On Monday, October 26th, Emery W. Harper passed away following complications from surgery, leaving his spouse/partner Louis (Luigi) Terruso and his daughter Caroline (Carrie).
Harper practiced law for 45 years, representing the full spectrum of clients with major interests in the shipping industry. He founded the Maritime Finance Committee of the US Maritime Law Association, was Chair of the Admiralty Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the International Section of the American Bar Association. He served in an advisory role to UNCTAD and IMO in their joint review of the national laws governing maritime liens and mortgages and played an active role in the formulation of the International Convention adopted in 1993. Harper played a major role in the reformation of the US Ship Mortgage Act and the U.S. Jones Act governing participation by non-US citizens in the coastwise trade.
Together with Clay Maitland and Marlene Daniels, Harper formed the Admiralty/Finance Forum which for many years functioned effectively as an arena for broad-based discussion of issues of concern to industry members. “Emery sought to foster the dialog leading to constructive change”, observed his long-time friend and colleague, International Registries Inc. Managing Partner Clay Maitland. “His attention to considered and well-founded reasoning made him professionally successful. His gracious demeanor and warmth made him a friend to all. He is irreplaceable in our maritime sphere.”
Harper was a 1958 cum laude graduate of Amherst College and received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1961. He was a partner in the New York law firm of Lord, Day & Lord for 23 years, prior to establishing Harper Consultants, Inc. One of his clients from his Lord, Day & Lord days, Randee Day who is now a Managing Director of Seabury Group, recounts the following: “Emery Harper was the lead partner at Lord, Day & Lord, handling JPMorgan's admiralty legal work throughout the eighties. During much of that decade the industry was in crisis, so much of our work together was in restructuring. Emery and my team worked on several major bankruptcies and large, complicated restructurings. I remember him as being one of the most thoughtful lawyers I have worked with --never rushing or panicking during a crisis but a good, analytical thinker with a profound knowledge of the law. Emery always persevered to find a solution and was creative in his approach. I have known Emery professionally for over thirty years and my professional respect for him never lessened, but what grew enormously was our friendship. I will greatly miss him, as will his many friends in the maritime community.”
Harper was an active member of the Connecticut Maritime Association and NYMAR (New York Maritime), as well as the Union Club, the Pilgrims in the United States, the Huguenot Society and the St. Nicholas Society.
A celebration of his life will be announced shortly.