Steven W. Bugg

Of Counsel

(405) 552-2216
Oklahoma City

Steven Bugg joined McAfee & Taft in 1982 and practices primarily in the areas of creditors’ rights, bankruptcy, banking and commercial transactions, and related litigation. He has significant experience with respect to agricultural loans and transactions, real estate, oil and gas, trucking, healthcare and Native American law matters. He has represented creditors in bankruptcies throughout the United States, including Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and others. He handles commercial litigation of all types. Steven has extensive experience with the Uniform Commercial Code and has served as an arbitrator in commercial disputes.

His work in the areas of bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights law has earned him inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law; bankruptcy litigation) since 2007 and Oklahoma Super Lawyers since 2011.  He was named by Best Lawyers as “Oklahoma City Bankruptcy Litigation Lawyer of the Year” for 2020, an honor only given to a single lawyer in each legal specialty in each market.

Steven is past president of the Bankruptcy Section of the Oklahoma County Bar Association and has been a featured lecturer on bankruptcy, Uniform Commercial Code and Native American law issues.

Representative Experience

General Bankruptcy Matters:

  • Representation of secured and unsecured creditors in Chapter 7, Chapter 9, Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 bankruptcies, including debtor-in-possession financing; adequate protection; cash collateral; validity and priority of liens, security interests and mortgages; trustee and examiner issues; disclosure statements and plan confirmation; and fraudulent transfer and preference litigation.
  • Representation of official and ad hoc secured and unsecured creditors’ committees.
  • Lead counsel for official unsecured creditors’ committee in trucking company bankruptcy. Successfully investigated dissipation of assets from prepetition sale of the company, and confirmed a plan of liquidation over the objection of the debtor with liquidating trustee to recover assets.
  • Co-counsel for the senior secured noteholders and debtor-in-possession lenders in the bankruptcy of a $350 million publicly traded oil and gas company. Successfully confirmed plan of reorganization whereby the senior secured noteholders acquired the assets of the company.
  • Successfully represented secured lender in real estate bankruptcy by recovering multiple apartment complexes and rental houses through section 363 sale of the mortgaged properties in lieu of foreclosure.
  • Successfully represented members of golf club in asserting a right of first refusal to purchase the club out of the bankruptcy proceeding. Successfully challenged the sale procedures implemented by the Resolution Trust Corporation, which sought to deny the right of first refusal.
  • Successfully represented the purchaser at a section 363 sale of the assets of a trailer manufacturer and handled all aspects of the closing of the sale transaction, including resolving issues relating to public trust financing on the facility.
  • Coordinated an ad hoc committee of secured lenders in a trucking company bankruptcy and successfully recovered the rolling stock collateral and administrative expense claims arising from use of the rolling stock during the bankruptcy.
  • Lead counsel for the secured lender in obtaining emergency relief from the automatic stay one day after commencement of an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding against a retail chain of stores in order to allow completion of a scheduled Uniform Commercial Code foreclosure sale. Represented the secured lender in successfully purchasing the assets at the UCC foreclosure sale and closing the transaction.
  • Successfully filed involuntary bankruptcy petitions on multiple occasions.
  • Representation of landlords in retail and commercial bankruptcies.
  • Representation of defendants in preference and fraudulent transfer litigation throughout the country.

In re SemCrude, Bankr. D. Del.

  • Successfully filed and argued motion for the appointment of an official committee to represent the interests of oil and gas producers in this bankruptcy of one of the largest crude oil purchasers in the United States.
  • Represented two members of the official producers’ committee in all committee matters including strategy development and settlement negotiations.
  • Lead counsel for oil and gas producers in the Oklahoma adversary proceeding to determine the priority under Oklahoma law to proceeds of production between Oklahoma producers and the secured lenders.
  • Successfully prosecuted administrative claims under section 503(b)(9) for numerous producers.

Commercial Foreclosures:

  • Successfully represented the trustee of a bond indenture in an action seeking to foreclose a leasehold mortgage on an apartment complex built on airport trust property. The debt was restructured on favorable terms with additional collateral and guaranties.
  • Successfully represented the secured lender in foreclosures of a motel, shopping center, warehouse and retail location. In each instance, a receiver was appointed to operate the property during foreclosure.
  • Successfully represented the secured lender in multiple foreclosures of farmland as well as replevin and foreclosures of security interests in personal property.

Other Commercial Litigation:

  • Successfully represented oil and gas operator in collection of joint interest billings and enforcement of operator’s lien under joint operating agreement and state law.
  • Obtained jury verdict in federal court action for breach of contract for failure to pay commission for obtaining financing.
  • Successfully represented a lender in collection of a loss claim on a Farm Service Administration guaranteed loan, including a successful appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals of a decision by the Court of Federal Claims.
  • Successfully represented client before the Oklahoma Supreme Court on certified questions of law from the bankruptcy court concerning enforceability of anti-assignment clauses in structured settlement annuities.

