Lexington, Ky. – Law firm Stoll Keenon Ogden has announced that longtime managing director Bill Lear is stepping down after 26 years of serving in the firm’s top leadership role to focus on his law practice and civic engagement responsibilities.
The firm has elected P. Douglas Barr as its fourth managing director since its founding in 1897. Lear will continue to serve the firm as chairman emeritus.
“It’s an honor to be chosen by my colleagues to manage the operations of our firm for so many years,” Lear said. “After 22 years as managing director and four years as board chair, I am pleased to hand the reins to Doug Barr and focus on my clients, my family and service to the greater community.”
Since joining SKO in 1980, Lear has worked primarily in the business litigation and the real estate and government relations practices. He is widely recognized for his capabilities in equine litigation, eminent domain and real estate litigation, trust and estate litigation, planning and zoning, government relations, and thoroughbred racing regulations.
Lear is relinquishing the managing director post, but not planning to curtail his time working on behalf of firm clients or his civic engagements. In addition to other board positions, he will continue in his role as trustee of Keeneland and as vice-chair of The Jockey Club. This fall, he will begin a one-year term as Chair of the Board of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
Barr joined SKO in 1986 after three years of practice in Ohio. A seasoned litigator, Barr is a member of the business litigation and intellectual property practice groups. He also chaired the firm’s client service committee, implementing new ways to promote the capabilities of SKO’s attorneys to potential clients.
“The business of running a law firm is changing, as are the needs of clients,” Barr said. “Under Bill’s leadership, SKO is positioned to be more responsive to our clients and more relevant in the communities we serve. The firm is fortunate to have an outstanding group of attorneys and I look forward to working with them to ensure the continued success of SKO and our clients.”