Leodis C. Matthews (“Lee”) ’73 is a Partner in the Los Angeles office of the Zhong Lun Law Firm, a multinational firm with headquarters in Beijing. Lee is an experienced litigator and negotiator with a broad business law practice that includes complex civil litigation, real estate transactions, corporate finance, and administrative law. He has particular expertise in designing and facilitating cross-border transactions.
Lee joined the Office of the District Attorney of Multnomah County out of law school. As Deputy District Attorney he learned the essentials of trial work which have served him well throughout a long and distinguished career. He continued in government service, working as Senior Trial Attorney, Assistant United States Attorney, and Special Trial Attorney with the United States Department of Justice. Lee was a Special Attorney with the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Criminal Division, served as an Assistant US Attorney, and was Senior Counsel on the Congressional Select Committee that investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He then practiced law in Frankfort, Germany for 15 years and was the founding partner of the law firm of Matthews & Kelso. While in Germany, he represented numerous international companies in the areas of construction, commercial, and securities law. He was the President of the American Bar Association for US Attorneys in Germany and was admitted to the practice of law in Germany as a Foreign Legal Advisor. After operating his own firm for seven years, a period during which he won such high-profile cases as a multi-million dollar “going private” action, Lee joined Zhong Lun as a Partner in 2015.
Lee has been dedicated throughout his career to furthering civil rights. It was as a result of Lee’s actions that President George H.W. Bush sent the Head of the United Civil Rights Commission to Europe to investigate complaints of discrimination and wrongdoing by military superiors. He helped set up branches of the NAACP on military bases throughout Europe. Since 2007 Lee has served as Honorary Consul of Liechtenstein to the Western and Southwestern United States. In this role he facilitates friendship and trade partnerships with the Principality of Liechtenstein.
Lee earned his BS from Lewis & Clark College (1971) and his JD from Lewis & Clark Law School (1973). He is a member of Lewis & Clark Law School’s Board of Visitors. It is by means of Lee’s generous gift that the law school holds its Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture Series, which sees each January a distinguished speaker on civil rights visit campus.