Lathrop GPM Boosts Litigation Practice Group with Three Kansas City Partners


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lathrop GPM LLP is excited to announce that Pat Fanning, Kristi Burmeister and Aaron Craig will join the Kansas City office in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group as Partners, with a focus on general business and complex commercial litigation.

All three join from PEAK Litigation LLP, which they co-founded in 2018 after practicing together at Shook Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. Before joining Shook, Hardy & Bacon in 2010, Fanning served as a partner with Lathrop & Gage LLP, a predecessor firm of Lathrop GPM.

“We are thrilled to have Pat back in the Kansas City office and to welcome Pat, Kristi and Aaron onto our litigation team,” said Cameron Garrison, Lathrop GPM’s managing partner. “With their collective 50 years of experience and their reputation for excellent client service and results, they are an impressive addition to our litigation practice.”

Fanning said, “I am honored to rejoin Lathrop GPM and to have the opportunity to work within its national platform and broad variety of practice areas while continuing to deepen my local roots alongside Lathrop GPM’s deep roots in Kansas City. We will continue to support our client Cerner’s legal needs with the support of the firm’s deep bench of talented lawyers.”

“Cerner has developed a strong working relationship with Pat, Kristi, and Aaron over the past several years. Cerner is excited to continue to work with them as they transition their commercial litigation practice to Lathrop GPM,” said Sara Meinhard, Cerner Vice-President, Assistant General Counsel and Head of Litigation. “Lathrop GPM has the additional resources and outstanding reputation as a true ‘full-service’ firm to help Cerner continue to manage its legal risk.” Cerner is a health care IT company and Kansas City’s largest private employer.

A nationally recognized trial attorney, Fanning focuses on presenting clients’ positions efficiently and logically. Fanning is a Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Centurions Leadership Program alumnus and has been recognized by Kansas City Super Lawyers® as a “Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney” and The Legal 500 United States. A Kansas City native, he earned his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Missouri–Columbia.

Burmeister has extensive experience strategically handling a wide variety of civil lawsuits, including multimillion-dollar contract disputes and high-stakes business litigation. She has been recognized by Kansas City Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” and Kansas City Super Lawyers®. She also won a 2021 Missouri Lawyers Weekly Women’s Justice Award. Burmeister earned a B.A. from the University of Nebraska and a J.D., summa cum laude, from the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

Craig has tackled a broad range of regional and high-profile national litigation matters, including trials, complex arbitrations, mediations, settlement conferences, expert discovery, motion drafting, and oral arguments. He earned a B.S., cum laude, from Missouri State University and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Creighton University School of Law. Following law school, Craig clerked for the Hon. Gary Fenner of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

In addition to the three attorneys, Michelle Buchanan joins the practice group as a paralegal. She also comes to Lathrop GPM from PEAK Litigation.

Lathrop GPM’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution attorneys have deep experience managing large complex cases, assessing and developing viable themes and strategies, reaching efficient resolutions on clients’ behalf, and persuasively arguing cases in the courtroom.