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Sandra L. Knapp

Named “Female Business Leader of the Year” by the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry, Sandra L. Knapp is chair of the Business Department at Gawthrop Greenwood and practices in the fields of Business Law, Commercial Transactions, Admiralty/Maritime Law, Real Estate Law, and Banking and Finance. She represents clients in a broad range of transactional and general corporate matters, including asset-based lending transactions, mergers and acquisitions, marine finance and vessel documentation, U.S.-based joint ventures for international companies, real estate, sale-leaseback transactions, construction contracts, leases and charters. She is frequently involved in multimillion-dollar financing and acquisition transactions for companies both nationally and internationally. In addition to financing matters, Sandy advises on maritime transportation regulatory matters, particularly on the coastwise trade of the United States and citizenship requirements. She has practiced in the Philadelphia area for over 30 years, representing clients throughout the United States and abroad.

Sandy is a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, past Chair of its Marine Finance Committee and formerly a member of its Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Chester County Bar Association and is admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Sandy is active in the port community as well as the local Chester County community. She is on the Board of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine. In 2019, Sandy was named by the March of Dimes as a Chester County Woman of Achievement in Business.

Since joining the firm, Sandy has served two, three-year terms as chair of the Gawthrop Greenwood Management Committee. Prior to joining Gawthrop Greenwood, she was the managing partner of Knapp McConomy Merlie LLP.


  • Pennsylvania, 1986
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of PA, 1986
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1986
  • New Jersey, 1987
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2007


  • Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, Pennsylvania, J.D., 1986
  • Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, B.S. Finance with High Honors and B.A. International Studies with High Honors, 1981


  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Maritime Law Association, former board member and past chair of Marine Finance Committee
  • Chester County Bar Association
  • YMCA of Greater Brandywine, board member


  • 2022 Female Business Leader of the Year, Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2022-2023
  • Top Lawyers, Main Line Today, 2014-2022
  • Top Lawyers, Daily Local News, 2021-2022 Readers Choice Awards
  • Who’s Who of Shipping and Maritime Lawyers
  • March of Dimes – Chester County Woman of Achievement, Business Award 2019
  • Brava! Women Business Achievement Award 2012
  • Smart CEO Magazine “2011 Legal Elite”
  • Women’s International Trade Association – Woman of the Year Award

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