Christopher Palmer

Christopher E. Palmer

PartnerChair, Financial Industry
Christopher E. Palmer
Washington, DC
+1 202 346 4253

Chris Palmer is a partner and Chair of Goodwin’s Financial Industry group, specializing in the investment management area.

For more than 30 years, Mr. Palmer has worked with insurance companies, funds, investment advisers, fund independent directors and other investment management industry participants on a wide range of legal, regulatory and compliance, and governance matters. He advises clients on the development, regulatory approval, sale and administration of a variety of investment products, including registered and unregistered funds, retirement products, and variable, indexed and fixed life insurance and annuity contracts. He advises mutual fund independent directors on legal, governance and industry practice issues. He works with the Goodwin litigation team on securities and insurance lawsuits as well as SEC examinations and enforcement matters.

Mr. Palmer is annually recognized nationwide by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the Investment Funds: Registered Funds category, where clients noted that he is “an excellent lawyer” and an “extremely knowledgeable problem-solver.”


As counsel for numerous insurance companies, fund groups, investment advisers, independent directors and other industry participants, Mr. Palmer’s recent work includes:

  • Working with funds, fund sponsors and fund independent directors on new funds, including exchange-traded and interval funds, fund reorganizations, adviser transactions, and regulatory developments
  • Advising insurance companies on new life and annuity products for the retail, retirement and institutional marketplaces
  • Working with clients and the SEC staff on exemptive orders, no-action letters, registration statements and examinations
  • Advising clients on mutual fund and variable product litigation and enforcement matters

Professional Activities

Mr. Palmer was a partner at Shea & Gardner prior to its combination with Goodwin in 2004. He served as a court law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1986 to 1987.




Georgetown University Law Center

(magna cum laude)


St. John's University (Minnesota)

(egregia cum laude)


U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit



  • District of Columbia


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Recognition & Awards

Mr. Palmer has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers for his work in Mutual Funds Law 2022-2023.

Mr. Palmer has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers Global, The Legal 500 and U.S. News-Best Lawyers. In law school, Mr. Palmer served as an article editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.


Mr. Palmer is a frequent speaker at mutual fund and variable insurance products webinars and conferences. His presentations and publications include:

  • Co-author, “SEC Updates Regulatory Framework for Good Faith Determinations of Fair Value,” Journal of Investment Compliance, Volume 22, Issue 2, July 2021
  • “Core Responsibilities for Fund Directors,” presentations at the Independent Directors Council annual conferences (2010-2020)
  • “Mutual Funds and Advisers: Key Regulatory and Litigation Developments,” presentations and outlines for the annual ALI CLE Conference on Life Insurance Company Products (2019-2020)
  • “Variable Insurance Product Design” and “Redemption Fee Rule,” contributing author to PLI treatise on Variable Annuities and Other Insurance Products (2020)