Our experience is the difference.
Just ask around.
Austen and Gowder delivers practical, collaborative, and result-oriented counsel and advocacy aimed at addressing your legal issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our attorneys serve various roles as advocates, counselors, mediators, arbitrators, judges and expert witnesses. Our experience as litigators enables us to fight for your rights. Austen & Gowder’s lawyers have each represented individuals and companies in state and federal courts for more than thirty years.
We know our way to court.
Sometimes settlement is not in your best interest. Our experience as litigation attorneys enables us to fight for your rights. The firm’s litigation attorneys have represented individuals and companies in state and federal courts in South Carolina for more than thirty years.
Jon has been able to efficiently get to the heart of the matter and work to a common resolution and is an active listener.”
- Steven Epps, Principal, Epps Law Firm, LLC
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Meet Our Lawyers
Jon L. Austen
Lawyer & Partner
Jon graduated from Wake Forest University law school in 1986 and worked as a litigator for most of his career. He has significant experience in cases involving torts, contracts, insurance and employment law. His practice is centered around alternative dispute resolution. He acts as a mediator, arbitrator and summary jury trial judge. He is married to Lea Austen and lives in Charleston.
- American Board of Trial Advocates, member
- Attorneys Assisting Disciplinary Council, member
- South Carolina Commission on Alternative Dispute Resolution, member
- National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, member
- Super Lawyer in mediation
- The Best Lawyers in America in mediation
- Martindale Hubbell rated AV
W. Andrew Gowder, Jr.
Lawyer & Partner
Andy counsels and advocates for clients in the areas of real estate and land use, eminent domain and inverse condemnation, local and state government, corporate formation and governance for profit and nonprofit organizations, business transactions, the environment, natural resources, land conservation and historic preservation. He received his JD (cum laude) from Wake Forest University School of Law his BA (summa cum laude) from Wofford College, where he was Phi Beta Kappa.
- American Bar Association
- Section of State and Local Government Law, Past Chair, Current Section Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates
- Secretary, Committee on Scope and Correlation of Work
- ABA Foundation, Sustaining Life Fellow
- Urban Land Institute (ULI)
- Sustainable Development Council, Immediate Past Chair
- ULI South Carolina, Past Chair, Current Member of Governance Committee
- Rethinking Southern Cities Regional Initiative Council, Member
- Wake Forest University School of Law Board of Visitors
- South Carolina Aquarium, Board of Directors; Vice Chair, Governance Committee, Resilience Committee
- Enough Pie, Board of Directors, Secretary
- Charleston Moves, Board member, General Counsel
- Best Lawyers, Land Use and Zoning Law
- Martindale Hubbell, AV, Preeminent Lawyer
Thomas H. Hesse
Lawyer, Of Counsel
A native of Charleston, Tom is a graduate of The Citadel, Woodrow Wilson College of Law and the University of South Carolina Law School. Tom’s practice includes insurance coverage and insurance defense. Prior to practicing law, he spent 20 years in insurance claims including positions as Claims Manager and Litigation Manager. Tom received his Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter designation from the American Institute. Tom serves as an expert witness in insurance matters in state and federal courts. He serves as a part-time Municipal Judge for the Town of Mount Pleasant, where he resides with his wife Pam. They have three grown daughters, Hayden, Lauren and Erin.
- South Carolina Summary Court Judges Association, member
- South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association, member
- Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters, member
- Claims Management Association of South Carolina, former member, Past President and recipient of Claims Manager of the Year award
- South Carolina Claims Association, former member
- Charleston Claims Association, former member
- Certified Mediator and Arbitrator
Jon L. Austen's Mediation Calendar