John Lee is a seasoned labor and employment lawyer known for his expertise in resolving complex problems – with a track record of success handling high profile and politically sensitive matters.

With a reputation for meticulous attention to detail, John is the go-to lawyer for those facing complex and high-stakes labor and employment issues. Always invested in understanding a client’s business operations as well as their legal needs, he works closely with employers to create tailored solutions that cultivate healthy workplaces and advance their business goals. Providing comprehensive legal services to a diverse range of clients, from corporations to public entities, John focuses his practice on:

Labor advice, strategy, and negotiations.  John regularly serves as chief negotiator for management in contract negotiations, advising on an array of collective bargaining issues, labor strategy, and disputes. Before joining Summit Law Group, he served as outside counsel for labor unions across the Pacific Northwest. His union-side experience enables him to provide insights to employers regarding union priorities and labor disputes.

Counseling, training, and investigations.  John advises clients and provides training on employment agreements, executive compensation, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, trade-secret protection, employment discrimination, unemployment benefits, disability accommodation, and family and medical leave policies, among other areas.

He also manages workplace investigations into alleged misconduct. He understands the complex, sensitive nature of such matters, the importance of the employer-employee relationship, and the impact of internal and external factors affecting investigations.

Labor and employment litigation.  A highly effective advocate and litigator, John aggressively represents clients in federal and state courts, administrative hearings, and arbitrations.

Clients.  John’s public-sector clients include cities, counties, utilities, schools, colleges, special districts, transit agencies, libraries, and related entities. John’s private-sector clients range from small business owners to companies with multi-state operations and include professional sports teams, construction contractors, and healthcare organizations.

John’s charitable work focuses on increasing child literacy and access to quality public education for everyone. John also serves as pro bono counsel to a youth homeless shelter and is a co-organizer of a 5k race supporting cancer research.



  • University of Washington
    MA, 2010
  • University of Oregon School of Law
    JD, 2009
  • University of Washington
    BA, 2005
    Hugh A. Bone Scholar


  • Washington
  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • US District Court for the District of Eastern Washington
  • US District Court for the District of Western Washington

Awards & Accolades

  • Selected for Washington Super Lawyers "Rising Stars" list (2022)

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • “Hot Topics in Contract Bargaining,” Washington State Transit Association, 2022
  • “Public Sector Bargaining: Certainty About Uncertainty,” Association of Washington Cities, Labor Relations Institute, 2022
  • "COVID-19 Vaccines: Workplace Policies," Washington State Transit Association, 2021
  • “Back to the Future: Affirmative Action Returns to Washington and the Post-Janus Fix,” Washington Public Utility Districts Association, 2019
  • “How to Build a Solid (and Defensible) Investigation,” Association of Washington Cities, Labor Relations Institute, 2019
  • “Employment Law Update,” Washington Public Employer Labor Relations Association, Fall Conference, 2018
  • “Practical Tips for Employers Post-Janus v. AFSCME,” Association of Washington Cities, Webinar Series, 2018
  • “When Worlds Collide: Navigating the Intersection of Employment Law and the Collective Bargaining Relationship,” Association of Washington Cities, Labor Relations Institute, 2018
  • Janus v. AFSCME: Preparing for a Fundamental Shift in Labor Relations,” Association of Washington Cities, Labor Relations Institute, 2018
  • “Title IX at the Movies: An Illustrated Guide to Investigations," Washington Association of School Business Officers, Annual Conference, 2017
  • "Handling Hostile Work Environment Allegations: From the Offended to the Offensive," Washington School Personnel Association, School Law Conference, 2016

News & Insights


  • Firm News

    Summit Law Group is pleased to announce that 22 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2023 Washington Super Lawyers® and Washington Rising Stars® lists. The annually published lists recognize the top five percent of attorneys statewide based on peer recognition and professional achievement. Nine attorneys were additionally honored in the Super Lawyers Women's Edition and two were recognized for their tenth year by Super Lawyers.

  • Firm News

    Summit Law Group is proud to announce that thirteen of its attorneys have been named to the 2022 Washington Super Lawyers® list and five attorneys have been named to the 2022 Washington Rising Stars® list. The annually published lists recognize the top five percent of attorneys statewide based on peer recognition and professional achievement.

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