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headshot of howard gordon, williams mullen partner

Howard E. Gordon

Norfolk, VA
  • T.
  • 757.629.0607
  • F.
  • 757.629.0660

Howard Gordon retired from the practice of law on January 31, 2024.

Howard Gordon's practice is focused on commercial and multi-family real estate, commercial leases, ground leases, land use planning and permits and pass-through entities. Mr. Gordon’s experience includes representing owners and developers in the acquisition of land, development, leasing and financing of numerous shopping centers and multi-family housing projects, as well as hotels and the development of traditional neighborhoods. He also has represented borrowers in the closing of conventional, FHA-insured, conduit and specialty loans secured by commercial and multi-family properties. Mr. Gordon has represented developers of multi-family housing properties which received Low Income Housing Tax Credits or Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Contracts and were financed by either loans from the Virginia Housing Development Authority, loans insured by FHA or local housing authority bonds. He has also represented developers of hotels which have used New Markets Tax Credits to reduce the equity required for development.

Mr. Gordon is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Virginia Law Foundation and of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. He is a member of the Virginia Bar Association, Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association and is a past chairman of the Virginia State Bar's Real Property Section Board of Governors. He is a recipient of the Virginia State Bar's Traver Scholar Award, and he is listed in The Best Lawyers in America®  (1997-present), Virginia Business magazine’s “Legal Elite” (2008-2013, 2015-present), Chambers USA (2013-present)  and CoVa Biz Magazine's Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia (2017-present) among the real estate practitioners. Best Lawyers® named him the Norfolk "Lawyer of the Year" for Real Estate Law in its 2019 edition, and he has been listed in Virginia Super Lawyers magazine (2006-present) for Real Estate Law. In 2012 and 2016, he was recognized by that publication as a "Top 100 Lawyer in Virginia."  Martindale-Hubbell has rated Mr. Gordon an AV attorney, its highest rating available.

He is very active in community and civic organizations, including ForKids, Norfolk Collegiate School, Norfolk Sports Club, and its scholarship foundation, the Virginia Arts Festival and the TOWN Foundation.

Before joining the firm, Mr. Gordon was a partner with Hofheimer Nusbaum, P.C., which merged with Williams Mullen in 2004. Mr. Gordon also served as law clerk to John A. MacKenzie, Judge of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, from 1972 to 1973.

Mr. Gordon received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1972. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Virginia in 1969.


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  • University of Virginia School of Law (J.D.)
    • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • University of Virginia (B.A.)
Professional & Community Affiliations

Professional Affiliations

  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association
  • Virginia Continuing Legal Education – Program Chairman for 3rd-5th Annual Advanced Real Estate Law Seminars
  • Virginia State Bar – Real Property Board of Governors Member and former Chairman
  • Urban Land Institute

Community Involvements

  • ForKids – Board of Directors
  • Norfolk Collegiate School – Board of Trustees
  • Norfolk Sports Club - Treasurer of Scholarship Foundation – Past President
  • The TOWN Foundation – Board of Directors
  • Virginia Arts Festival – Board of Directors
Bar & Court Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia State Bar

American Bar Foundation – Fellow

American College of Real Estate Lawyers – Fellow

Martindale-Hubbell – AV-Rated

The Best Lawyers in America® – Land Use & Zoning Law, Real Estate Law (1997-present)

Virginia Business - “Legal Elite,” (2008-2013, 2015-present)

Virginia Law Foundation – Fellow

Virginia State Bar – Traver Scholar Award (2011)

Virginia Super Lawyers – Real Estate (2006-present); Top 100 Lawyer in Virginia (2012, 2016-2019)

Chambers USA – Real Estate (2013-present)

CoVa Biz Magazine – Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia (2017-present)

Best Lawyers® Norfolk "Lawyer of the Year" – Real Estate (2019)