About Us

Addison Dowling Fender - Attorney


Addison Dowling Fender

As a third-generation Beaufort attorney, Addison is proud to call the Lowcountry of South Carolina his home. His grandfather, Joab Mauldin Dowling, was a founding member of the Dowling & Dowling Law Firm, which stood for many years in downtown Beaufort. His uncle Joab “Jojo” Dowling Jr., and mother Jane Dowling Fender were members of the firm. His mother left in 1994 after being elected to a Family Court Judgeship for the 14th Judicial Circuit. Addison's father Sherwood Fender practiced law in Beaufort until his retirement several years ago, but still stops by the office frequently to offer advice and consultation. Some might say that the “law” is in his blood, and considering the amount of time he spent roaming the halls of law offices growing up, that assessment is possibly not too far-fetched.

As a proud graduate of Beaufort High School, Clemson University and the Charleston School of Law. Addison spent time between college and law school gaining valuable life experience while making a living in real estate development. Upon his graduation from law school, he returned home to Beaufort and opened the doors to the Fender Law Firm. Since 2010 he has zealously represented clients in the Family courts of South Carolina. Addison has been designated a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers ("AAML"), a prestigious national organization dedicated to the advancement of the highest degree of professionalism and competence within the field of family law. To qualify to become a Fellow of the AAML, the attorney must demonstrate an active interest and competency in matrimonial law as evidenced by the fulfillment of criteria and standards as established by the AAML Board of Examiners and Board of Governors. Fellows of the AAML must have substantial experience and ability to handle complex matters relating to custody and support of children, property division, and alimony. Applicants to become a Fellow must also pass a rigorous written examination covering a wide range of topics and must be recognized by area Judges and fellow attorneys as a leading practitioner in the area of matrimonial law.

At the Fender Law Firm, my wife Tracy and I are keeping alive the Fender/Dowling tradition of providing honest and effective legal services to our clients.

Tracy Fender - Paralegal


Tracy Fender

Ive heard it said that some folks are born in Beaufort and others get here as quickly as they can. I fall into the later category. After being born in Misawa, Japan and spending my early years in Hawaii, I landed in the Low Country in the Spring of 1999 and have remained here ever since.

After arriving in Beaufort, I found my way into the legal profession and have been working as a Paralegal and Office Manager for the past 15 years.

Addison and I take pride in calling the Fender Law Firm our own and helping people through what can be one of the most difficult times in their lives.

Tracy Fender - Paralegal

Legal Assistant

Robert Durst

Robert is a Graduate of Gettysburg College, 1964 and Villanova School of Law, 1967.

He was admitted to practice in Pennsylvania & New Jersey ( his licenses are on currently on Retirement/Inactive Status), the Federal District Court and the United States Supreme Court.

He was Formerly an Equity Partner in the Law Firm of Stark & Stark, Princeton, NJ where he founded and Chaired the Family law Department.

He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys (Currently Emeritus) and served as President of the New Jersey Chapter for 2 years and on the National Board of Directors.

A Diplomate of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers (Emeritus), a National organization limited to 100 members nationwide. While in active practice, Bob Chaired the District Ethics Committee, served on the NJ State Family Practice Committee, served on the NJ State Bar Family Practice Committee and received the NJ State Bar Tischler Award for lifetime contribution to the practice of Family Law.

He has written and lectured extensively on Family Law and has a number of published opinions on Family Law subjects.

He now serves as a Consultant to the The Fender Law Firm where he assists the Attorneys in matters of trial strategy, evidence, trial and witness preparation, document preparation and drafting and discovery.


Proudly serving the Beaufort community for three generations

We bring over 25 years of experience to your case and will work patiently and tirelessly to bring you peace of mind.

Our roots run deep and date back to the Dowling & Dowling firm founded in 1941. Attorney Addison Fender continued his family's legacy in 2010 when he and his wife Tracy, one of the county's most experienced paralegals, opened Fender Law Firm. Guided by the practice's long standing values of compassion, honesty and fairness, our highly skilled team offers family legal services in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit, including Beaufort County, Jasper County, Colleton County, Hampton County, and Allendale County. Beaufort, Blufton, Hilton Head and surrounding areas.

beaufort family law

Book a Consultation

If you find yourself in need of Family Law representation, don’t wait another day to reach out and set up a consultation. Put the experienced team at Fender Law Firm on your side to help reach your goals. Call 843-379-4888 right now, or fill out the form below.