Click here to see our 2009 Annual Report.
Stites & Harbison, PLLC, is a preeminent law firm based in strategic Southeastern locations and sought by business and institutional clients nationwide for sophisticated transactions, difficult litigation and complex regulatory matters.
Tracing its origins to 1832, Stites & Harbison is one of the oldest law practices in the nation and among the largest law firms in the region.
The firm's members include...
- seven fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers
- three fellows of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel
- two fellows of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers
- one member of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys
- four fellows of the American College of Construction Lawyers
- one fellow of the American College of Equine Lawyers
- one fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, and
- three attorneys certified in business bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification.
The firm and its attorneys are well-represented in numerous national, regional and state ratings lists. For example:
- U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers have released their 2013 ratings for the "Best Law Firms" in America. Stites & Harbison placed in the top 50 (#46 to be precise) of all firms in the total number of metropolitan practices ranked. In addition, the firm had two practices rated first tier on a national practice basis. Click here to see the results.
- 88 lawyers are listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013
- 63 are listed in the current Super Lawyers magazine, representing the top five percent of lawyers in their state
- 31 are listed in the current edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
- four are listed in Nashville Business Journal's Best of the Bar for 2012, and
- 45 are listed in Louisville Magazine's Top Lawyers in 2011.
Stites & Harbison has approximately 240 attorneys and a support staff of almost 300. The firm's attorneys are currently admitted to practice in 21 states and the District of Columbia; 16 are Registered U.S. Patent Attorneys and nine have earned LEED Accredited Professional or LEED Green Associate credentials. The firm is also a member of the U.S. Green Building Council.
The firm has offices in Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort and Covington, Kentucky; Jeffersonville, Indiana; Nashville and Franklin, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; and Alexandria, Virginia. The offices are networked and function seamlessly through use of the latest technology.
In 1999, Stites & Harbison combined with two highly regarded and well-established practices. The firm created its Atlanta office in May 1999 by merging with Varner, Stephens, Humphries & White. And, effective Jan. 1, 2000, Stites & Harbison merged with Kentucky's premier intellectual property practice, Wheat, Smith & Beres PLC.
Jan. 1, 2001, Stites & Harbison combined with the highly respected Nashville firm of Farris, Warfield & Kanaday, giving the expanded firm a regional footprint in four contiguous states and offices in three state capitals, two of the South's money centers and the region's most dynamic economies. And effective Jan. 1, 2004, the firm merged with the well regarded intellectual property firm of Larson & Taylor increasing its number of registered patent attorneys.
Stites & Harbison is managed by a Chairman elected by the Membership and a Management Committee of six other members elected for two-year staggered terms by and from the partners at large. Reporting to the Management Committee are an Executive Director, committees of members and associates for Professional Personnel, which includes Recruiting and Professional Development groups, Marketing, Planning, Investments and Ethics.
Former or deceased Members of the firm include:
- a United States Attorney General
- a Chief Judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals (now Supreme Court)
- numerous federal and state trial court and appellate judges
- a Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General of Kentucky
- a Master Commissioner of the United States Supreme Court
- a past President of the Kentucky Bar Association
- a past president of the American College of Trial Lawyers
Commitment to quality service
Stites & Harbison has distinguished itself through its award winning, total client service program—a TQM effort linking the highest quality legal product with the highest quality client service—winning awards from the Louisville Area Chamber of Commerce (1994 and 1996), the Kentucky Quality Counsel (1997) and the Better Business Bureau's Quality 2000 program (1998).
The American Lawyer recognized the firm as one of the leading law firms in America, as selected by 400 in-house counsel, and International Corporate Law selected the firm as the leading firm in Kentucky based upon a survey of 200 major corporations and financial institutions. Global Research rated the firm among the 50 best overall law firms in America. American Lawyer Media (ALM) selected Stites & Harbison as a Go-To Law Firm® for the areas of litigation and financial services (2007-08), litigation (2009), litigation and employment (2010), litigation and labor & employment (2011), labor & employment (2012) and litigation (2013). Less than one-half of one percent of all law firms in the U.S. and abroad receive the Go-To Law Firm®honor. A 2007 survey of top law firm managing partners conducted by Edge International, an international legal consulting firm, identified Stites & Harbison Chairman Emeritus Kennedy Helm III as one of the Top 10 managing partners most admired for excellence in leadership by his peers. In 2002, BTI Consulting Group, Inc., recognized the firm nationally for outstanding client service.
Stites & Harbison is the Kentucky representative to the prestigious Southern Law Network, to Business Counsel, Inc. (http://www.businesscounsel.org/) and to The Harmonie Group (http://www.harmonie.org/), the national network of top litigation law firms. The firm is a member of the World Services Group (http://worldservicesgroup.com) and the Kentucky member of the American Property Tax Counsel (APTC), a national affiliation of law firms with a property tax practice. Membership in APTC is limited to the preeminent property law firm in each state.
The firm has served as Kentucky Reviser for the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell Law Digest since 1917 and has received Martindale-Hubbell's highest, AV®rating. More than 70 percent of the firm's Members and Counsel are AV®-rated. In 2002, BTI Consulting Group recognized the firm for excellence in client service, according to a survey of General Counsel with Fortune 1000 companies.
Stites & Harbison was one of only 115 law firms selected and profiled in America's Greatest Places to Work with a Law Degree (Harcourt Brace, 1999). Over 170 law school administrators, alumni directors and career counselors from throughout the nation were interviewed for the book and asked where happy graduates work. In addition, the firm was named a family-friendly workplace in July 2000 by Greater Louisville Inc.
Since the inception of the Best Places to Work in Kentucky award in 2005, sponsored by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Stites & Harbison has been recognized as one of the Top Places to Work in Kentucky every year. In 2007, 2008 and 2009, the firm was also recognized as one of the Best Employers in Tennessee. These awards exemplify the firm's long-standing commitment to providing quality service to its clients as well as providing a superior work environment for its attorneys and staff.
Twice the Better Business Bureau of Louisville has recognized the firm for its exemplary work. In October of 2000, Stites & Harbison was the only law firm nominated as a finalist for their Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics. In 2007, we were named the winner of the Torch Award for large employers.
Copies of the firm's Reports to Clients are available.