130 S Bemiston, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63105-1913
(314) 725-8788
(314) 725-8789
CHGO Van Voorhees Kathy

Kathryn Van Voorhees

Principal

We help creative and entrepreneurial clients realize their visions.

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Law Practice

Kathy helps business owners and entrepreneurs make informed decisions to protect their interests and strategically form, grow, and sustain 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 which she operated for ten years.  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. By helping her clients create better systems and communications for their employees or customer agreements that become marketing tools rather than boilerplate legal jargon she helps her clients avoid litigation.  

Kathy left her solo practice to become 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 took the knowledge and perspective gained from her General to better consult with business owners (independent and franchisees) and entrepreneurs. She now acts 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 businesses:  formation, agreements and disclaimers, employee handbooks and 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 in negotiating the Franchise Agreement and personal guarantees, buying and selling their franchises 

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.

Bar Admissions

  • Missouri (1995)

  • Illinois (1996)

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Franchise Forum Member

  • The Missouri Bar

  • Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater St. Louis

  • James Madison University, BA  (1990)
  • Washington University School of Law, JD (1995)

  • Walter’s Walk Board Member (non-profit providing mental health services to first responders and the uninsured)
  • The Noble Neighbor, (a nonprofit bringing authors and books to underserved classrooms) Board Member; President (2019-2022)
  • St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (VLAA)
  • SCORE Volunteer Speaker and Educator

January 10, 2023