David M. Phillips

Of Counsel


Direct Line: 503.210.3089

Professional Experience:

David practices in all areas related real estate, land use, construction, environmental and HOA law.  With 20 years as a professional his broad experience in transactional, litigation, regulatory and insurance coverage matters covers:

  • Due diligence on small and large real estate transactions.
  • Representation of national companies acquiring property for local headquarters and production operations.
  • Defense of Special Districts against environmental and constitutional claims.
  • Claims against Cities, Counties and State Agencies for violation of Constitutional rights related to real property.
  • Defense of industrial facilities against environmental claims by public interest groups.
  • Defense and prosecution of contract and negligence claims in commercial and residential real estate transactions.
  • Title defect claims.
  • Representation and formation of moorage and floating home associations.
  • Regional and State land use and policy matters involving Statewide Goal Planning on the Oregon Coast and Rural areas.
  • Complex insurance coverage matters invoving first and third party claims for condo and homeowner associations.
  • Environmental compliance consulting and defense for industrial facilities in areas of soil, air and water discharges.
  • Examination of title encumbrances, easements, covenants, boundary disputes and adverse possession.
  • Defense of property owners rights against City, County and State land use enforcement proceedings.
  • Environmental due diligence in commerial and industrial transactions.
  • Advising Condo and Homeowner associations on insurance coverage and construction claims, real estate and land use matters.
  • Business transactions and land use matters for fish processors, marine facilities and Oregon Port facilities.
  • Defense of Oregon Port facilites against constitutional and contract claims.
  • Resolution of real property related water rights claims.
  • Acuisition of scores of land use permitting approvals including rezones, mixed use master plans, planned unit developments, conditional use permits, subdivisions and partitions, boundary adjustments, goal exceptions, site plan review, lot determinations, urban growth boundary inclusions, annexations, shoreline developments, foredune permits and forestry permits.
  • Consultation with marine operators and industrial facilities on stormwater compliance, coastal and shoreline management plans.
  • Consulting and defense of industrial facilites and landowners in environmental cleanup proceedings.
  • Defense of Portland Harbor Superfund potentially responsible parties.
  • Representation of contractors in lien and contract disputes

He spent 10 running a boutique land use firm in Vancouver, Washington a year at a large insurance defense litigation firm in Portland before coming to VF-Law in 2012.  Prior to 2001, he worked as an environmental engineer consulting with companies and landowners in environmental compliance, remediation and land use matters.  This background proves valuable in evaluating evidence and working with experts in litigation and working quickly toward solutions in a collaborative approach to complicated cases.

Recent accomplishments include successful defense and settlement of public interest group stormwater compliance claims against a port industrial user along the Columbia River, acquisition of land use approval for west coast headquarters in the City of Portland for a national engineering firm, defense and resolution of complex recission suit for sale of an illegal lot by reversing previous County determination and settlement of a longstanding coverage and construction claim suit against multiple contractor and expert parties.


  • Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College, J.D., 2003
  • Utah State University, B.S. Environmental Engineering, 1999, Cum Laude, Tau Beta Pi

Bar/Court Admissions:

  • Oregon State Bar
  • Washington State Bar
  • S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • S. District Court, District of Oregon
  • Western Economic Alliance Land Use and Transportation committees
  • Western Resources Legal Center


David comes from a long line of landowners from Eastern Idaho, familiar with property-related issues such as water rights, surveying, title, and boundary issues at a young age. His love of the land and evironment shapes his professional life as well as his pursuit of family and outdoor activities, where he spends most of his spare time. David is also a commerical tuna fisherman and sits on the Oregon Tuna Classic board, a charity organization which benefits local food banks through organizing offshore fishing tournaments in Oregon and Washington. As a professional fisherman, he represents and promotes brands for national and international fishing industry manufacturers giving seminars and hosting events in the PacNW.  He was recently named the top pro ambassador of a leading international marine electronics company.  David and his wife, Christy, have two young children and spend time in the outdoors, volunteering in their church, community and sports teams.