By Adam Aasen
Campbell Kyle Proffitt LLP, a 100-year-old law firm based in Noblesville, dissolved as of April 30, and as a result, some Hamilton County attorneys are forming their own law firms.
Andrew M. Barker, one of CKP’s two senior partners, along with Anne H. Poindexter, said there wasn’t just one event that led to dissolving the firm. Just like a divorce of a marriage, a lot of factors come into play, but Barker said there are no hard feelings.
“I’ve spent 28 years, which is my entire legal career, at Campbell Kyle Proffitt,” said Barker, who is acting as the law firm’s liquidation agent. “It was a very sad day for me when it closed, but I’m very much excited about the new opportunity at my new law firm.”
Barker has formed Barker Hancock & Cohron LLC with former CKP attorneys Keith L. Hancock and Travis C. Cohron. Other attorneys not connected to CKP will join as well.
Poindexter has formed Altman, Poindexter & Wyatt LLC, which is at 75 Executive Dr. Suite G, Carmel.
Her partners are Scott Wyatt, a litigator from CKP, and Christine Altman, who has held office as a Hamilton County Commissioner since 2003. Altman left CKP in 1995 to go out on her own but remained good friends with Poindexter. John D. Proffitt, who was retired, has joined on an “of-counsel” basis, which means he has a relationship with the firm, but is not an associate or a partner.
“I think it’s a very seasoned and nimble group,” Altman said.
Prior to CKP dissolving, three prominent attorneys left the firm in December to start their own practice. Russell B. Cate, Stephenie K. Gookins and John S. Terry have formed Cate, Terry & Gookins LLC, at 301 E. Carmel Dr., Suite C-300, Carmel.
Cate said it was the logical next step in their legal careers and he has fond memories of CKP.
“We all three shared the same vision for what our practices should evolve into,” he said. “We are very excited to starting our own practice. We all had a very high client retention, so it was very much business as usual.”
Gookins said growth will be inevitable for their firm given their already busy caseload.
“We have some immediate needs to hire paralegals,” she said. “Down the road, new attorneys could be brought on as we grow and want to diversify our practice.”
N. Scott Smith has formed Smith Legal LLC.
“It’s been a crazy change for me, and I know for all others formerly with CKP. I am embracing the new challenges of being a solo practitioner, learning new things everyday,” Smith said.
Rodney T. Sarkovics has formed Sarkovics Law.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at CKP. It was professionally and personally rewarding,” Sarkovics said. “I formed great friendships, grew professionally and will take with me a lifetime of memories.”
LLC and Casandra J. Nelson has formed Law Office of Casandra J. Nelson, LLC. Deborah Farmer Smith and William E. Wendling, Jr. have joined Cohen Garelick & Glazier, P.C.
“The dissolution was truly a disappointment,” Nelson said. “However, when one door closes, another one opens. I am very excited to be given the opportunity to start my own business and start my own firm’s legacy within the community.”
Altman said the CKP was widely respected in the Hamilton Co. legal community, but that it’s not uncommon to see law firms break up into smaller firms nowadays.
“To the fabric of the legal community, it’s kind of a surprise given the longevity, but it’s not unheard of given the trend in legal practices,” she said.