Windows City Building urban

THE DRIVE TO MEAN MORE, BE MORE.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP

Exceptional legal representation requires a seamless combination of talent, experience and understanding of client objectives. For over a century, Riddell Williams has fused these key elements to confidently and diligently serve our clients’ best interests. Our integration of strategic thinking, expertise and service has enabled our firm to be an indispensable advocate for businesses.

“I am honored to lead Riddell Williams as its President and CEO. Over a century after its founding, Riddell Williams thrives, and we owe that to the hard work of its attorneys and staff, who make this Firm great. We will continue to maintain our culture and vision of ‘Mean More, Be More,’ and Riddell Williams will continue to grow in the Pacific Northwest and Mean More Be More to our clients and community.”

 

– Joseph E. Shickich Jr., President and CEO

WHO WE ARE

We are Riddell Williams, a Seattle-based law firm determined to raise the bar for business and industry across the country. We are driven to Mean more Be more to one another, our community and—most importantly—our clients.

Exceptional client service has been our hallmark for more than 100 years, and will be for the next 100 years and beyond. We strive to be a firm with fresh perspectives, choosing to work with dynamic individuals and companies who are intelligent, creative and engaging. It’s why Riddell Williams attorneys are consistently recognized and honored by peers and clients alike in Best Lawyers of America, Chambers USA, Super Lawyers and beyond.

WHAT WE DO

Our versatile expertise, individualized representation and enthusiastic approach distinguish us from the other 200+ firms in the greater Seattle area. For our clients, we are ideally sized—large enough to bring to bear the formidable might of a full-service firm, small enough to provide exceptional service that’s personal, agile and effective.

Every day, we rise determined to live up to a higher standard, the one we set for ourselves: to mean more and be more. This is our dedication to each other as Riddell Williams employees, and to our clients, whom we regard as esteemed partners. We promise you’ll mean more to us. This is the Riddell Williams difference.

For over a century, Riddell Williams
HAS FUSED talent, experience and
understanding of client objectives.

img1-about

OUR LEGACY

Riddell Williams traces its roots back more than 100 years to 1906, when Charlie Riddell, fresh from George Washington Law School, returned to Seattle to “hang out his shingle.”  Charlie went into practice with Hugh Caldwell for a few years, then became assistant District Attorney and later United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington. Around 1914 Charlie left government service, returned to private practice and joined up with Richard Saxe Jones and Samuel Bracket.  During the Depression, Charlie came back from a vacation to find that the firm’s business had virtually dried up – most clients could not afford the luxury of a lawyer in those years.  From 1933 to 1941, Charlie Riddell practiced alone.

 

After completing Harvard Law School in 1941, Charlie’s son, Richard H. Riddell (“Dick”, as he was commonly known,) joined his father’s law practice, rather than joining up with one of the 11-member “mega” firms in Seattle.  The firm name became Riddell & Riddell.  But with just six short weeks of law practice under his belt, he was called to serve in the U.S. Air Force following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

 

Dick Riddell had served his country well and returned to Seattle in 1945 to once again join his father in the practice of law.  Also joining with them was Wylie Hemphill, just back from the Navy.  The firm name was Riddell, Riddell & Hemphill, and it was located on the 18th floor of the Smith Tower, the tallest building in Seattle at that time.

img2-about

A century later, Riddell Williams still thrives…With our hearts ever thankful for those gone before, Let us toast with one voice: “One Hundred Years more.

img3-about

A letter was delivered to Riddell, Riddell & Hemphill in 1948 from a fellow named J. Vernon (“Vern”) Williams, reminding the firm that he had dropped by for an interview the preceding summer.  A recent graduate of Yale Law School, Vern Williams joined the firm in the summer of 1948.  About the same time, Wylie Hemphill left the firm to take charge of his family businesses.Donald S. Voorhees and Robert S. Ivie joined the firm in 1952, making a total of five attorneys.  The firm changed its name to Riddell, Riddell & Williams and moved up 10 floors in the Smith Tower to take over the 28th floor.Joining the firm in 1958 were William Golding and George Willoughby, together with Stimson “Stim” Bullitt, son of Dorothy Stimson Bullitt and A. Scott Bullitt.  During Stim’s 38 years of practice at the firm, he served as chief executive of King Broadcasting and director of Harbor Properties, Inc.

Business continued to prosper, so in 1959 the firm located to the top floor of the 1411 Fourth Avenue Building, and the firm name became Riddell, Williams, Voorhees, Ivie & Bullitt.

 

Joining the firm in 1960 and fresh out of Harvard Law School was Stephen E. DeForest.  Steve would later serve as President of both the Washington State Bar Association and the King County Bar Association and receive the Helen Geisness Award for distinguished service to the bar.

 

Bill Golding left the practice of law 1965 to take a position in business.  He subsequently wrote a book entitled, “Inside the Nonprofit Boardroom: What You Need to Know for Satisfaction and Success.”

 

By 1969, the Riddell firm had once again outgrown its space.  The firm relocated to Seattle’s new tallest building, the Seattle-First National Bank Building at 1001 Fourth Avenue.  It has called the top floors of the building home since the building opened in 1969.

 

The Boeing recession hit Seattle in 1969-73, and had serious impact on most businesses in the Puget Sound region.  Riddell, Williams, Voorhees, Ivie & Bullitt was fortunate in that their law practice during this time did not decline, but neither did it grow.  Discussions of mergers arose and were hotly debated amongst the partners at a firm retreat in Vancouver.  Subsequently, the economic conditions in Western Washington improved and the merger discussions were set aside.

 

In June 1974, Don Voorhees was appointed to the federal bench as a judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Northern Division.  Judge Voorhees assumed senior status on November 30, 1986, and served until his death on July 7, 1989.

 

Walter Walkinshaw joined the firm in 1974, and George Willoughby left the firm to become executive of King Broadcasting.  In the Fall of 1981, Bob Ivie retired and the firm changed its name to Riddell, Williams, Bullitt & Walkinshaw.  Also in 1981, the firm elected its first woman Managing Partner, Lyn Tangen.

 

In the 1980s the firm represented two dozen Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Montana and Wyoming local governments or rural electric cooperatives involved in the WPPSS litigation, the largest securities trial in U.S. history.

 

Robert J. Bryan joined the firm in 1984.  He was appointed to serve on the federal bench for the Western District of Washington in 1986.

 

Merger discussions were again on the table in the 1990s and in 1996, the firm entered into an affiliation with Graham & James LLP with the Seattle office being named Graham & James/Riddell Williams.  The affiliation ended in late 1999.  The Firm has since been known as Riddell Williams P.S.

 

Dick Riddell’s retirement was honored at a celebration on November 12, 1993.  Dick passed away on May 29, 2000.

 

Vern Williams’ 50 years in practice was honored at his retirement party on September 19, 1998.  Vern passed away on February 13, 2015.

 

2016

SUPER LAWYERS

2015

TOP WOMEN
ATTORNEYS
IN WASHINGTON

2015

TOP WOMEN
ATTORNEYS
IN WASHINGTON
RISING STARS

2015

TOP 100 SUPER
LAWYERS

2015

WASHINGTON
RISING STARS

Our Commitment to Diversity

At Riddell Williams, we acknowledge and respect the differences of each person in our firm, including race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, physical abilities, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, educational levels, marital status and family circumstance. Through our ongoing commitment to diversity, we foster mutual understanding, support and trust. This includes education, mentoring, training, various community leadership activities and bar activities.