There's going to be a new Wichita law firm on May 1, but it looks a lot like an existing firm.
Gilliland & Hayes, a Hutchinson firm that formed in 1959 and has four offices across Kansas, is dissolving.
The Wichita office of the firm is transitioning to Gibson Watson Marino.
Attorneys, who include John Gibson, Michelle Watson, Andrew Marino, Richard Samaniego, Justen Phelps and Patricia Dengler, will still practice in their existing Gilliland & Hayes space at the Epic Center downtown. The phone number will stay the same, and the new website is www.gibsonwatsonlaw.com.
Watson says the parting is amicable. She says the four offices began discussing decentralizing some of the business operations.
"Then it just became a conversation about we're practicing as a firm in name only. It might make sense to go ahead and go our separate ways."
The Hutchinson office off Gilliland & Hayes will become Gilliland Green.
Gilliland & Hayes attorneys in Overland Park and Manhattan are joining existing firms.
Watson says the transition will allow the Wichita firm more control over its operations.
"Obviously, we want to continue the same services that we've been giving to clients all along," she says.
"We can establish a strong legacy for the future, just with a new name and some ability to have a say so of our business plan and the future of our firm."