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The History of Stoll Keenon Ogden

In 1897, a young man from Kentucky left New Haven, Connecticut with a law degree from Yale and the notion that he’d practice law in his hometown.

He opened a modest office in downtown Lexington and before the year ended, Richard Stoll was representing one of the largest banks in the Bluegrass.

Today, 120 years later, Stoll Keenon Ogden serves our clients from five offices in three states, proudly bearing the names of Richard Stoll, Rodman Keenon and Squire Ogden.

We’re proud of our legendary past and invite you to join us on our journey through history.

Follow our journey using #skofim120 or @skofirm.


SKO 120 History Milestones


Richard Stoll graduates from Yale University Law School, is admitted to the Kentucky Bar and starts practicing law in Lexington. He begins the firm’s relationship with First National Bank and Trust Company of Lexington.


Stoll is appointed to the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees. He was reappointed consecutively by seven governors to serve for 50 years, longer than anyone in UK history.


The firm’s representation of utilities begins with Lexington Utility Company, now Kentucky Utilities Company.


The home athletic field home of the Kentucky Wildcats football team is named Stoll Field in Dick Stoll’s honor. It remained the home field until 1972. 

Stoll Field Plaque

Richard Stoll graduated from Yale University Law School in 1897 and was appointed to the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees in 1898. He was reappointed by seven governors to serve for 50 years, longer than anyone in UK history. In 1916 the University renamed its athletic field Stoll Field, which served as the school’s home field until 1972.


Stoll is appointed Fayette Circuit Court Judge for the 22nd Judicial District, following the resignation of Judge Charles Kerr.


The firm begins its representation of Lexington Water Company, now Kentucky American Water Company.


Squire R. Ogden graduates from Harvard Law School and begins practicing law in Louisville, becoming a partner in Gordon, Laurent, & Ogden. He develops a strong reputation as a general counsel and member of the executive committee of Kentucky Utilities Company.


Judge Stoll is elected president of the Circuit Judges of Kentucky, serving until his resignation from the bench in 1931.


In December, four seasoned lawyers—Judge Stoll, Wallace Muir, William H. Townsend and James Park form a law firm as a “continuous entity” in Lexington. Stoll, Muir, Townsend & Park is located on the sixth floor of the First National Bank & Trust Company building at the corner of Cheapside and Main. 

The establishment of Stoll, Muir, Townsend & Park in 1930

Richard Stoll, Wallace Muir, William Townsend, James Park and an unidentified legal secretary finalize the paperwork to establish Stoll, Muir, Townsend & Park in 1930.


Gayle Mohney joins the firm following his graduation from the University of Kentucky College of Law. During his undergraduate years at UK, Mohney is best known as the star quarterback of the football team, notably drop-kicking a field goal that resulted in a victory over the University of Tennessee as the game-ending horn sounded.

Gayle Mohney with Foal

During his 49-year career, Gayle Mohney is known as “the” lawyer for thoroughbred interests, having developed the syndication agreement as well as the plan to form the Keeneland Association as a thoroughbred breeders’ racetrack and sales company.


Judge Stoll and Mohney leverage the firm’s representation of many Lexington thoroughbred horse farms, becoming an integral part of the formation of the Keeneland Association. Along with Hal Price Headley, they develop “a thoroughbred breeders’” racetrack and sales company, which today is the world’s leading thoroughbred auction company.


The firm merges with Keenon, Huguelet and Odear and adopts the name Stoll, Keenon & Park. Rodman Keenon, a trial lawyer and former state senator from Fayette County, previously served as Clerk of the Kentucky Court of Appeals.


On June 26, Judge Stoll dies at age 73.


The firm moves from the First National Bank Building at Cheapside and Main to the First National Building (formerly the Fayette National Bank Building) at the corner of Main and Upper streets.


The firm begins its representation of International Business Machines Corporation.


On January 1, the firm moves to the new First Security National Bank & Trust Company building at the corner of Main and Walnut (now Martin Luther King Boulevard) streets.


On July 25, Gayle Mohney dies unexpectedly after suffering a heart attack while fishing in Iceland. His 49-year legal career is memorialized in The Thoroughbred Record, noting his contributions to the thoroughbred industry and all horsemen.

Gayle Mohney Obituary (1906-1980)

During his 49-year career, Gayle Mohney is known as “the” lawyer for thoroughbred interests, having developed the syndication agreement as well as the plan to form the Keeneland Association as a thoroughbred breeders’ racetrack and sales company.


Stoll, Keenon & Park acquires the Frankfort-based firm Johnson & Judy.


To more sharply define the firm’s operations, William M. Lear Jr. is appointed as the firm’s first Managing Partner. His duties include organizing the practice of the firm through a committee system and providing periodic reports to the firm’s attorneys.


William L. Montague is elected Managing Partner, serving until January 1995.


The firm begins representation of Lexmark, which is formed by a sale of IBM’s office products division.


Squire Ogden’s Louisville firm is reorganized and renamed Ogden Newell & Welch.


Stoll, Keenon & Park opens a Louisville office with Samuel D. Hinkle IV and Lea Pauley Goff, both of whom are still with the firm.


Bill Lear is re-elected Managing Partner after serving four terms in the Kentucky General Assembly.


On July 13, the firm expands in western Kentucky, acquiring Sheffer Hoffman in Henderson.


In Lexington, the firm relocates to the Central Bank Building on West Vine Street.

Squire R. Ogden

After earning his law degree from Harvard in 1923, Squire R. Ogden practices law in Louisville with Bullitt, Gordon & Laurent. By 1928, he was made a partner and continued his representation of Brown-Forman, Kentucky Utilities and other corporate clients until his death in 1984.


On January 1, Stoll, Keenon & Park merges with Ogden Newell & Welch, forming Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC.


J. David Smith Jr. is elected to serve as the firm’s Managing Director and Bill Lear is named Chairman of the Board.


The firm establishes the James Welch Sr. Arts Leadership Award, in conjunction with the Fund for the Arts, which annually recognizes distinguished individuals whose leadership has made a lasting impact in the Louisville arts community.


The firm initiates sponsorship of the oldest thoroughbred horse race in North America—the Phoenix Stakes—which first ran in 1831. After several dormant years, the race is revived in 1937 at Keeneland Race Course. Today, the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes now runs on opening day of the track’s fall meet.


The firm elects Bill Lear to serve as Managing Director. Lear also continues serving as Chairman of the Board.

To better serve energy-sector clients, the firm announces the opening of an office in Canonsburg, PA.


The firm relocates its Henderson, Kentucky office to Evansville, Indiana.


Members of the firm elect P. Douglas Barr as Managing Director. Bill Lear is named Chairman Emeritus and continues his practice at SKO.

The Cannonsburg office relocates to downtown Pittsburgh.


SKO merges with Indiana-based Bamberger, Foreman, Oswald & Hahn, adding 10 attorneys to SKO’s Evansville team and an office in Indianapolis with five attorneys.