Richard Brown, a Fellow of the College, presented the following tribute in memory of Gary Chamblee at the the College’s 2011 Annual Meeting:

As many of you already know, we lost a treasured friend and colleague two weeks ago when Gary Chamblee, Co-Chair of the Syndications and Lender Relations Subcommittee and Chair of the Model Intercreditor Agreement Task Force, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 59.

As is too often the case, time is fleeting with those who have a great impact on our lives. I was lucky and privileged to work closely with Gary during the past few years on the Model Intercreditor Agreement Task Force. Gary was active in a leadership role in the ABA for a number of years. He was a quiet, compassionate and selfless leader. There was no room for ego with Gary. He simply desired to involve as many people as possible and wanted the work of the Task Force to have a tangible, meaningful and lasting effect on practitioners. I recall the first time I spoke with Gary about joining the Task Force. He was gratified that I had taken the time to call him and encouraged me to become active. In fact, to seal the deal, he even suggested that I agree to help as Vice Chair to really become involved. How could I say no?

Gary ably led the Model Intercreditor Agreement Task Force through three plus years of sometimes difficult negotiations, never losing his direction or his patience. In fact, he performed most of the drafting work himself. He loved his involvement in the Bar and never missed a chance to spread his knowledge to help others. When the South Carolina Bar Association asked Gary at the last minute to travel a number of hours to present a CLE program on Intercreditor Agreements during a Saturday morning, he was there. No questions, no fanfare, no complaining, no asking for help. Just Gary.

Gary was the ultimate example of the type of leader and public servant of the law that each of us should strive to be. Our practices are extremely demanding, sometimes seeming like we are never “off-duty”. It is difficult to carve out the time to volunteer, to help educate others and make a meaningful contribution to our jurisprudence. People like Gary are what this organization is all about. Selfless, compassion for learning, teaching, becoming better. Better lawyers and better citizens.

I will never forget one of my last conversations with Gary. I had called him last December to inform him that the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York had just issued its opinion in the Boston Generating bankruptcy case. The court praised the Model Intercreditor Agreement as a model of clarity which other intercreditor agreements should strive to duplicate. Gary was thrilled.

Later that day, Gary sent an email to the entire Task Force to let them know about the Court’s decision. Speaking about the effect of the Task Force on the development of intercreditor agreement case law, he ended the email with the comment “I guess we really did make a difference!”

Yes, Gary, you did. You made a huge difference. God bless you.

-- Richard Brown