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History

Introduction to the founders

E.S. McAnany and Maurice Alden founded McAnany and Alden in 1901 in the Husted Building at the corner of 6th and Minnesota in downtown Kansas City, Kansas. Their goal, in the early 1900’s, was to build something that would outlast them that would live on to care for their families and communities for generations to come.

E.S. was one of the organizers and the third president of the Mercantile Club, precursor to the Kansas City, Kansas Area Chamber of Commerce. He chaired a committee that successfully helped establish a more equitable tax rate in the city. He also was recognized as an advocate for a better understanding between the two Kansas Cities. Through his Mercantile Club involvement, E.S. was believed to have had a role in the 1910 creation of the commission form of government in Kansas City, Kansas. The city previously had a council form of municipal government. By special election, the new government had a mayor and four commissioners each responsible for particular departments of municipal affairs.

In 1910, Thomas Van Cleave, Sr., joined the firm. In 1915, he became a partner and the firm was renamed McAnany, Alden & Van Cleave. Tom was involved in the very first workers’ compensation case in the state of Kansas. (Docket number 1 can be found in Topeka)

Willard Phillips began working for the firm in 1930. He became a partner in 1934, and the firm name was changed to McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips. In the 1960’s, Willard Phillips represented a plaintiff landowner who claimed the defendant was diverting storm water onto his property. Phillips so impressed the defendant’s insurance carrier that they hired MVP for future representation.

MVP Incorporation and the start of the expansion (1978 to 1996)

The firm’s practice areas grew from their initial real estate and business ventures to include more education law, municipal work and insurance defense. The Firm’s municipal practice grew, adding attorneys from the City of Kansas City, Kansas. 

MVP got more and more involved with education law. Since around 1910, the firm had served as general counsel to the Kansas City Kansas Public Schools. In 1974, the Department of Justice filed charges against the school district for racial segregation in student assignment.

The firm doubled in size between 1950 and 1973.

In 1978, the MVP incorporated and became a professional association rather than the traditional partnership. The firm opened its second location in 1978 in Prairie Village, Kansas. By 1981, the firm had grown to 23 attorneys. 

Geographical Expansion

By 1991, the firm had 33 attorneys and were regularly practicing in Kansas and Missouri. In 1996 the firm opened their first office outside the Kansas City Metro area and set up shop in St. Louis, Missouri. With the office in St. Louis, the firm began practicing in Illinois.

In 2006, the firm opened its Springfield, Missouri office to better deliver services to clients throughout the state.

The firm continues to grow. In 2008 the firm had 44 attorneys, growing to 50 in 2011 and 56 by 2013. During this growth the firm expanded geographically opening offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Omaha, Nebraska in 2011. In 2011, MVP attorneys were practicing in seven states: Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Today

MVP continues looking to the future. In 2019, the firm continues their expansion with the opening of offices in Springfield, Illinois and West Des Moines, Iowa.