Anthony J.W. Gewald

Principal

Practice Emphasis

Tony’s practice has long focused on complex litigation, primarily trust and probate disputes, as well as commercial actions including closely held business disputes and dissolutions. Whether the matter involves attacking or defending a prenuptial agreement in a probate, prosecuting a fiduciary’s breach of duties or forcing out a problematic minority-interest business owner, Tony has been obtaining successful results for his clients for decades. He is an effective negotiator but, if necessary, can use the courts or contract required arbitration hearings to force a pragmatic resolution.

Practice Areas

Trusts & Probate Estate Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Adversary Business Divorces, Breach of Contract Actions, Creditors’ Rights, Bankruptcy and Receivership Matters, Arbitrations and Mediations.

Education

  • Staff Attorney, 1976–1979, Washington State Supreme Court
  • Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, 1977, Willamette College of Law
  • Bachelor of Arts (Political Science), 1971, University of Washington
  • International School, 1967, Bangkok, Thailand

Representative Cases

  • Majority Owner Professional Partnership Arbitration. Lead counsel representing successful attorney in litigated arbitration hearings to force a fair buyout of the other lawyer’s membership share.
  • Surviving Spouse Claim in Probate. Lead counsel for disinherited surviving spouse prosecuting her claim for committed intimate relationship/marital community shares and to void a pre-death transfer for undue influence which settled for $2 million.
  • Trustee Breach of Fiduciary Duties and Financial Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult Lawsuit. Represented beneficiary against self-dealing trustee relative resulting in accounting and loan repayment, return of primary asset, voiding of change to Will, removal and replacement of trustee.
  • Defense of Separate Property Probate Estate Testamentary Scheme Against Spouse’s Creditor’s Claim to All Assets. As special counsel for co-personal representative, defended the decedent’s Last Will against spousal claim to all assets and forced compromise after disqualification of opposing counsel for conflicts and extended adversary motions practice.
  • Prenuptial Agreement Litigation. As associated counsel in an out-of-state action, engineered and attacked enforcement of Washington State executed prenuptial agreement alleging rescission and abandonment to precipitate mediated settlement at over $30 million.
  • Minority-Interest Business Shareholder Arbitration. As lead counsel, represented minority-interest business shareholder in contested arbitration proceedings to contest majority shareholders’ efforts to mandate sale of their company in breach of their contract using reverse triangular merger.
  • Probate Dispute with Omitted Spouse. Represented personal representative as special counsel to contest RCW 11.12.095 claim by omitted spouse to produce successful, early mediated settlement for reduced share and thereby protected trust entitlements of other family members based on marshaling proofs that the decedent had provided for his wife financially in other ways such that his failure to provide for her further by Will was intentional.
  • Negotiated Early Recovery of Going Concern Business and Technology Based on Fraudulent Misrepresentations. Represented e-propulsion technology innovator to successfully recover his established ongoing business and its ownership rights from self-dealing consultant purchaser guilty of fraudulent misrepresentations despite overreaching contracts in early mediated settlement.

Professional & Civic

Tony was a founding member of his law firm in 1990 and acted as managing principal for six years in the early 2000s. He knows how to run a business and how to motivate cooperation under difficult circumstances. He has been consistently recognized by his peers, ranked as a “Super Lawyer” in General Litigation by the Washington Law & Politics/Super Lawyers publication in its professional polling every year since 2003. In 2007, Seattle Magazine ranked him as a “Top Lawyer.” The preeminent lawyer professional ratings publication Martindale Hubbell has consistently reported that under its independent polling, his peers award him top “AV Preeminent” status. That places him in the highest preferred level of excellence for legal knowledge, communications skill and ethics. Finally, his AVVO Rating of “9.0 Superb” confirms his longstanding recognition by clients and opposing counsel. He consistently achieves his clients’ litigation goals with creativity honed by long experience.

Tony has been elected onto the Board of his 150 unit downtown Seattle condominium four times, now entering his 8th year of service, including acting as liaison on personnel.

He is married with two adult children and enjoys running, scuba diving, his Whidbey Island farmhouse built by his father’s great-grandfather in 1905, and ancient Chinese blue and white porcelain.