Chris Howard originally joined Pierce Atwood in 1982, rejoining the firm in 2001 as a partner in the Business Group. Before rejoining the firm, 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. He serves on the firm's Management Committee and is the former head of its Business Practice Group. Chris has a unique combination of technical legal skills and hands-on business and finance experience, which enables him to integrate these disciplines into strategies that match client objectives and provide clients with a competitive advantage.
Chris' practice has three 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 continues to be active in the hospitality sector with projects ranging from resort acquisition and disposition to numerous hotel developments to representation of Maine's first gaming development.
- General counsel representation: In addition to his work as American Skiing Company's general counsel, Chris' experience includes acting as "external" general counsel for several large to midsize companies including two of Maine's largest insurance companies. Chris' forte is in managing complex commercial transactions and development projects in time-sensitive environments, and in accessing all sectors of the capital markets. While at American Skiing, 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 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.
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