• Lewis & Clark, Northwestern School of Law
  • Lewis & Clark College (J.D., 2004)
  • University of Washington
  • (B.A., 1996)

Denise Gorrell draws upon her extensive knowledge of restaurants and the wine industry to inform her real property and commercial law practice. Having spent 11 years on the Seattle hospitality scene — including stints at the award-winning Wild Ginger restaurant and wine retailer Esquin — Denise understands the unique challenges that food and beverage entrepreneurs face when planning, launching and running their businesses. She helps hospitality industry clients navigate complex, important issues such as business formation, real estate agreements, trademarks, OLCC rules and other governmental regulations.

In addition to being Chair of the SYK Real Estate department, Denise also maintains a successful business practice. She frequently represents clients on real estate transactions and disputes.

A Seattle native, she received a B.A. from the University of Washington, and went on to earn her J.D. from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College.

Being actively involved in the community is important to Denise, and she currently serves on the Oregon State Bar Real Estate Land Use CLE Committee.  She previously served on the Roseway Neighborhood Association Board, and was the Land Use Chair. The summer after completing her first year of law school, she volunteered with the Immigrant Refugee Community Organization to help resolve landlord/tenant disputes and domestic violence issues. Denise on the Executive Board for the Campaign for Equal Justice and co-chairs its mid-size firm committee. The Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyer Section awarded her the Award of Merit for her efforts to inspire other attorneys to perform pro bono work.

Denise likes spending free time with her husband, who works in the specialty food industry, their two children, and their family dogs. Her favorite outdoor activities include hiking and exploring the natural wonders of Oregon and the surrounding states.

Speaking & Writing

  • Moderator for Alcohol Beverage Panel at the Lewis & Clark Law School Food Fusion Symposium. 2016
  • Trust Litigation Panel, 2015
  • “Vineyard Contracts,” The Viticulture Social, 2015
  • “Transactional Traps – Legal Ethics in Wineries and Vineyard Practice,” Winery CLE, 2015
  • “Federal and State Licenses, Permits, and Regulations,” Winery CLE, 2014
  • “Cross-State Guardianship Issues,” Guardianship Issues Conference, 2014
  • Speaker at SW Washington Estate Planning Council Membership Meeting
  • “Financial Elder Abuse,” Advanced Estate Planning and Administrations Conference, 2014
  • Panel Member, MBA Professionalism CLE, 2013
  • “Moving Guardianships and Conservatorships,” Elder Law Section CLE, 2013
  • “Litigating Capacity for Contested Guardianships,” Elder Law CLE, 2012


  • Real Property and Commercial Law

Community & Charity Involvement

  • American Bar Association
  • Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyer Section Pro Bono Committee
  • Oregon State Bar Association
  • Oregon Women Lawyers
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Roseway Neighborhood Association Board
  • SMART volunteer
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters