Gibbel Kraybill & Hess

LLP Attorneys





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Gibbel Kraybill & Hess LLP (“GKH”) has been engaged in the general practice of law and providing legal services to clients in the south-central and eastern part of Pennsylvania since 1977. GKH has steadily grown from its original three founding partners to sixteen attorneys and a dedicated and capable support staff. In 1988, the firm built and moved to a new office building in Lancaster City, across from the Lancaster County Courthouse. GKH also had a fully staffed office in Lititz. In 2015,the Lancaster and Lititz offices came together at a new central location at 2933 Lititz Pike. The new space allows GKH to more efficiently fulfill its mission, “to provide excellent legal services that promote justice with integrity.” View the complete Mission Statement. GKH also maintains meeting space in Lancaster City and Ardmore, Pennsylvania, for the convenience of our clients.


The three founding partners have deep roots in Lancaster County. John Gibbel is a native of Lititz and has practiced law in Lancaster for more than 50 years. John graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. Elvin Kraybill grew up on a family farm near Elizabethtown and graduated from Georgetown University Law Center.  He has practiced law in Lancaster County since 1973.  Melvin Hess also grew up in Lancaster County on a family farm in Manheim Township. Mel graduated from Franklin and Marshall and the Seattle University School of Law. He has practiced law in Lancaster County for more than 35 years. John, Elvin and Mel founded GKH based on a shared vision of serving others by providing high-quality legal services to individuals and businesses within Lancaster County and the surrounding counties.


The firm has diverse practice areas that include estate planning and administration; elder law; business succession planning; corporate and commercial law; nonprofit organizations; employment law; real estate, zoning and land use; municipal law; general and complex litigation; civil rights litigation; and tax law. This diversity of practice accompanies the broad range of clients we serve, including individuals, families, businesses, corporations, institutions, churches, nonprofit organizations, municipalities and citizen groups. The firm represents clients throughout central, south-central and eastern Pennsylvania. Go to Practice Areas.

GKH is organized into four practice groups for managing and coordinating all of the firm’s work areas. The practice groups include (1) Elder Law; (2) Complex Business Succession and Estate Planning; (3) Corporate and Organizations; and (4) Advocacy.  Each practice group consists of attorneys, paralegals and legal assistants who specialize in specific practice areas. The attorneys, paralegals and legal assistants within a practice group work collaboratively in a team environment to provide our clients with high-quality legal services. Go to Practice Groups.


We know you have many choices in law firms and attorneys, and you may ask why choose GKH? In other words, what makes us different? While we believe there are many reasons that make GKH a unique law firm, we would like to highlight three: (1) our commitment to service; (2) the value we place on building strong client relationships; and (3) our deep roots in and connections to the community.

First, the firm was started almost 40 years ago by John Gibbel, Elvin Kraybill and Melvin Hess based on a common commitment—to provide the best service they could to their clients and to the community. Through this shared vision, the firm has steadily grown, building a strong client base and developing a positive reputation within the community for providing excellent legal services. Not only are we passionate about serving our clients, but we also care deeply about our community, particularly the less fortunate and marginalized. Therefore, the firm also is committed to serving the community through providing pro-bono legal services, volunteering with local community groups, supporting/sponsoring numerous community initiatives, and being involved in nonprofit boards and organizations. It is this commitment to service and excellence that separates GKH from many other firms.

Second, GKH believes that providing high-quality legal services involves an ongoing process of building strong relationships with clients. We maintain that the strongest attorney-client relationship is built through time, as the firm learns and understands a client’s interests, culture and objectives, and as a client builds a level of confidence and trust in GKH’s attorneys and services. In this regard, GKH’s commitment to fostering long-term client relationships ultimately leads to a higher level of service and satisfaction to the client, as well as better results. The firm’s size helps to facilitate this type of relationship building because we are large enough to handle a wide range of complex legal matters yet we are small enough to provide personal attention to clients and their matters.

Third, GKH has strong roots to the community. We live in the local community, send our children to the local schools, attend local churches, serve on school and nonprofit boards, and volunteer with community groups. We understand the local community and the individuals who live here. Whether preparing a complex estate plan, attending a zoning hearing or negotiating the sale of real estate, our firm’s deep roots in the community allow us to better serve our clients.

Please explore our website to learn more about our firm, or feel free to contact us directly. Our firm would be honored to call you a client.