Christopher L. Kelly
Chris joined the firm in 1985, the year he graduated from law school. For more than 33 years, Chris has represented clients in all types of business and real estate matters and transactions. Because he was born and raised in Muskegon, his practice gives Chris a unique perspective on the grand transformation that Muskegon has undergone since his childhood. He loves his city and is very proud to have been a small part of its renaissance.
In his business practice, Chris advises clients on a wide range of matters. He has organized hundreds of business entities. After formation of a business entity, Chris and the Parmenter Law team help the business with contracts and other documents essential to its operations. Many of the transactions involve a business client wanting to buy, sell, lease, or obtain financing.
Chris also represents many clients in real estate development projects, including residential subdivisions, commercial sites, strip centers, and shopping malls. The work includes developing an extensive, detailed step-by-step plan for the project — and then executing on it, beginning with creating the development company and extending through negotiation of tenant leases.
A focus of his commercial leasing work involves representing landlords. Chris has negotiated leases with many of the world’s most respected tenants. He has completed projects all over Michigan as well as in other states, including Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. Chris and the entire Parmenter Law team work with a sense of urgency throughout a project.
Chris values his long-term relationships with clients. Many of the firm’s clients today are children and grandchildren of early clients of the firm. The clients expect excellence — which the firm delivers — and they appreciate the firm’s approach of taking every project to heart and giving it the full attention it deserves. Chris feels very fortunate to have clients who are smart, fair, and respectful of their relationships with the firm.
In his practice, Chris takes an approach that is focused on detail but at the same time imbued with a unique sense of urgency in meeting the client’s needs. His strengths include finishing everything he starts and fulfilling every promise he makes to complete a task within a specific time frame. Clients appreciate his ability to break down and explain complex legal situations in terms that clients can understand.
Chris co-manages Parmenter Law with Anna Urick Duggins. He embraces the firm’s values of honesty, character, enthusiasm, loyalty, fairness, passion, and fun. Chris is a hands-on manager and an optimist who always encourages others and generates positive energy. Together, Chris and Anna focus on creating a firm culture of trust, respect, cooperation, collaboration, transparency, and inclusion, eliminating many of the traditional law firm organizational restraints. The collaborative team approach is a central tenet of the firm. Providing practical solutions for clients and addressing the whole context of a client’s needs are among the firm’s core values.
Outside the office, you’ll most likely find Chris on the golf course, in his boat or at his little cabin on the river.
- Commercial Leasing
- Non-Profit Organizations
- Real Estate
- California Western School of Law, J.D., 1985
- University of Michigan, B.A., 1982
- State Bar of Michigan
Business Section, Member
Law Practice Section, Member
Real Estate Section, Member
- Michigan State Bar Foundation
- Muskegon County Bar Association
- International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
Bar & Court Admissions
- State Bar of Michigan, 1985
- United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- Supreme Court of the United States
Community Activities & Boards
- Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Board of Directors, Chair, 2001 - present
- Downtown Muskegon Development Corporation
Board of Directors, 2010 - present
- Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce