Lexington, Ky. – Former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear will rejoin Stites & Harbison.
Beshear first joined Stites & Harbison in 1987 and supervised the Lexington office until beginning his first term as Governor in 2007.
Beshear will be part of the firm’s Lexington, Ky., office but will use his expertise as both an attorney and a high-level elected official to serve clients throughout the region and in Washington, D.C.
“During his tenure, Governor Beshear has made Kentucky a better place to live, work and do business. We are very pleased to announce his return to the firm,” said Robert M. Connolly, Chair of Stites & Harbison. “Steve spent eight years running and managing what could be compared to a $10 billion enterprise with over 30,000 employees and a wide variety of interests. His experience in managing major issues, dealing with governments of all levels, and understanding the unique needs of businesses large and small, domestic and international, will be invaluable to our firm and our clients.”
Prior to serving as the 61st Governor of Kentucky, Beshear served as Attorney General from 1979 to 1983 and Lieutenant Governor from 1983 to 1987. He was also a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1973 to 1979.
During his previous tenure with Stites & Harbison, Beshear handled complex business and bankruptcy litigation matters for a wide variety of clients. He is an AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney with Martindale-Hubbell®.
“It is a pleasure to rejoin the Stites & Harbison family where I spent many good years practicing law before serving the people of Kentucky as Governor,” said Beshear. “I look forward to once again using my unique experiences and talents as both a lawyer and an elected leader on the state and national stage to help our clients and continue to grow this outstanding firm.”
During his eight years as governor, Beshear’s vision for Kentucky’s success was guided by three critical goals: to restore ethics and efficiency to government operations; to attract and maintain jobs in the Commonwealth; and to increase the quality of life of all Kentucky families – through better education, job training, and health care access.
Governor Beshear brought Kentucky successfully through the historic recession by making Kentucky a leader in job creation. Under his leadership, Kentucky’s unemployment rate dropped from 10.7% to 4.9%, and the state set export records four years in a row. In all, Beshear’s administration announced almost 2,300 new and expansion projects that created $19.3 billion in investment and more than 87,000 jobs. The economic turnaround culminated in 2014 by Kentucky winning Site Selection magazine’s coveted Governor’s Cup, meaning Kentucky finished first in the nation in economic development per capita.
In 2013, Beshear announced the expansion of the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act and launched the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, benefiting over 500,000 Kentuckians. These actions together reduced the state’s uninsured rate from over 20% to 9% and ensured that for the first time in history every Kentuckian would have access to affordable health insurance.
“Governor Beshear’s extensive experience as both a public official and an attorney make him a vital part of the Stites & Harbison team,” said Gregory P. Parsons, the Lexington Office Executive Member. “The firm and its clients are fortunate to have him resume his role and they will truly benefit from having him as a member of the firm.”
Beshear is a native of Dawson Springs in Hopkins County, in western Kentucky. He received his J.D. and B.A., with high honors, from the University of Kentucky and served in the U.S. Army Reserve. He and his wife, Jane, have been married since 1969. They have two sons and three grandchildren.