Portland’s robust footwear and apparel industry now has a law firm dedicated to some of its unique legal needs.
Keefer launched in August 2017. The two-person law firm is staffed by the husband-and-wife team of Chris and Garetta Keefer. Chris Keefer handles the legal work. Garetta Keefer oversees operations.
Chris Keefer is a veteran attorney who practiced corporate law for 15 years in Indiana before moving to Portland to get a master’s degree from the University of Oregon’s Sports Product Management program. He graduated last year.
The new firm will work primarily with outdoor and apparel companies on risk management, including helping companies understand how to protect themselves against supply chain breakdowns. It will also help companies address cybersecurity risk and human resource problems.
"We spent a number of months interviewing attorneys and commercial insurance brokers and insurance executives as well as manufacturing executives in order to determine pain points when it came to their legal services and risk strategy," Chris Keefer said. "What we determined was there was an opportunity in assisting business proactively address their risk, whether through litigation or a transactional matter."
Keefer said many footwear and apparel companies don’t understand their business interruption insurance policies, which can be catastrophic.
"The majority of manufacturers … purchase a policy and set it aside and let it gather dust," he said. "What we do is help them understand what’s in those contracts and what kind of contracts you should have."
Keefer wanted to start working with local companies, but he’s already been retained by companies in North Carolina, Tennessee and Arizona.
The firm fills a local void in the legal field. Portland’s largest law firms offer traditional business services to footwear and apparel companies. Scott Davidson at White Summers also is known for his work with venture-seeking startups.
But no firm specializes in risk management.
"There’s no real competion that we’ve seen," Keefer said.
Keefer is located at 4949 S.W. Macadam Ave.