CWL is committed to helping our clients through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our attorneys and staff are working remotely to ensure that all of your litigation and transactional needs are met. As essential service providers, we remain able to respond to legal emergencies as the need arises. If you have questions about CWL’s response to government mandated distancing protocols for our offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Honolulu, please contact our managing partner, Marc Cefalu, at (415) 247-5270 or Note that most courts in California, Hawaii, and nationwide are experiencing significant delays in their calendaring of proceedings. Trials and hearings are routinely being continued by 30-90 days, if not more. Routine filing deadlines, however, may not be affected. For specific questions about your legal matter and how distancing protocols may affect it, please contact the attorney(s) with whom you work regularly.

Mark E. Tepper

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Mark E. Tepper

900 Front Street,
Suite 350
San Francisco, CA 94111
Main: (415) 438-4600
Direct: (415) 247-5269



Mark is a partner in the firm’s San Francisco office, but his practice spans the globe.  He represents domestic and international clients in a variety of industries with an emphasis in maritime, logistics, real estate, and construction.  He has a broad range of transactional and advisory expertise and is an experienced advocate in commercial arbitration and litigation matters.  Since joining the firm, Mark has filled the role of general counsel for a number of the firm’s clients, facilitating their transactions and advocating on their behalf to resolve disputes.

He has extensive experience documenting vessel, purchase, sale, finance, and charter transactions of all types, and advising clients on compliance with state and federal regulations applicable to vessel operations, employment matters (including Jones Act/Longshore Act and Union Collective Bargaining Agreements), and the transportation of goods and passengers.  He also works with ship owners, NVOCC’s, logistics, and marine construction companies to facilitate their business transactions and meet their regulatory needs.  As part of his transactional practice, Mark regularly forms corporations and limited liability companies in various jurisdictions and has counseled shareholders and members through various partnership transactions and disputes.  In real estate, Mark represents commercial landlords and tenants in a variety of negotiations, contractual disputes, and third party claims.

Mark has successfully litigated, tried, and arbitrated cases through final decision in state and federal court, and arbitration before the American Arbitration Association, International Centre for Dispute Resolution, Society of Maritime Arbitrators, and JAMS.  He has also favorably settled hundreds of high stakes claims for his clients along the way.

Mark has been recognized by Super Lawyers for his work.  For more information about his practice, visit his Super Lawyers profile here.

Areas of Practice

  • Transportation and Admiralty
  • Business and Corporate Law
  • Real Estate
  • Environmental
  • Employment
  • Construction
  • Civil Litigation and Arbitration

Representative Matters

  • Documented purchase and subsequent sale of cruise ship Paul Gauguin
  • Documented >100 yacht, ship, and charter transactions
  • Represented Hollywood production in negotiations to film ocean reality TV shows
  • Advised on establishment of marine recreation program for Lanai Resorts
  • Drafted U.S. Navy sub-contracts for pier construction, civilian vessel staffing, and ROV provisions
  • Negotiated collective bargaining agreements on behalf of maritime employers with Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific and Masters Mates and Pilots
  • Facilitated corporate acquisitions to transfer assets and Hawaii commercial use permits
  • Won defense awards for COSCO Shipyards in multiple international arbitrations
  • Won summary judgment and appeal for Asylum Entertainment in Jones Act case arising from production of reality show Big Fish Texas: McHenry v. Asylum Entertainment Delaware LLC, 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 203.
  • Won summary judgment for Aramark in recreational passenger injury litigations
  • Won lift of bankruptcy stay at trial to enforce ship mortgage


  • J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley

Membership & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • All Federal District Courts in California
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of San Francisco

Languages & Personal Interest

Mark speaks conversational Spanish.  While in law school, he served as the Managing Editor of the University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal.  He also interned at the international law firm Gomez Bilbao Abogados, S.L.P., in Bilbao, Spain.  Mark was a competitive oarsman in high school and college.  He still enjoys endurance sports, watching football, and spending time with his wife, daughter, and son.