Chris Hawk


Chris Hawk is a partner in the Portland office and a member of the Labor & Employment and Professional Liability Practices. Chris is a seasoned civil defense litigator with significant experience handling all aspects of litigation; from the initial demand through trial and appeal. 

Chris' expansive labor and employment practice focuses on defending employers of all sizes against claims alleging retaliation, harassment, discrimination, and other civil rights claims, as well as wage and hour violations. He assists employer clients in responding to various employment-based administrative complaints brought within the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and state employment agencies, and in defending clients against litigation resulting from agency investigations.

In addition to his robust labor and employment practice, Chris' diverse experience also includes professional liability (accountants, mental healthcare professionals, architects, engineers, attorneys, etc.), intellectual property (copyright/trademark), commercial litigation, and tort and product liability (personal injury and premises liability). In recent years, he has been actively involved in several intellectual property trials in the Northwest. He has also obtained defense verdicts for a flooring contractor client in a six-figure binding arbitration personal injury case, and in 2024, obtained a defense verdict for a food processing client in a personal injury case in which the truck driver plaintiff was seeking a seven-figure damages award. Chris handles small single-claimant administrative actions to large complex multistate class-action cases across all of Oregon and Washington. 

A native of Rye, New York, Chris practiced civil litigation in Los Angeles for nearly seven years prior to moving to Portland in 2005. He then clerked for Oregon U.S. District Court Judge, Anna J. Brown.

Primary Area(s) of Practice

  • Labor & Employment
  • Professional Liability

Representative Matters

Chris' extensive federal and state court civil litigation experience includes trials, arbitrations, mediations, and appeals.

Employment Law (litigation and advice)

  • All types of employment related cases, including harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour, meal/rest breaks with all state and federal laws, including class actions.
  • Employment law training and counsel to large and small companies.
  • Extensive administrative agency experience, Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI), EEOC, NLRB, and WA L&I.

Intellectual Property Defense (copyright and trademark)

  • Two unanimous jury verdicts (2nd chair) in trademark infringement cases in Oregon U.S. District Court.

Professional Liability

  • Defended dozens of professionals in various occupations against lawsuits as well as agency board complaints.
  • Successful dispositive motion of legal malpractice case, including Washington Court of Appeals affirming dismissal and awarding costs.

Commercial Litigation

  • Defend and pursue breach of contract, cybersecurity, and all type of business dispute claims.

Tort and Product Liability

  • From slip/trip and falls, to auto accidents, to Dram shop defense, and all other types of torts.
  • Defended household, agricultural, and other various products.