Catherine M. (Kate) Harper, a partner at Timoney Knox since 1997, was also a member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly in the House of Representatives, representing eastern Montgomery County for eighteen years. Kate has a general litigation practice, but focuses on land use (particularly municipal, conservation and zoning law) and real estate in Southeastern Pennsylvania. She handles commercial litigation, contract disputes and employment law matters for entrepreneurs, families and small businesses.
She has argued before the United States Supreme Court, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, all of the Pennsylvania appellate courts and the county courts in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Kate represents local governments, zoning boards and land development applicants. She also represents land trusts, landowners and conservancies in preservation projects and drafting and enforcing of conservation easements.
Kate is experienced in the many facets of municipal law, having represented Upper Moreland Township, the Milford Township (Bucks County) and Hatfield Borough for years, and has served as Solicitor for the Milford (Bucks County) Zoning Hearing Board, Upper Salford Zoning Hearing Board, Plumstead Township, the Springfield Township Zoning Hearing Board (Montgomery County), and Perkasie Borough. In addition, Kate has served as Special Solicitor to Buckingham Township Zoning Hearing Board and Upper Salford and Lower Gwynedd Townships. She previously represented the Horsham Water Authority in Montgomery County. She was a member and Chair of the Lower Gwynedd Township Board of Supervisors for 13 years.
In the Pennsylvania Legislature for 18 years, Kate served as Chair of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Local Government Committee and on the Pennsylvania Local Government Commission, and served on the Transportation Committee. In the legislature, Kate Co-Chaired the Bi-Partisan Breakfast Club.
With extensive experience in environmental issues, Kate served on the Environmental Hearing Board Rules Committee and was Vice-Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Commission and the Schuylkill Greenway Study Commission. She chaired the Montgomery County Open Space Planning Board and helped write the county’s Open Space Plan. She is past Chair and a founding member of the Montgomery County Lands Trust, a member of the Delaware River Regional Water Planning Committee, and was appointed by former Gov. Ed Rendell to the Statewide Water Resources Committee. She was re-approved by Governor Tom Wolf to the state-wide Water Resources Committee and served as Vice Chair. Kate is a past member of the Board of Directors of 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, a statewide organization devoted to revitalizing urban areas and growth management in suburban and rural areas. Currently, Ms. Harper is a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation Board, Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association Board and the Montgomery County Foundation Board.
Kate is a past president of the Montgomery County Association of Township Officials, and past Resolutions Chairman for the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors. In 1999, she received the PA State Association of Township Supervisors’ Leadership Award, in 2000, the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Athena Award and in 2001, the Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence. In 2016, Kate was honored with the Montgomery Bar Association’s Margaret Richardson Women In Law Trailblazer award. Kate has won numerous awards from environmental organizations for her advocacy work including, most recently, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Curtin Winsor Award for lifetime achievement in policy and land conservation.
Kate currently serves on the Montgomery Bar Association Foundation and Chaired the MBA Long Range Planning Committee, and is a past member of the Bar’s Board of Directors. Kate also frequently lectures on conservation, municipal, environmental, land use, open space legislation and planning topics to lawyers, conservation groups and public officials. In addition, she is frequently called upon to discuss work-life balance and combining a demanding career with parenting.
Kate, who graduated maxima cum laude with a degree in political science from LaSalle University, was named to “Who’s Who in American Colleges”. She earned her law degree from the Villanova University School of Law.