Darren Nakata

Darren Nakata profile picture
  • Title: Pro Tem Instructor
  • Office: White Stage Building
  • Departments: Law, Law-JD


Darren is a Portland native who wears several hats for NW Natural, including overseeing all business development legal matters and serving as Chief Legal Counsel for NW Natural Water. He is also active in the local community, serving on the Board of Trustees of the Portland Japanese Garden and the Board of Directors of OnPoint Community Credit Union.  He is proud to have received the Perkins Coie Portland Pro Bono Leadership Award while in private practice in Portland.

He has taught a number of seminars, including acquisition agreements, corporate finance, credit facilities and high yield bonds, cross-border transactions, securities offerings, commercial contracts, and corporate governance, among others. He has testified in front of the Oregon legislature, presented at various global corporations, taught CLEs for the Oregon State Bar and the Multnomah Bar Association, and regularly advised boards of directors and senior management of for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Darren began practicing law in New York in the Corporate department of the Wall Street law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore.  At Cravath, Darren's practice included negotiating large-scale transactions in M&A, finance, private equity and capital markets, among others, as well as advising boards and management of Fortune 100 companies. Darren received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Stanford University and his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School, where he served as Articles Editor of the Michigan Law Review.