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Our History

The Firm was founded solely by Robert K. ("Bob") Kirkland in February, 2000, and was then known as The Kirkland Law Firm PC.  Kirkland had been a partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP for several years.  The Firm's practice initially consisted of a traditional trusts and estates practice, including estate planning, charitable planning, estate and trust administration, and fiduciary litigation.  The Firm's initial office was located in the Seaport Office Complex in Liberty, Missouri.

In January, 2001, Richard D. ("Dick") Woods joined the Firm as a Shareholder, and the Firm's name was changed to Kirkland & Woods, P.C.  Dick had also been a partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP, where he practiced for over 25 years.  While the Firm maintained its Liberty location, it also opened a second office in Overland Park, Kansas.

In September, 2005, the Firm's Liberty office was moved to its present address, at 132 Westwoods Drive, Liberty, Missouri, still in the Seaport Office Complex.

In February, 2011, Scott K. Martinsen, formerly a long-time partner of the Husch Blackwell firm in their Kansas City office, joined the Firm as a Shareholder.  The firm's name was changed to Kirkland Woods & Martinsen PC.  Scott practices in both offices, offices primarily in Overland Park, and concentrates his practice in planning for high net worth families and in fiduciary litigation

In November 2014, Daniel P. Wheeler, the former Probate Commissioner of the Jackson County Missouri Circuit Court, joined the firm as Of Counsel, and began a concentrated effort of growing the firm's fiduciary litigation practice. As a result of this, Dan is responsible for the hiring of Michelle Burge as Of Counsel, Heather Hall as an associate, both of whom concentrate 100% of their efforts in this area, and Aaron Kirkland as one of the litigators. Dan became a shareholder of the firm in January 2016.

In January 2016, the firm moved its Overland Park office to 5901 College Boulevard, Suite 280. The firm then opened its third office in August 2016, in Springfield, Missouri, and hired Springfield native Emily Kembell as Of Counsel and the attorney to lead the firm's efforts in this new market. Emily has also became a partner to the KWM Law Firm as of 1/1/2018.


Robert K. Kirkland

Estates, Trusts & Fiduciary Litigation

Richard D. Woods

Estates, Trusts & Real Estate

Scott K. Martinsen

Estates, Trusts & Fiduciary Litigation

Daniel P. Wheeler

Estates and Trusts, Fiduciary Litigation, Mediation

Robert T. Steinkamp

Business Law & Mediation

Nikki Frerker

Estate Planning & Estate Administration

Michelle Burge

Probate Administration, Fiduciary Litigation

Emily J. Kembell

Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration, Transfer Tax Planning, Adult & Minor Guardianships

Catherine Moore

Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration and Mediation

Alice M. Haseltine

Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration

Rochelle B. Falk

Estate Planning, Probate, Estate Administration & Fiduciary Litigation

Amy DeGraeve

Estate, Probate, Trusts & Fiduciary Litigation

Aaron K. Kirkland

Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration, Adult & Minor Guardianships, & Fiduciary Litigation

American College of Trust & Estate Counsel Best Lawyers Super Lawyers
KWM Areas of Practice
Estates & Trusts
Real Estate Law
Fiduciary Litigation
Business Law