Attorneys Philip C. Olsson and Richard L. Frank founded what is now Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC — or OFW Law — in 1979. Originally called Olsson and Frank, the firm's initial clients were food and agriculture companies and trade associations, including American Feed Manufacturers Association (now American Feed Industry Association), National Turkey Federation, Pacific Coast Meat Association (now North American Meat Institute), The Quaker Oats Company, and Pueblo International. The majority of these groups are still OFW Law's clients today. Partner David Weeda joined in 1981. Although the firm sadly lost David in 2001 to lymphoma, his son, Mason, now carries the torch for the next generation of OFW Law associates.
The firm established itself early on with notable successes, including defending recently adopted USDA labeling regulations for “turkey ham" and getting products labelled “Fresh Choice” orange juice and “Fresh Italian” pasta sauce — which were made from previously processed, heat-treated concentrates, and were anything but “fresh” — off the market.
Over the years, the firm grew from two lawyers to almost 40 lawyers and Policy Advisors as the practice evolved to include a wide range of industries regulated by USDA and FDA. OFW Law's attorneys and Senior Policy Advisors include a former Secretary of Agriculture, former Congressmen, men and women who previously served within the FDA, the USDA, and FSIS, as well as former counsel to legislative committees. OFW Law's offices have been located in the historic Watergate Building since 2011.
In the more than 35 years since OFW Law's founding, in Rick Frank's words,
much has changed, but much remains the same. We are still a relatively small, quirky boutique, specializing in food, agriculture, drugs, devices, and related litigation. ... Our cases were and are challenging and interesting. [And] Washington is a wonderful place to work and raise a family.
As Phil Olsson put it:
since 1979, our country has been led by six presidents. We have seen many of the national and international mega-law firms stumble and disappear. From the beginning, our firm has been fortunate to have had Rick’s prudent management skills, which I believe he absorbed while watching his parents and grandparents run a small family business. [Our] years at OFW ha[ve] been a great ride with a great group of people, both those within the firm and those on the outside, the clients who have made it all possible.