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Lathrop Gage partners to launch local Kutak Rock office

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Kutak Rock LLP, an Omaha, Nebraska-based national law firm, is coming to the Queen City.

Six partners of the Springfield office of Kansas City-based law firm Lathrop Gage LLP are the first staff members for what will be Kutak Rock’s 18th office, said company Chairman Jay Selanders. Lathrop Gage issued a statement July 6 announcing its Springfield office will close July 26.

The partners leaving Lathrop Gage are:
    •    James Jeffries;
    •    James Meadows;
    •    Dan Nelson;
    •    Joseph Reid;
    •    Michael Textor; and
    •    Randell Wallace, the partner in charge.

Wallace said via email the partners will be joined by three associates at Lathrop Gage’s Springfield office: Jarica Oeltjen, Josh Christensen and Taylor White, along with two of counsel attorneys, Amanda Cochran and Elijah Haahr. He said Ariel Kiefer, a recent graduate of University of Missouri School of Law, will be joining the staff after taking the bar exam later this summer.

Negotiations are ongoing for an office location, Wallace and Selanders said. An opening date will be announced within several weeks, Selanders said.

With the addition of the Springfield office, Kutak Rock will have more than 530 attorneys companywide with a Midwest presence in Kansas City, Wichita, Kansas, Omaha, Nebraska, and Fayetteville, Rogers and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Selanders, who is based out of the firm’s Kansas City office, said he’s known several of the partners coming on board through interactions when in Springfield working on bankruptcy court cases. He said the possibility of a Springfield location for Kutak Rock has been an ongoing discussion for the past several months.

“It was sort of a mutual discussion,” Selanders said. “It’s difficult to point to the exact starting time.”

The firm has an active presence in northwest Arkansas, he said, and with Kansas City to the north, Springfield was an attractive market in between those areas.

“We think Springfield is a growing, vibrant community that has a lot of potential,” he said. “We think being there makes a lot of sense for us.”

Kutak Rock was started in 1965 and its revenue in 2017 was approximately $242 million companywide, said Selanders.

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