Chris Helmer


Chris Helmer does primarily international and maritime work, both litigation/arbitration and transactional. Her 30+ years of litigation and arbitration experience puts her in a unique position to assist clients in contract drafting and assessing contractual risks. And that dispute resolution experience includes regular handling of the issues particular to cross-border and admiralty disputes that not every practitioner is accustomed to dealing with—service abroad, obtaining evidence abroad, jurisdiction over foreign parties for claims arising in faraway countries, vessel arrests and attachments, Customs, FCPA and export sanctions issues, and enforcement of international arbitration awards and foreign judgments. If a business plan or problem has a foreign component, Chris has likely dealt with it.

Industries Chris works with include natural resources, agriculture, food and beverage, technology, shipping, marine terminals, and manufacturing. She has done hundreds of simple to complex contracts dealing with licensing and product sales, agency and distribution, vessel construction, charter parties, foreign joint ventures, letters of credit, and cross-border financing. Her litigation/arbitration experience includes not only U.S.-based disputes but management of foreign litigation and handling arbitrations before the recognized international arbitral institutions—ICC, SIAC, ICDR (AAA), LCA, and others.

Chris’s service as temporary in-house counsel to an international financing subsidiary of Daimler Benz and her work with myriad business people give her a good understanding of what clients really need and want. She keeps up with a network of experienced foreign counsel through her work as an officer of the International Bar Association’s Litigation Committee and teaches international law classes and admiralty law as an adjunct professor for Lewis & Clark Law School. Chris is regularly listed in Oregon Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America in the categories of international, business litigation, and admiralty. She was recognized as the "Lawyer of the Year - USA" in Admiralty and Maritime by Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2018.


  • J.D., Lewis & Clark Law School (formerly Northwestern School of Law), cum laude
  • LL.M., Columbia University
  • B.A., Washington State University, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

Oregon, Washington
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