J. Barrett Ellis


Bio Menu
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Honors & Involvement
Bio overview

Barrett Ellis advises corporate and financial institution clients in a wide range of transactional matters, with a particular emphasis on finance transactions and regulatory compliance. Barrett has extensive experience as counsel to lenders and borrowers in all types of commercial finance transactions, including single-lender and syndicated credit facilities, first and second lien credit agreements, asset-based loans, unsecured financings and factoring relationships. Barrett also negotiates ISDA Master Agreements for his clients in connection with interest rate swaps and commodity hedging. Banks and borrowers often seek Barrett’s assistance to structure financing arrangements around complex corporate structures or regulatory requirements.

Barrett has also represented financial institutions and businesses in general corporate matters, regulatory compliance, and merger and acquisition transactions. He has advised residential mortgage lenders in RESPA anti-kickback prohibitions and restrictions on mortgage loan originator and executive compensation. Barrett has worked closely with several large regional banks to complete internal corporate reorganizations and has assisted banks of all sizes in completing merger and acquisition transactions.

Businesses often work with Barrett to navigate complex regulatory regimes or develop risk management programs. He has, for instance, recently worked with companies to implement appropriate data security measures and anti-money laundering and OFAC compliance programs.

Barrett has previously served as leader of the firm’s Banking and Financial Institutions Group.

Following graduation from Harvard Law School, Barrett practiced for several years in the Chicago office of a large international law firm, where he represented many preeminent national banks, private equity funds, and publicly traded companies. He returned home to Oklahoma and joined McAfee & Taft in 2010.

Barrett’s achievements have earned him inclusion in Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ list of “Oklahoma Rising Stars,” which recognizes the state’s top up-and-coming attorneys.

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Experience, Honors, & Awards

Representative Experience

  • Represented Virgo Capital, a Texas-based private equity firm, in its acquisition of Chicago-based Sayers Technology, a leading provider of information technology services and solutions for business. The transaction involved negotiation of two credit facilities with two different lenders and a separate supply chain financing arrangement for the company’s equipment purchases.
  • Represented a major regional bank acting as administrative agent in a $100 million syndicated asset-based loan to a midstream energy company.
  • Represented publicly traded borrower in the insurance industry in amendment and restatement of $750 million unsecured syndicated revolving credit facility.
  • Represented a publicly traded bank in a $300 million divestiture of a performing, sub-performing and non-performing commercial real estate loan portfolio and real estate-owned (REO) properties.
  • Represented a major regional bank acting as administrative agent in a $22 million term and revolving syndicated credit facility to a long-term acute care hospital holding company, and subsequent amendment and restatement to provide an additional $20 million for a leveraged ESOP transaction.
  • Represented a major regional bank acting as administrative agent in $30 million syndicated term and revolving credit facility to a hospital holding company.
  • Represented start-up exploration and development company in $200 million first and second lien financing with a traditional bank first lien lender, and a private equity second lien lender.
  • Represented exploration and development company in $75 million asset-based syndicated credit facility.
  • Represented a major regional bank in a construction loan for the high-profile rehabilitation of a historic property.
  • Represented an Oklahoma-based national financial institution in the expansion of its residential mortgage lending operations nationwide by guiding the bank through state-by-state registration and licensing requirements, documenting and negotiating employment agreements with originating and non-originating mortgage loan officers, and providing regulatory, general banking and corporate advice.
  • Represented a publicly traded regional bank holding company in the consolidation of its bank subsidiaries.
  • Represented a major regional bank in refinancing an advancing term loan facility for the development of an approximately 220-acre urban commercial real estate development.

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ list of “Oklahoma Rising Stars,” which recognizes the state’s up-and-coming attorneys

Professional Organizations and Memberships

  • Oklahoma Bar Association

Civic Involvement and Leadership

  • Redbud Classic (Board of Directors)
  • Skyline Urban Ministry (Board of Directors)

ATPs display in this column

At The Podium

Key Issues in Commercial Lending Transactions

2019 Corporate Counsel Seminar
Oklahoma City, OK | December 5, 2019

Key Issues in Commercial Lending Transactions

2019 Corporate Counsel Seminar
Tulsa, OK | December 4, 2019

Consumer Lending Liability

Oklahoma Bankers Association’s 2018 Consumer Lending School
Oklahoma City, OK | October 4, 2018

Preparing for a Major Transaction

2016 Corporate Counsel Seminar
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | December 8, 2016
Attorney Articles


  • Oklahoma, 2010
  • Illinois, 2006 (Retired)


  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 2006
  • B.A., summa cum laude, University of Oklahoma, 2003