Kelly R. Tilden


Farleigh Wada Witt
Bank of America Financial Center
121 SW Morrison Street, Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Tel: 503.228.6044


Clients trust Kelly to guide and provide smart business advice relating to all employment law issues. Kelly’s experience ranges from advising businesses on day to day employee issues to successfully defending her clients in trial and this has led her to be the Chair of the firm’s Employment Practice Group.

Kelly strives to align business needs with best legal practices for businesses of all sizes. Her practice includes advice and litigation regarding the following: hiring, negotiating and drafting of contracts, protection of trade secrets, discipline, civil rights, and wage and hour and leave laws. While employees and related problems can appear to be unique, our firm’s command of the laws and regulations will help our clients efficiently and effectively find resolution.

Kelly frequently presents at seminars, council meetings and for member groups for the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA).

Prior to practicing law, Kelly traveled extensively and lived abroad and across the United States. Her work experiences, which vary from bartender, laborer, care giver, social worker at a homeless clinic and teaching former gang members, helped her develop unique insight about the workplace and a straight forward approach with her clients and in court.


  • Willamette University College of Law (J.D. 2001)
  • Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA (A.B. French and Art History, cum laude, 1993)
  • Universite de Paris IV, Le Sorbonne in Paris, France (1990-1991)


  • ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee
  • Oregon Women Lawyers
  • Multnomah Bar Association
  • Friends Committee Member of the National Association of Women Judges

Honors & Awards:

  • Best Lawyers in America—Employment Law Management, 2018-2022
  • Obtained defense verdict and attorney fees for dentist against former employer who wrongfully asserted voidable noncompetition agreement and other contract claims.
  • Prevailed with motion for summary judgment to dismiss former bank CEO’s claim of breach of contract and defamation.
  • Successfully defended software company against BOLI claims of workers compensation discrimination, disability discrimination, and retaliation claims of former employee.
  • Successfully defended vineyard against multi-plaintiff OSHA retaliation, race discrimination, and retaliation claims filed with EEOC.
  • Successfully defended three joint defendants against claims of breach of noncompete, nonsolicitation agreement, Uniform Trade Secrets Act in FINRA arbitration.
  • Prevailed with foreclosure of construction lien and award of attorney fees at trial and on appeal for construction company.

The rules of the workplace continue to change rapidly. Employment law has become increasingly complex because of overlapping state and federal laws and an explosion of litigation.

Our mission is simple: give employers a sound framework for managing their human resources and minimize litigation.

FWW employment attorneys help you negotiate the changing employment world, stay ahead of the latest developments in the law, ensure your policies and procedures comply with all the changes, and identify what you should monitor to keep your company compliant.

We offer practical advice for policy development, employment agreements, complaint resolution, discipline, termination, and compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws. As a preventative tool, we provide on-site training for supervisors, managers, executives, employees, and volunteers.

While our goal is to help you avoid litigation, sometimes it is unavoidable. We have significant experience handling employment disputes and litigation, including administrative hearings, arbitration, and mediation.

Farleigh Wada Witt was founded in 1981 with a goal of providing clients with experienced counsel and representation in all facets of their operations.

We are a full-service law firm serving businesses, financial service providers, and individuals throughout the Pacific Northwest in the following areas: banking, bankruptcy, business, debtor-creditor, employment, estate planning, financial services, litigation and real estate.

A large portion of the firm’s practice is dedicated to assisting financial service providers in meeting the competitive demands of today’s rapidly changing business, lending and regulatory climate. We offer practical and efficient legal solutions to help them serve customers effectively and protect them from operational, compliance and legal risks. Our emphasis on serving financial institutions provides us with a depth of industry specific knowledge and experience that is unmatched in the Pacific Northwest.

Our office is located in Portland, Oregon.