J. Barrett Ellis

Of Counsel

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

In 2020, Barrett Ellis became Of Counsel to the University of Oklahoma Foundation.  He continues to consult with the firm and its clients in matters related to commercial lending transactions and third party closing legal opinions.

While a shareholder of the firm, Barrett gained 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.  His experience in commercial finance spans many industries, but focuses especially on construction, franchise, hotel, restaurant, and merger and acquisition financing.

Barrett had previously served as leader of the firm’s Banking and Financial Institutions Group.  Following graduation from Harvard Law School, he worked for several years in the Chicago office of a large, international law firm.  He returned 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