Chris Howard has a unique combination of technical legal skills and hands-on business and finance experience, enabling him to integrate these disciplines into strategies that match client objectives and provide clients with a competitive advantage. His forte is in managing complex commercial transactions and development projects in time-sensitive environments, and in accessing all sectors of the capital markets.
Chris' practice has four areas of focus:
- Corporate finance and transactional representation: Chris' work involves all aspects of corporate, securities, and commercial law, focusing on representing entrepreneurs and middle-market companies in a wide variety of transactional settings.
- Resort and hospitality industry: Chris handles projects in the hospitality sector ranging from resort acquisition and disposition to numerous hotel developments to representation of Maine's first gaming development.
- General counsel representation: Chris' experience includes acting as "external" general counsel for several large to midsize companies including two of Maine's largest insurance companies. Chris was one of the moving forces behind the successful launch of Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company, now one of the state's largest property and casualty insurers. Chris acted as both its counsel and interim CEO in connection with its initial start-up.
- Insurance: Chris has an extensive resume representing insurers, reinsurers, agencies, captives and self-funded plans in insurance regulatory and transactional matters. He has a long history of assisting some of Maine’s largest insurers and agencies with their capital raising, transactional and regulatory needs, maintaining a close relationship with the Maine Bureau of Insurance.
Chris served a five-year term as chief administrative officer and general counsel at American Skiing Company, where he managed all of ASC's capital markets transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and resort development transactions. While ASC, Chris was responsible for more than $1 billion in U.S. capital markets in financings ranging from as small as $30 million to as large as $350 million, structured the acquisition of SKI, Ltd., and the Steamboat Springs, Heavenly and Canyons resorts, and directly oversaw the development of seven major hotels ranging from 150,000 square feet to 580,000 square feet.
Chris serves on the firm's Management Committee and is the former head of its Business Practice Group.
Honors & Distinctions
- Recognized in Chambers USA for Corporate/M&A law
- Included since 2007 in The Best Lawyers in America® for Mergers & Acquisitions Law, and was named "Lawyer of the Year" in Portland, Maine for Mergers & Acquisitions Law in 2015
- Member, Maine State Bar Association, American Bar Association
- Board member, Maine North Atlantic Development Office
- Immediate Past Chairman, Maine Governmental Facilities Authority
- Founding Board member, The Cromwell Center for Disabilities Awareness
- Former Board member Maine Maritime Museum
- Board member, Presumpscot River Land Trust
- Board member, Mercy Hospital