Chris Helmer JD ’74


Chris Helmer JD ’74 was honored with the Oregon State Bar 2022 Edwin J. Peterson Professionalism Award. A partner at Miller Nash with over 40 years of litigation experience, Helmer has blazed the way for female lawyers in Oregon and has served as a mentor to countless law students and new lawyers, helping them develop their practice in a way that reflects their passion. Helmer primarily handles international and maritime matters—both litigation and transactional. She has arbitrated international cases before the International Chamber of Commerce, the London Court of International Arbitration, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, and many other arbitral institutions, as well as handled countless U.S. cross-border and maritime disputes. Helmer works with clients in a variety of industries and has negotiated and documented hundreds of simple to complex contracts dealing with licensing and product sales, custom manufacturing abroad, agency and distribution, vessel construction, charter parties, foreign joint ventures, letters of credit and cross-border financing. She is the first woman appointed by the Oregon Supreme Court to serve on the Oregon State Board of Bar Examiners, as well as the first woman to be elected to the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors. Currently, Helmer is serving in multiple leadership positions in the International Bar Association and teaches as an adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark Law School. She has been selected for inclusion on the Oregon Super Lawyers list and recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® in admiralty and maritime law and commercial litigation. Helmer was also recognized as Lawyer of the Year—USA in admiralty and maritime by Lawyer Monthly and named in the international edition of Who’s Who Legal: Litigation. Helmer holds an LLM in international law from Columbia University.


Presented a CLE, International Law Issues in Domestic Litigation, to the Multnomah Bar Association, with Lewis & Clark Associate Professor of Law George K. Foster. The presentation addressed how to handle some of the most common issues that arise in international civil litigation in the United States. Among the topics covered were personal jurisdiction, sovereign immunity, forum non conveniens, antisuit injunctions, extraterritorial discovery, enforcement of arbitration agreements and awards, and enforcement of foreign judgments.


Was profiled in the January issue of the Oregon State Bar Bulletin. Helmer is a partner with Miller Nash.