Kathy VanVoorhees

Corporate and Franchise Law

Kathy helps small business owners and entrepreneurs make informed decisions to protect their interests and strategically form their businesses. Kathy understands that her clients have limited resources to accomplish their goals and works with them to develop strategies that leverage her services to their best advantage.

 

Kathy practiced litigation both in-house and in private firms before starting her own practice.  She tired of seeing her business clients become frustrated with the litigation process, even when they prevailed.  A business owner herself, she understood the frustration.  At this point, she chose to pivot and turn her attention to helping her clients avoid litigation by strategically planning to mitigate risk.  Kathy takes time to learn her clients’ businesses and industries to custom-tailor solutions and educate her clients. For example, using conscious contracting she helps her clients create customer agreements that become marketing tools rather than boilerplate legal jargon.  

 

More recently, Kathy served as General Counsel to a family-owned business in a carefully regulated industry.  As General Counsel, Kathy helped the company insulate itself from risk while improving customer relations.  She enhanced training and education for staffers dealing directly with consumers to increase transparency with customers, closely monitored proposed regulations and advised leadership accordingly. 

 

Kathy uses her in-house experience to better consult with business owners (independent and franchisees) and entrepreneurs. She sees her role as an outside general counsel looking down the road to offer solutions that work with the client’s long-term goals. This collaboration empowers her clients to better plan and prepare for the next stages of growth.

 

Kathy consults with business owners, franchisees and entrepreneurs on every aspect of their business at every stage, including start-up formation, agreements and disclaimers, employment contracts, and employee agreements. She also provides counsel of work-for-hire agreements to consultants, artists and other creative freelancers.

 

For current and prospective franchisees, Kathy reviews Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDDs) and Franchise Agreements for those contemplating a franchise purchase to educate about risks, benefits and obligations.  She represents franchisees by negotiating the Franchise Agreement and personal guarantees.

 

Kathy grew up in the Virginia and Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.  She attended college at James Madison University and worked for a nonprofit student exchange organization in Washington, DC before moving to St. Louis to attend law school at Washington University.  She met her husband while working at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri as a work-study student. Kathy lives in Webster Groves with her family.

James Madison University, BA  (1990)

Washington University School of Law, JD (1995)

Of Counsel, Danna McKitrick, P.C. (2019)

General Counsel, Veterans Home Care (2015-2018)

Principal, Van Voorhees Law (2007- 2019)

Associate, Berger, Cohen and Brandt, L.C. (2007)

Associate, Paule, Camazine and Blumenthal, P.C. (2006)

Staff Counsel, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (2002-2006)

Associate,  The Law Offices of Thomas J. Noonan, P.C.  (1995 – 2002)

 

Admissions:

Missouri (1995)

Illinois (1996)

 

 

American Bar Association, Franchise Forum Member

The Missouri Bar

Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater St. Louis

Noble Neighbor, (a nonprofit bringing authors and books to underserved classrooms) President

SCORE Volunteer Speaker and Educator

Rise Collaborative

Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund

St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (VLAA)

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