Gustavo (Tavo) Cruz, Jr.

Of Counsel

Versatile Commercial Finance & Transaction Lawyer

From the business of banking to the law of banking, Tavo knows the finance industry from the inside out, and has a depth of understanding of the interplay of legal, business, and regulatory issues facing financial institutions. 
He has a rare trifecta of financial services experience: worked as a commercial lender and credit approval officer, served as in-house counsel for US Bank in the Special Assets Group, and has many years of experience as outside counsel for financial service providers of all sizes.

With such versatile experience, Tavo is able to identify his clients' pain points, walk in their shoes, and effectively protect their interests. He also handles a broad range of business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, real estate deals, business agreements, and public and private securities offerings.
Tavo is a Portland native and is active in the community.  He serves on several non-profit boards, and is the incoming Board Chair of Prosper Portland (formerly known as the Portland Development Commission), the urban renewal agency for the City of Portland.  He is currently a board member and/or officer of Portland Center Stage, the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and the NW District Association, the neighborhood association of NW Portland.  He has served as the Chair of both the Business Law and Securities Law sections of the Oregon State Bar, in addition to numerous other boards and committees.

Little Known Facts: Played rugby in college and for a men's club team, and now enjoys watching his son play.


Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
Named an Oregon Super Lawyer in 2006
Received an "Examiner Award" for community service in NW Portland See more News See more Articles Print Bio

Representative Matters

Banking and Finance  

Negotiation and documentation of complex commercial loan transactions, including a $1 billion multi-bank loan to a manufacturer, a $65 million secured loan to a beverage distributor, a $12 million loan secured by eight parcels of real property in three states, and numerous secured and unsecured loans involving technology companies, beverage distributors, assisted living facilities, and other industry concentrations. 

Extensive experience in matters involving distressed loans, including strategic advice in loan work-outs, negotiation of forbearance and settlement agreements, and documentation of restructured loans and related transactions arising out of bankruptcy.

Corporate and Securities 

Representation of issuers and underwriters in public and private securities offerings, including multiple public offerings, numerous private placements, and formation of a venture capital fund, as well as 1935 Act reporting work and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance advice. 

Has handled various mergers and acquisitions transactions, including the sale of a publicly traded technology company, formation of an internet-related joint venture, purchase of a petroleum products distributor, and strategic investments in Mexico and the Middle East.


Lewis & Clark Law School (J.D. 1993)
University of Oregon (B.S. Business Administration and Finance, 1983)


Oregon State Bar


Prosper Portland (fka Portland Development Commission), Board of Commissioners and Board Chair (2015 - present)
Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Chair (2013 - present)
NW District Association (neighborhood association for NW Portland), President (2014 and 2015)
Portland Center Stage, Board Member (2016 - present)
Risk Management Association

News & Events



Gustavo (“Tavo”) J. Cruz, Jr. has been elected Chair of the Board of Commissioners for Prosper Portland (fka the Portland Development Commission). READ MORE

FWW Welcomes Tavo Cruz to the Firm


Farleigh Wada Witt is pleased to welcome Gustavo (Tavo) Cruz, Jr. to the firm in our banking and finance and business practice groups. READ MORE

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