Downtown law firm expands to Tidewater

A Shockoe Slip law firm has two new outposts in Hampton Roads.

Kaplan Voekler Cunningham & Frank this month opened offices in Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, the result of a move by one of its partners and from picking up a seasoned attorney.

Rhys James (right) and John Burton

Managing partner Rob Kaplan said the expansion started when KVCF partner Rhys James relocated to Hampton Roads as his wife took a job there and the firm decided to seize the opportunity.

“We’ve been looking for some time to find the right opportunity to expand our footprint down there,” Kaplan said. “In the course of things we met John Burton, who had a thriving estate- and tax-planning practice.”

Burton previously had his own practice with an annex office in Williamsburg to serve clients across the bay. Both Burton and the Williamsburg spot are now in the fold at KVCF.

Kaplan said James’ practice of corporate and securities work will give the firm opportunities in Hampton Roads, and that Burton’s estate- and tax-planning should be an add for some of its Richmond clients.

The firm also hopes to win work for its economic development and government relations practices in Hampton Roads, Kaplan said.

Kaplan Voekler’s office at 1401 E. Cary St. in Shockoe Slip.

The new offices are manned for now by James, Burton and some paralegals, but Kaplan said the 26-person firm will consider adding to the Hampton Roads roster.

“We’ve always got our ear to the ground,” Kaplan said.

Richmond-related law firm moves have been frequent of late.

This month, 90-year-old Roanoke-based law firm Gentry Locke opened its first office in Richmond.

Local personal injury firm Commonwealth Law Group moved its office from Willow toward Scott’s Addition.

And large regional firm Whiteford Taylor & Preston expanded into Richmond for the first time by luring two longtime LeClairRyan attorneys.

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