerce giants; defeated motions for summary judgment, developed counterclaims, and then obtained favorable settlement.
  • Confidential Arbitration.  Represented limited partnership in defending a claim for statutory dissolution brought by its former general partner; obtained award denying claim.

Awards and Honors

  • Best Lawyers in America, 2014-2024
  • Chambers USA Guide to Leading Lawyers, 2013, 2016-2024
  • Washington Super Lawyers, 2006-2023
  • Washington Super Lawyers Top 100 List, 2017-2023
  • BTI Client Service All-Star, 2015, 2019
  • “Washington’s Most Amazing Attorneys”, Washington CEO magazine, 2006
  • 10.0 Rating on Avvo.com

Articles and Presentations

  • Co-Editor, “Lexis Nexis Practice Guide: Washington Contract Litigation,” LexisNexis/Matthew Bender, 2015
  • Presenter, “Finessing the Fine Print: Agreements to Arbitrate and Covenants not to Compete,” Washington Association of Corporate Counsel, 2014
  • Presenter, “Covering Your Bases: Practical Tips to Deal with and Avoid Litigation,” Washington Association of Corporate Counsel, 2013
  • Presenter, “Anatomy of a Deal Gone Bad,” The William L. Dwyer American Inn of Court, 2013
  • Moderator, “The New Supreme Court,” Federal Bar Association Annual Federal Practice CLE, 2005
  • Presenter, “Basics of Accounting & Finance,” Practicing Law Institute, 2002

PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

  • Member, American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, 2004-present
  • Member, Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Washington State Bar Association
  • Member, The State Bar of California
  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin

Admissions

  • Washington
  • California
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Western District of Washington
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Washington
  • United States District Court, Northern District of California
  • United States District Court, Central District of California
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin