Stoel Rives Adds Two Veteran Litigators: Tom Johnson and Misha Isaak Join Firm as Partners in Portland

Press Release

PORTLAND, Ore.—Stoel Rives, an Am Law 200 law firm and the largest law firm in Oregon, today announced that Tom Johnson and Misha Isaak have joined the firm’s Litigation Department in Portland. Both were most recently partners in the Portland office of Perkins Coie where Johnson was the chair of the Portland Litigation Group. Before joining Perkins Coie, Isaak was General Counsel to Governor Kate Brown.

“We are beyond excited to welcome Tom and Misha,” said John Casey, chair of Stoel Rives’ Litigation Department. “There is a reason Tom and Misha have earned so many accolades over the years—they are outstanding litigators and are deeply invested in our community. Their experience and courtroom skills bolster our group’s reputation as Portland’s leading litigation team.”

Johnson’s practice is focused on complex business disputes involving healthcare, securities, and corporate governance issues, and he also has significant experience handling antitrust and business divorce matters. In addition to representing clients in federal and state courts at the trial and appellate levels, he also handles private arbitrations and internal investigations. Tom works with a broad range of clients, including those in the healthcare, technology, professional services, and food products industries.

“Stoel’s reputation as a leading law firm in Portland and the Pacific Northwest in litigation is exemplary and its commitment to community service and pro bono work is woven into the fabric of the firm,” said Johnson. “In short, the firm provides an exceptional environment and culture for us to continue to deliver outstanding litigation services to our clients and offers a great platform to help our clients thrive.”

Isaak served as General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel to Oregon Governor Kate Brown from 2015 through 2020. In that role he managed the appointment of an historic number of state judges, which created the most diverse bench in the state’s history. He also managed the Governor’s clemency program and represented the Governor in major state litigation, involving issues such as hoteling of foster youth, treatment of incarcerated transgender individuals, services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, sale of the Elliott State Forest, and tribal hunting and fishing rights. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, in 2014, Isaak led a successful challenge to Oregon’s laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage, and then successfully opposed efforts to stop the marriages of same-sex couples at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court.

Isaak’s private practice experience includes handling high-profile, complex litigation including his successful representation of the University of Oregon in a monthlong trial about an exertional injury suffered by a Ducks football team member. He also represents clients in litigation involving class actions, securities, corporate governance, antitrust, and business torts. He advises clients and conducts investigations involving employment, professional standards, tribal affairs, and state government.

“Portland is my home—I grew up here—and the civic life of our community is the centerpiece of my law practice,” said Isaak. “Stoel Rives is our community’s flagship law firm—it counsels many of Oregon’s most important institutions, litigates its most significant cases, and contributes pro bono representation to its most pressing causes. What an honor to join this quintessentially Pacific Northwest firm as a partner.”

“Tom and Misha are not only leading litigators, they are well-known and highly regarded community leaders in Portland and steadfast pro bono advocates,” said Todd Hanchett, Portland Office Managing Partner. “We look forward to collaborating with them and supporting the growth of their practices and community service efforts.”

About Tom Johnson

A 1997 graduate with high honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law, Johnson clerked for the Honorable R. Lanier Anderson, III, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit following his graduation from law school. Before moving to Portland in 2000, he was also an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

Recognized as one of the Portland Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” in 2007, Johnson was named “Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America for 2023. He has been ranked by Chambers USA among “America’s Leading Lawyers for Commercial Litigation” since 2012; and listed in Best Lawyers in America’s “Bet-the-Company Litigation: Commercial Litigation and Litigation Securities” from 2012-2023; and Litigation-Antitrust, 2023. He is also listed in Benchmark Litigation’s Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys as a “Local Litigation Star in Commercial Litigation.”

For his work representing pro bono clients, Johnson received the ACLU Foundation’s “Civil Liberties Award” and the Judge Learned Hand Award from the American Jewish Committee Oregon Chapter.

About Misha Isaak

A 2008 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Isaak was recognized by the National LGBT Bar Association as a “Top 40 Under 40 LGBT Lawyer in the United States” and by Basic Rights Oregon as one of the five most influential LGBT Oregonians. He was named Portland Business Journal’s “Pride 2022 Basic Rights Champion” and selected by Portland Business Journal among the city’s “Forty Under 40” in 2021.

Isaak has served as an Adjunct Professor at Lewis and Clark Law School since 2016. His community service includes membership on Legal Aid of Oregon’s Strategic Planning Committee, 2019-2020; the Oregon Law Commission’s Standing Modernization Work Group, 2018-2019; Basic Rights Oregon’s Lawyers Committee, 2011-2015; Oregon Area Jewish Committee Board of Directors, 2013-2015; and as coach of Lincoln High School’s Constitution Team from 2011-2016, when it won four national championships.

He clerked for the Honorable Ronald M. Gould, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and for the Honorable Renee M. Bumb, U.S. Court for the District of New Jersey.

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w. 201.493.1027 c. 201.788.0142

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