The Womble Bond Dickinson family mourns the passing of Joseph H. “Peter” McGee, 95, a long-time Partner and leader in the firm’s Charleston office.

Peter, who passed away Saturday morning, April 27, was a Founding Partner of Buist, Moore, Smythe & McGee, PA, Womble Bond Dickinson’s predecessor firm in Charleston.

The Charleston native served in the U.S. Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS WASP and eared undergraduate and law degrees from Washington & Lee University. Peter began his legal career in 1956, focusing his practice on litigation. In 1970, he and childhood friend Ben Moore joined Henry and Augustin Smythe to form Buist, Moore, Smythe & McGee. His service to the legal profession including a term as Chairman of the South Carolina Bar Association’s Executive Committee and as President of the Charleston County Bar Association.

In addition to being one of Charleston’s preeminent attorneys during his career, he also was a champion for many civic causes, including historic preservation. He was a long-time leader in the Historic Charleston Foundation and served on the Board of Directors for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He and his wife, Patti (who passed away in 2022 after 62 years of marriage), were strong supporters of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina for decades. CCF is the largest community foundation in South Carolina, managing more than 700 funds established by individuals, families and organizations and awarding tens of millions of dollars in grants and scholarships each year.

In 2023, the Historic Charleston Foundation created the Joseph H. “Peter” McGee Award to recognize excellence in advocacy, community preservation, and planning. And in 2020, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster awarded Peter the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor.

Peter’s work also extended to elected office. He served two terms in the South Carolina House of Representatives and spent four years on the Charleston City Council.

Current Charleston Office Managing Partner Cordes Ford said, “Peter was a gentleman, an excellent lawyer, a mentor to many, and a Managing Partner of Buist Moore Smythe McGee, among many other accomplishments.”

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Friday, May 3 at Second Presbyterian Church in Charleston, followed by a reception at the Carolina Yacht Club. In lieu of flowers, the family invites support of the Historic Charleston Foundation, the Joseph H. and Evelyn M. McGee Fund at Coastal Community Foundation or the charity of your choice.

Click here to read the full obituary. Also, click here to read news coverage in the Charleston Post & Courier.

We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Peter’s family and friends.