Having practiced real estate, land use, and environmental law in the Pacific Northwest for over thirty years, Jay Derr enjoys and excels in applying his experience to help clients identify options, create opportunities, and develop and implement planning and permitting strategies to achieve successful and sustainable use and development of natural resource and real estate assets.
Working for both public and private sector clients, Jay’s comprehensive understanding of market, economic, and public interests and environmental protection allows him to guide clients and their projects through to completion. Increasingly, Jay’s practice has focused on land use and environmental representation with regard to the development and operation of energy export infrastructure at marine terminals and West Coast ports.
Jay balances various factors and considerations to successfully negotiate the appropriate scope of SEPA and NEPA environmental review and mitigation; to present concise, complete, and convincing records for state and local agency decision makers; to prepare complete and enforceable development mitigation agreements implementing those decisions; and, when necessary, to aggressively defend his client’s interests and decisions before state environmental administrative tribunals, superior courts, and the Washington Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.
As a veteran navigator of SEPA, the Shoreline Management Act, and Growth Management Act issues, Jay regularly lectures and teaches across the state on a variety of land use, environmental, and policy issues that continue to shape the Pacific Northwest. He is periodically invited to provide historical perspective, input, and occasionally mediation or expert witness services on these issues.
Jay is managing partner of the Seattle office of Van Ness Feldman and previously served as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.
University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law
Michigan State University
B.S., summa cum laude, 1979
"Best Lawyers in America" by U.S. News & World Report
Land Use & Zoning Law
Litigation-Land Use & Zoning
Real Estate Law
"Best Lawyers in America" by Best Lawyers
Environmental Law, 2006-2018
Land Use & Zoning Law, 2007-2018
Litigation-Land Use & Zoning, 2011-2018
Real Estate Law, 2006-2018
Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use, 2010-2018
Washington State, 2001-2017; 2019
Listed among the "Top 100 Super Lawyers," 2012-2013"
Named Seattle Best Lawyers' "Lawyer of the Year"
Litigation-Land Use & Zoning, 2013
Environmental Law, 2011
Washington State Bar
Environmental and Land Use Law Section (ELUL)
- ELUL Executive Committee, 2011-2013
- ELUL/ADR Land Use Environmental Mediation Committee, 2012-present
Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
Association of Washington Business
Land Use Committee
King County Bar Association
Master Builders Association
Washington Association of Municipal Attorneys