Healthcare/Public Finance

  • Successfully represented rural critical access hospital in restructuring $25 million tax exempt bond indebtedness. Negotiated and implemented substantial voluntary principal reduction and restructuring of the bonds along with the lease of the hospital to a large metropolitan hospital organization.
  • Represented manager of rural hospital in Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy and obtained termination of management agreement.

Native American Law:

  • Represented amici curiae before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Osage Nation v. Irby, 597 F.3d 1117 (10th Cir. 2010), a case in which the appeals court affirmed a lower court’s ruling that the Osage Nation’s reservation had been disestablished.
  • Represented amici curiae before the U.S. Supreme Court in Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma v. Manufacturing Technologies, Inc., 523 U.S. 751 (1998) concerning the scope of sovereign immunity in a commercial transaction outside of Indian country.
  • Representation of non-tribal members and companies in transactions with Indian tribes and tribal corporations, including negotiation of gaming agreements, equipment leases, construction contracts and other agreements. Litigation experience includes litigation in many tribal courts and federal courts and before and against the National Indian Gaming Commission.

Industry-Specific Experience:

  • Banking — Representation of banks and lenders in litigation involving mortgage foreclosures, enforcement of security interests, replevin of collateral, collection of loans, and defense of lender liability claims, and in preparation of loan documentation, including promissory notes, guaranties, security agreements and mortgages.
  • Oil & Gas — Representation of oil and gas companies in various litigation matters, including foreclosure of oil and gas liens under state law and joint operating agreements, disputes concerning joint operating agreements, natural gas purchasing and marketing agreements, and pollution damage cases.
  • Agriculture — Representation of banks and other lenders concerning agricultural loans, including loan documentation and monitoring, enforcement of government loan guarantees, Chapter 12 bankruptcies, and related litigation.
  • Healthcare — Representation of rural hospitals in restructuring of bond indebtedness and secured financing and restructuring of hospital operations.
  • Real Estate/Construction — Representation of lenders in real estate lending transactions and litigation. Representation of construction companies in construction disputes, filing and enforcement of liens, and enforcement of liens and claims in bankruptcy.
  • Government Claims Involving Guaranteed Loans — Representation of banks and other lenders in obtaining, documenting and servicing government-guaranteed loans, including Farm Service Administration, Small Business Administration and other government loan programs. Litigation experience includes prosecution of loss claims before federal agencies at all levels, the Court of Federal Claims, and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.


Honors and Awards

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law; bankruptcy litigation)
  • Named “Oklahoma City Bankruptcy Litigation Lawyer of the Year” for 2020 by The Best Lawyers in America
  • Listed in Oklahoma Super Lawyers
  • Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubble Peer Review Ratings
  • Named by the National Academy of Bankruptcy Attorneys as a Top 10 Attorney from Oklahoma (2014)

Professional Organizations and Memberships

  • Oklahoma County Bar Association (Past President, Bankruptcy Section, 2007-2008)
  • Oklahoma Bar Association (Bankruptcy Section; Financial Institutions Commercial Law Section; Legislative Review Committee for Revised Article 9)
  • Standing Rules Committee, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
  • Luther Bohanon American Inn of Court (Barrister)

Speaking Engagements

  • Insolvency in the Oil Patch: An Energy Company Chapter 11 Primer

    OSCPA Oil & Gas Conference

    October 18, 2016
    | Midwest City, Oklahoma
  • Update on SemCrude Bankruptcy

    Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association

  • Ancillary Businesses and the Practice of Law

    North America Regional Meeting of Terralex

    | Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tribal Sovereignty in Commercial Transactions

    Sovereignty Symposium

    | Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and Other Statutory Liens

    Oklahoma County Bar Association Bankruptcy Section Meeting

    August 1, 1999
    | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Tribal Immunity Against Suit in Commercial Transactions and Relevant Tribal Laws

    Annual Meeting of the Oklahoma Bar Association Uniform Laws Committee and Financial Institutions and Commercial Law Section

    | Tulsa, Oklahoma
More speaking engagements
  • Oklahoma, 1982
  • U.S. District Courts for the Western, Northern and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Tenth and Federal Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Claims
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Several Tribal Courts
  • J.D., University of Oklahoma, 1982
    • Order of the Coif; Board of Editors, Oklahoma Law Review
  • M.B.A., University of Oklahoma, 1982
  • B.B.A. (Economics), University of Oklahoma, 1978