Steven A. Nicholes


Duffy Kekel LLP
900 SW Fifth Avenue
Suite 2500
Portland, Oregon 97204

Tel: 503-226-1371


Steve graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Business Administration and worked for two years as the comptroller in Eastern Oregon before attending law school. That business background led Steve to pursue an advanced degree in taxation after law school on his way to becoming a tax attorney.

Steve’s background in business, combined with the advanced training he received in taxation, enables him to assist his clients not only with their tax and estate planning needs, but also with their charitable, business and real estate matters. Steve has substantial experience establishing and structuring limited liability companies (LLC’s) for his clients, and in structuring Section 1031 tax-deferred exchange transactions.

At our core, we are tax attorneys. Whether we specialize in estate planning or business counsel, we spend a lot of our time devising creative solutions to minimize your tax obligations through proactive planning.

However, we also represent businesses and individuals who have disputes with the Internal Revenue Service or state tax agencies. We are proud of our success rate in efficiently resolving tax disputes for our clients. We’ve helped clients through all stages of the process, from audits and appeals to litigation. Our attorneys have argued cases in front of tax court judges, appeals courts, and even the U.S. Supreme Court. We have also had success in obtaining favorable Private Letter Rulings from the IRS.

At our core, we are a team of lawyers with extensive knowledge and expertise garnered through years of experience. We combine this experience with the collaboration and value of a small team. With four of our lawyers holding LL.M. degrees (three taxation, one estate planning), we have one of the highest concentrations of tax expertise in the region.

We began in the logging industry. In the 1930s, Carl E. Davidson left his job as a logging superintendent to attend law school at the University of Oregon. He eventually went into private practice, and through a series of partnerships, Charles P. Duffy joined the firm.

Davidson’s firm shifted over the years, from consulting with forest products companies to trial practice to tax matters in the 1940s. Duffy and his partner, David A. Kekel, continued in this direction and built the reputation and skill sets for which we are known today.