Gordon relies on almost 50 years of admiralty and maritime litigation experience to counsel and defend some of the world’s leading shipping lines and their marine insurers in a wide range of maritime disputes and marine casualties. These matters include cargo loss and damage, salvage and towage, personal injuries and death, and marine-related oil and hazardous chemical spills. His national reputation in shipping litigation is recognized by his listing in Chambers USA. As Charleston has emerged as one of the nation’s leading container ports,
Gordon’s practice has focused on intermodal shipping and logistics, representing virtually all of the world’s major containership operators calling at Charleston. He has served as lead trial counsel in numerous high-profile admiralty cases, frequently working closely with in-house counsel and international marine underwriters.
A former director of the Maritime Law Association of the US, Gordon serves on its ad hoc committee supporting the ratification of the Rotterdam Rules for international ocean carriage of goods. He is an at-large representative on the U.S. Coast Guard’s Maritime Security Committee for the Port of Charleston, and holds an appointment as Visiting Professor at the Charleston School of Law, where he also chairs the Charleston Maritime Law Institute.
Presentations and Publications
- Editorial Board, South Caroline Practice Manual, 2001.
- Primer for the Defense of Recreational Boating Liabilities in the Next Millennium. co-author with Robert F. Hungerford, Esq., of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and Layton R. Monk, Esq., of Miami. Florida (presented at 1999 FICC Annual Meeting, Whistler, British Columbia).
- Recent Case Developments - Maritime Law, FICC Update, 1993-94
- From Runnymede to Charleston: Magna Carta, The Rule of Law and Professionalism, 52nd Annual Seminar, Federal Administrative Law Judges Conference, Charleston, SC, September 2015
- The Silver Oar: Early Admiralty Practice in the District Court of South Carolina, 225th Anniversary Celebration of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Federal Courthouse, March 5, 2015
- Do’s and Don’t’s in Yacht Finance Transactions, Joint Conference of National Marine Lenders Assoc. and American Vessel Documentation Assoc., Napa, CA, September 2014
- Panelist, Updates on Federal Rules, Treaties, Regulations, Sanctions and More, Including Best Practices on Interaction Between Private Practice Lawyers and the Government, American Conference Institute, 4th Annual Forum on Admiralty and Maritime Claims and Litigation, Houston, TX, February 2014
- Update on Intermodal Container Transport Claims, Assoc. of Transportation Law Professionals, 84th Annual Meeting, Atlantic Beach, FL 2013
- COGSA Comes Ashore: Handling the Intermodal Container Case post-Kirby and Regal-Beloit, 2nd Annual Forum on Admiralty & Maritime Claims and Litigation, Houston, TX 2013
Civic and Professional Activities
- American Maritime Cases, Associate Editor, 2002-Present
- Charleston County Bar Association, Former Chair, Grievance Committee
- Charleston Maritime Law Institute (Charleston School of Law), founder and Chair, Board of Advisors
- Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Chair, Maritime Law Section, 1994-1997 - Vice-Chair, Transportation Law Section, 2001-2004
- Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, Permanent Member
- Maritime Association of South Carolina, Past-Chairman, 2011-2012
- Maritime Arbitration Association, Founding Director
- Maritime Law Association of the United States, Proctor Member, Nominating Committee, 1996-1999, 2004-present; Chair, Carrier Security Committee, 1999-2003
- Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Charleston, Past President, 1975-1976
- South Carolina Bar, Former Member, House of Delegates, Former Chair, Professional Responsibility Committee
- South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys' Association
- Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, Chairman, 1983-1984, Permanent Member, Advisory Committee
- Charleston County Ethics Commission, 1985-1986
- Past Vice-President and Director, Charleston Speech and Hearing Center, Inc.
- Member, 1983-1990, Chairman, 1986-1990, Historic District Appearance Commission, Town of Mt. Pleasant, SC
- Elder, Former Clerk of Session, and Trustee, Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church (PC USA)
- Past President, Mt. Pleasant Sertoma Club
- Member, World Trade Center Charleston Steering Committee, 2012-2016
Honors and Awards
- Chambers USA 2018 Ranked Lawyer, Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Litigation, Nationwide
- Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Admiralty and Maritime Law, 1989 – Present
- Received the Best Lawyers™ 2011 Admiralty and Maritime Law "Lawyer of the Year" award in Charleston, South Carolina
- Super Lawyers Honoree, 2008 -2016
- “AV” rating, Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, 1982-Present
- Who’s Who Legal: Transport 2017/Shipping
Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
- Lead local trial counsel for ocean carrier in highly publicized marine pollution incident arising out of heavy weather spillage of a shipment of hazardous chemical cargoes en route to Charleston. Worked closely with New York co-counsel for vessel interests in responding to federally mandated pollution response and recovery, and subsequent CERCLA litigation (1992).
- Lead local trial counsel for one of world’s largest containership operators in major maritime casualty litigation arising out of client’s ship collision with world’s largest dredge near entrance to Port of Tianjin, China, resulting in dredge’s sinking, and the assertion of a damage claim against client in excess of $325 million. Led multijurisdictional trial team in obtaining dismissal of federal actions filed in Charleston and other US jurisdictions, successfully arguing application of forum non conveniens doctrine (2009).
- Lead trial counsel for major intermodal trucking carrier in successfully defending against putative class action by independent truckers seeking class certification for client’s alleged violations of federal statutory regime governing trucking leases, resulting in class certification being denied (2011).
- Trial counsel for major container shipping line in successful subrogated indemnity action to recover some $450,000 against inland trucking carrier and its insurer for loss by theft of ocean container loaded with computers (2013).
- Invited to present paper on “Update of Intermodal Container Transport Claims,” at 84th annual meeting of American Association of Transportation Law Professionals (2013).