Richard H.C. Clay [Inactive]

Richard H.C. Clay [Inactive]

Of Counsel


Dick currently serves as president and C.E.O. of the Filson Historical Society in Louisville. He is of counsel at Dinsmore and has practiced in the areas of business and fiduciary litigation, appellate practice, and administrative law. He has represented corporate clients and individuals in distributorship purchases and disputes, negligent investment/sub-par appreciation claims, trust interpretation issues and disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, will contests, board governance issues, regulatory issues and appeals at the state and federal level, federal and state constitutional issues, class actions, defamation actions, business and contract disputes, trademark infringements, business interruption and interference, enforcement of non-competition agreements, lender liability actions, Equal Credit Opportunity Act actions, Fair Credit Reporting Act actions, and civil rights actions.

He has represented a major national church foundation with its own trust company, having served previously on its board and as its interim CEO. He has tried more than 80 jury trials in state and federal court and has argued more than 35 appeals in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Kentucky Supreme Court, and the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

He has also served as Kentucky counsel for major pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers and retailers confronting nation wide claims.

Additionally, Dick has served as the firm's Kentucky ethics partner.


  • University of Kentucky College of Law  (J.D., 1977)
    • Kentucky Law Journal, managing editor
  • Middlebury College  (M.A., 2022)
    • English
  • Yale University Divinity School  (Rockefeller Brothers Foundation Fellowship, 1974)
  • Davidson College  (B.A., 1973)
    • Economics

Bar Admissions

  • Kentucky

Court Admissions

  • Kentucky Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit


  • Kentucky Bar Association 
    • President (1999) 
    • Board of Governors (1992 - 2000) 
    • Annual Convention, chair (1991)
  • Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, life member
  • International Society of Barristers, fellow
  • Litigation Counsel of America, fellow emeritus
  • Kentucky Bar Foundation, fellow
  • American Bar Foundation, fellow
  • The Speed Art Museum,
    • Board of Trustees (2003 - 2009, 2011 - 2019), chair (2007 - 2009) 
    • Trustee emeritus
    • Co-chair of $60 million capital campaign for the museum’s expansion 
  • The Norton Foundation, Inc., trustee emeritus
  • Kentucky Country Day School 
    • Trustee (2003 - 2009, 2016 - 2019) 
    • Co-chair of $10.5 million capital campaign for new performing arts center 
  • Louisville Second Presbyterian Church
    • Elder 
    • Chair of $4 million capital campaign for church expansion and renovation 
  • Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Foundation
    • Interim president and CEO (2009) 
    • Trustee (1998 - 2004)
    • The Jarvie Program, NYC, Board of Directors
  • Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Winston-Salem, N.C., Past Advisory Board Chair
  • American Shakespeare Center/Blackfriars Playhouse, Staunton, Virginia, Board of Directors


  • Peer Review Rated AV in Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers© 
    • "Lawyer of the Year" in Louisville for Litigation - Trusts and Estates (2018)
    • Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Trusts and Estates, Personal Injury and Product Liability Litigation - Defendants 
  • Kentucky Super Lawyers®
    • For Business Litigation (2021)
    • Top 50 lawyers for Kentucky 
  • Chambers USA®: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation: General Commercial 
  • Davidson College Alumni Service Award
  • Kentucky Country Day Distinguished Service Award
  • "Top Lawyers” by Louisville Magazine (2016)