About Me and My Practice
Law Office of Christopher Heaps
My mission is to deliver the highest-quality legal services and outstanding client service at an affordable price.
My Law Practice
Law firms love to say that they're "different" from other firms, because they know that many people have a negative perception of lawyers. These firms will tell you that they give their clients personalized attention and that they try to solve legal disputes cooperatively before resorting to litigation. But there is nothing different about this – it’s just good business practice, because it's what clients expect.
My law practice really is different from the rest. Here's why:
I am a solo lawyer. I am my own paralegal, and my own assistant. When clients deal with this law firm, they always talk directly with me, someone who immediately knows them and their situation.
My practice is virtual. I don't maintain a commercial office, receptionist, art collection, coffee and tea service, etc. I pass my overhead savings on to my clients.
Whenever possible, I offer my clients fixed-fee prices (rather than an hourly rate, where price may vary), and I provide price quotes in advance of any work. This helps avoid the "sticker shock" many people experience when receiving a bill from a traditional law firm.
And speaking of prices, I have a low-price guarantee. If you have a price quote from another attorney for work in one of my practice areas, bring it to me and I will beat the price!
I practice law in Oregon to help people and to do interesting work in a place I love, not primarily to make money. Of course, I am running a business and I need income to keep doing that. But I am not interested in chasing more and more income or high-profile cases, and I think it shows in my prices, and most importantly, in my dealings with people.
This is simply a better way to deliver legal services. Better for clients, that is, because it's more responsive, more personal, and more affordable.
I concentrate on legal matters in the areas of business (including benefit corps and non-profits), real estate and land use, estate law (wills, trusts, probate), natural resources, and family law (conservatorships, guardianships, divorce, adoption, etc).
I am proud to be an immigrant, having come to the US from England as a child. I grew up in the Deep South, near New Orleans, where I played a lot of baseball and developed a lifelong interest in music.
I earned a bachelor's degree from Mississippi State University and a PhD in cognitive psychology from the University of Tennessee before moving to Oregon in 1999. I graduated from the University of Washington School of Law and joined the Oregon Bar in 2006.
After law school, I was hired by Oregon's largest private law firm, Stoel Rives LLP, in Portland, where I worked for large, well-known corporate clients. There, I gained expertise in leasing, permitting, and environmental compliance for large natural resource development projects in the wind, solar, geothermal, oil and gas, and mineral industries. I also assisted with real estate and corporate transactions, commercial leasing, business and real estate disputes, and corporate governance matters.
I then managed geothermal exploration and development projects in Oregon, Washington, and Hawai’i for a publicly-traded energy company. I resumed my law practice in Bend in 2012 and began my solo law practice in 2014.
While in Bend, I worked with numerous small and mid-sized businesses, and especially enjoyed working for some of my favorite Oregon breweries, as well as entrepreneurs in the newly-legal cannabis industry. I also gained considerable experience in the areas of wills, trusts, and estates, probate, and family law.
In 2016, I authored The Best Flatwater Paddles in Oregon, a guide book available at Powell's. As a long-time Oregonian and lover of Powell's, I consider this perhaps my greatest career achievement.
I am now based in Portland, though I work with clients all over Oregon.
I enjoy spending time traveling, reading, hiking, biking, and standup paddleboarding.