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Practice Areas:


Zak Tomlinson


Zak Tomlinson’s practice focuses on the construction industry, and he counsels clients at every phase of the construction process. His representative clients include public owners (including utility and school districts), private owners and developers, general contractors, and design professionals. He advises clients on the front-end of projects (including bidding, contract drafting, and procurement issues), and has a particular interest in alternative methods of project procurement and administration. He also represents clients throughout the claims and dispute resolution process, and has significant experience in mediating, arbitrating, and litigating claims in state and federal courts.

Zak lives with his wife, daughter, and extremely large dog in West Seattle.

Bar Admissions:

  • Washington
  • Western District of Washington
  • Eastern District of Washington
  • Ninth Circuit


  • Stanford University, B.A., Public Policy
  • University of Washington School of Law, J.D., with honors (Order of the Coif, Washington Law Review, Executive Articles Editor)


  • Selected for Washington Rising Stars, 2014

Speaking Engagements & Presentations:


  • Co-Author, An Owner’s Guide to Managing Trenchless Risks, Pacific Northwest Trenchless Review (Spring 2014)
  • Co-Author, Pacifica Builds (Pacifica Law’s Construction Law Blog) (2013 – present)
  • Author,CR 13 Counterclaims and Cross Claims, Washington Civil Procedure Deskbook (2008-present, new edition 2014)

Community Involvement:

  • West Seattle Junction Association, Board Member (2011—present)
  • Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, pro bono attorney

Professional Organizations:

  • King County Bar Association
  • Washington State Bar Association, Construction Law Section
  • American Bar Association, Construction Law Section

Representative Matters:

  Litigation Experience

  • Subcontractor Default Termination. Represented general contractor in default termination of landscaping subcontractor on public works school project. Obtained significant damages award at arbitration.
  • HUBZone Project. Represented contractor in lawsuit arising from profit sharing agreement on federal HUBZone project at the Howard Hanson Dam.  Obtained complete judgment for the amount sought after a five day trial. 
  • Tunneling / Differing Site Conditions. Co-counsel to utility district in defense of $3 million differing site condition claims arising from trenchless construction.
  • Bid Protests. Represented owners and contractors in multiple bid protests on a variety of public works projects.
  • Statute of Limitations / Statute of Repose. Member of team that represented major league baseball team in construction claims involving significant statute of limitations and statute of repose issues. Washington Supreme Court Decisions at Wash. State Major League Baseball Stadium PFD v. Huber, Hunt & Nichols-Kiewit Const. Co., 165 Wn.2d 679, 202 P.3d 924 (2009) and Wash. State Major League Baseball Stadium PFD v. Huber, Hunt & Nichols-Kiewit Const. Co., 165 WN. 2d 679, 202 P.3d 924 (2013).

  Transactional Experience

  • Public Procurement. Counsel to numerous public entities in procurement of a variety of construction projects and other goods and services.
  • Contract Drafting / Negotiation. Drafted and negotiated numerous design and construction agreements, including under traditional design/bid/build arrangements and newer alternative forms of contract.