On Thursday May 23, 2013, the firm and I lost a close friend, and the maritime community lost a distinguished professional with the passing of George Chandler.
George Chandler was an admiralty attorney with Hill Rivkins in New York and Houston, but George’s connection with Martin & Ottaway and its people go back to 1976, when George met Henk van Hemmen with Henk’s arrival in New York City as an employee of the United States Salvage Association. George’s firm, Bigham Engler, served as counsel to the United States Salvage Association, and when George moved to Hill Rivkins, and Henk joined Martin & Ottaway in 1980, George became counsel to Martin & Ottaway.
Before that, in 1976, George, a Virginia Tech engineering graduate, was extremely helpful by providing suggestions to my father and me with regard to university education during a memorable lunch at the Whitehall Club. As very recent arrivals in the United States, my family and I were completely unfamiliar with the American university process, and with me arriving as a senior in high school, we were in dire need of sober and rational advice.
In the end, and to a very large extent based on George’s analysis of the situation, I also chose to go to Virginia Tech, and, to this day, regard George’s analysis and advise to be flawless.
George continued to provide advice, counsel, friendship and assistance to me, my family, and Martin & Ottaway for many more years and when I last saw him earlier this year, we reminisced about the fact that he was my first friend in the industry.
That will never change.
Our thoughts are with his family during these difficult times.