McNair Establishes Hurricane Matthew Legal Assistance Team

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Hurricane Matthew hit South Carolina's coast on October 8. It was the first Category 5 Atlantic hurricane since 2007, and, when Matthew struck the southeastern United States, its storm surge, wind, and rainfall inflicted major damage. In response, McNair has organized a Hurricane Matthew Legal Assistance Team - a group of professionals from across practices and offices designed to meet the needs of clients impacted by the storm. McNair has more coastal offices than any other major law firm in South Carolina, and many of our lawyers have dealt with disaster and recovery issues firsthand.

We are advising clients in several areas of law, including:

Real Estate

Coastal property owners may need to evaluate the vulnerability of waterfront areas and consider upgrades to make their properties more resilient to severe weather. Federal, state, and local governments provide disaster relief packages to help in this effort. Additionally, property owners associations should review governing documents to confirm the division of responsibilities between the association and members, and determine whether defects are the cause of premature deterioration.


Lenders have seen an influx of borrower requests in the wake of the storm. Many associations seek financing and lines of credit to pay for debris removal and restoration. Some communities had existing emergency lines of credit, while others did not. Associations should seek counsel on preparing loan documents for emergency lines of credit and drafting security documents based on assessments, rather than mortgages.

Insurance Coverage

As insurance claims begin, property owners may find themselves disputing the amount of coverage they had or the amount of damages the provider is willing to pay. To ensure adequate coverage for liabilities and losses, policyholders should seek counsel on policy wordings and advice on claims dispute resolution.


As the cleanup continues, environmental issues arise. Hundreds of private and community docks and dock facilities were destroyed. As owners consider rebuilding and repairing beyond original scopes, new permits are necessary, and attorneys can assist in dealing with local, state, and federal agencies. Additionally, industrial operators must evaluate whether the storm caused a release of containments, such as petroleum leaks from gas station tanks due to flooding.


Employers may face a myriad of questions from employees, whether in relation to the office or facility closing during the storm, employee safety during recovery, or time off needed due to the personal impact they faced.

The McNair team is positioned to call upon the depth of professionals at the firm to handle the issues the storm has manifested. 

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The Burr & Forman Sports Law team includes attorneys from a variety of legal and college athletic backgrounds, who provide counsel on marketing, licensing and other agreements. The team, which includes NFLPA certified contract advisors, has represented professional athletes in marketing and other deals, negotiated NIL contracts with NCAA coaching legends, represented professional sports organizations, and negotiated deals with major sporting television networks.

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