ST. LOUIS—The only St. Louis mayor to serve a fourth four-year term will re-enter the law profession after he completes his mayoral duties in April.

Mayor Francis Slay will join the Spencer Fane law firm’s new downtown St. Louis office.

“We expect Mayor Slay to be a terrific colleague, and we look forward to the tremendous value his experience, perspective and counsel will provide to our clients,” Frank Neuner, managing partner of Spencer Fane’s St. Louis office, told the St. Louis Record.

Slay was an attorney with Guilfoil, Petzall and Shoemake for two decades, specializing in commercial litigation and business law, before becoming mayor.

“With a career that spans 20 years of handling complex civil matters, followed by 16 years in the mayor’s office, Mayor Slay will be a valuable resource for our clients in both the private and public sectors,” Neuner said.

At Spencer Fane, Slay will focus on economic development, real estate development, public finance, regulatory work, international commerce and related business transactions.

“Those who have been fortunate to call him a colleague and a friend know him to be a terrific lawyer, a passionate advocate and man of high integrity,” Neuner said. “We are privileged to have him joining our firm, where he will make a real difference for our clients.”

The city of St. Louis website reports that prior to becoming mayor, Slay served as a St. Louis alderman for 10 years and president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen from 1995 to 2001. He received his law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and holds a degree in political science from Quincy College.

“Once [Mayor Slay] joins us in his private capacity, as is the case with all lawyers at our firm, he will respect the responsibilities and commitments that we have to our clients,” Neuner said. “If there are any client matters that he was previously involved in as mayor, we will comply with the special professional rules that apply to former public officials.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently reported that Slay expects to handle general business cases related to international commerce, public finance and regulatory work. “The variety of legal issues that you deal with as mayor day-to-day are endless,” Slay is quoted as saying. [When you compare] “personnel issues and business finances and business disputes, the city has very similar issues.”  

Neuner expects Slay to be an asset in growing Spencer Fane’s St. Louis office.

“Having enjoyed a distinguished career in private law practice and public service, Mayor Slay brings with him a unique depth of knowledge, relationships, judgment and know-how critical to a client’s ability to achieve its strategic objectives,” Neuner said.



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