May 1, 2017

SKO Mourns the Passing of Spencer Harper

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LOUISVILLE (May 1, 2017)—With profound sorrow, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC announces the passing of our colleague Spencer E. Harper, Jr., who died Thursday, April 27 following a brief illness.

“For over 40 years Spencer was, in the opinion of many experts, Kentucky’s pre-eminent bond counsel,” said SKO’s William Davis, his longtime partner. “Spencer was a pioneer in developing and implementing legislation for the tax-exempt financing of public utility facilities, industrial projects, low-cost housing, student loans, pollution control facilities, airports and other municipal and state projects.”  

Among Harper’s many notable achievements, he drafted legislation providing a financing methodology and incentives to induce Toyota Motor Corporation to establish its Georgetown, Kentucky manufacturing and assembly plant in 1986.

Harper was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1933 but grew up in Louisville where he attended St. Xavier High School, the University of Louisville and the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.

Throughout his legal career, Harper acted as Bond Counsel in more than 1,000 bond issues for virtually all of the issuers of tax exempt securities within the Commonwealth of Kentucky including airports, hospitals, air and rail transportation companies, public utilities, charitable organizations, and cities, counties and districts. He is the author of numerous Kentucky laws relating to public finance.

His legal accomplishments earned Harper recognition as a Best Lawyer in America, Kentucky Super Lawyer and 2011 Lawyer of the Year in Public Finance. He was a member of the Louisville, Kentucky and American Bar Associations, the American College of Bond Counsel and the National Association of Bond Lawyers.

Harper is survived by his wife of 61 years, the former Clarice Carol Sharpe, two sons, and a multitude of professional associates and friends.

He is buried in Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery.