Since his retirement from active practice in 2018, Gordon has held an appointment as Distinguished Visiting Adjunct Professor of Admiralty and Maritime Law at the Charleston School of Law, relying on his 50-plus years of experience representing the world's leading shipping lines and their marine insurers in a wide range of maritime disputes and casualties, including cargo loss and damage, salvage and towage, personal injuries and death, and marine-related oil and hazardous chemical spills. As the Port of Charleston emerged as one of the nation's leading ocean container ports, Gordon's practice focused largely on intermodal container shipping litigation, representing virtually all of the major containership operators requiring legal assistance here. He has served as lead trial counsel in numerous high-profile maritime cases, working closely with ocean carriers' in-house counsel and their marine hull and P&I underwriters, for which he has been recognized in Chambers USA.

A former director of the Maritime Law Association of the US, Gordon continues to serve on its ad hoc committee supporting the ratification of the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea (the "Rotterdam Rules"). He is also an at-large representative on the U.S. Coast Guard's Maritime Security Committee for the Port of Charleston and serves as Chair Emeritus of the Maritime Association of South Carolina.

Representative Experience

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 multi-jurisdictional 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).

Professional & Civic Engagement

Professional Engagement

  • 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, Member Emeritus 
  • Maritime Association of South Carolina, Past-Chairman, 2011 – 2012, Chair Emeritus, 2018-Present 
  • Maritime Arbitration Association, Founding Director
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States 
    • Board Member, 1996 – 1999 
    • Chair, Carrier Security Committee, 1999 – 2003
    • Nominating Commitee, 2004-2018
  • 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

Civic Engagement

  • Charleston County Ethics Commission, 1985 – 1986
  • Charleston Speech and Hearing Center, Inc., Past Vice-President and Director
  • Historic District Appearance Commission, Town of Mt. Pleasant, SC
    • Chairman, 1986 – 1990
    • Member, 1983 – 1990
  • Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church (PC USA), Elder, Former Clerk of Session, and Trustee
  • Mt. Pleasant Sertoma Club, Past President
  • World Trade Center Charleston Steering Committee, Member, 2012 – 2016

Thought Leadership


  • 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 – 1994


  • "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," American 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

Honors & Awards

  • Chambers USA, Ranked Lawyer, Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Litigation, 2017 – 2018
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings), Admiralty and Maritime Law, 1989 – 2018; Admiralty and Maritime Law "Lawyer of the Year" award in Charleston, South Carolina, 2011
  • Super Lawyers Honoree, Transportation/Maritime, South Carolina Super Lawyers magazine (Thomson Reuters), 2008 – 2018
  • “AV” rating, Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, 1982 – Present
  • Who’s Who Legal, Transport/Shipping, 2017