McAfee & Taft Announces Opening of Tulsa Office

State’s largest law firm expands to 140 attorneys

May 1, 2008

As the legal industry commemorates the 50th anniversary of National Law Day today, the law firm of McAfee & Taft will celebrate the occasion with the opening of a new office in Tulsa.  The expansion marks the latest in a decade-long series of growth initiatives for the state’s largest law firm.

Forming the core of the new office are established Tulsa attorneys John Burkhardt, Reuben Davis, Bill Freudenrich, Charles Greenough, Gerald Hilsher, Frederic “Nick” Schneider, Barry Smith and Susan Walker.

Within the next two to five years, the firm expects to expand the office to more than 30 lawyers. “That number is by no means a limit, but it’s a reasonable expectation given the diverse legal needs of our existing client base and the projected growth of Tulsa and the surrounding areas,”  said managing director Richard Nix.

For years, the firm has served a significant number of companies, municipalities, families and individuals in Tulsa and eastern Oklahoma.  “By working closely with them, listening to them, and anticipating their future needs, it became apparent that this was the time to open a Tulsa location,” said Nix.

“While we have proven that we can successfully service the legal needs of our Oklahoma clients from our Oklahoma City location, we realize there’s so much more to being a lawyer in Oklahoma than doing the legal work,” he said.  “We go to church with our clients.  We serve on community boards with our clients.  Our kids play on Little League teams together.  We enjoy those types of personal relationships, and that’s why it’s important for our law firm to have lawyers who both work and live in the community.”

Rather than operating as two separate offices, though, the firm is steadfastly committed to working collaboratively as a single unit, offering all clients full access to the firm’s extensive resources, which includes more than 110 support staff, the use of industry-leading technology, a worldwide network of affiliated law firms, and 140 lawyers with expertise and significant depth in a wide range of legal disciplines, including aviation, business law, corporate and securities, employee benefits, energy, entertainment, environmental law, healthcare, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, real estate, and tax and family wealth.  Significant investments in those resources, said Nix, have greatly contributed to the firm’s growth and the increasing value it is able to offer clients.

“The practice of law has evolved significantly over the years,” said Tulsa attorney Charles Greenough, one of the firm’s newest shareholders.  “While results always matter to clients, their demands for responsive, efficient service and greater value are at an all-time high as well.  Having direct access to those resources gives us the opportunity to be high tech as well as high touch.”

In approving the expansion plan, the firm’s shareholders believe the addition of a Tulsa office will provide clients with greater, more convenient access to the full range of legal services and business counseling they need.

“We want to be just as involved in the growth of Tulsa as we have been in the growth of Oklahoma City, and now is the time for that,” said Nix.  “Tulsa is a beautiful, vibrant, community-oriented city, and we really like the way Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor, the City Council, Tulsa Metro Chamber and business leaders have positioned the city for growth.”

Since its inception in 1952, McAfee & Taft has evolved from a small entrepreneurial firm founded by Oklahoma pioneer corporate and tax attorneys Kenneth McAfee & Richard Taft into a full-service firm serving clients across the state, throughout the Southwest, as well as around the world.  Despite its now global reach, the firm attributes much of its growth in recent years to the success of its Oklahoma clients, which includes many of the state’s largest employers as well as emerging companies and closely-held family businesses.  The firm also has extensive reach across a broad spectrum of industries.

“As Oklahoma has grown, so have we,” said Nix. “If you look back at the history of our firm, you’ll see that our growth has paralleled the growing demands and needs of our clients.” He points to the firm’s intellectual property and labor and employment practice groups as evidence of this.  “Ten years ago, we anticipated our clients’ needs for comprehensive capabilities in these growing areas and responded by acquiring the additional talent necessary to meet those needs.”  Both groups now rank among the largest and most experienced of their kinds in the region.

In more recent years, the firm has expanded its offerings to include environmental and entertainment law to complement its core practice areas.

“After it became clear that we needed a Tulsa presence to better serve our clients’ needs, then it came down to finding the right lawyers – both professionally and personally – and we’ve done just that,” said Nix.  “We’ve always been very deliberate about how we’ve built our reputation and maintained our collegial culture over the course of nearly 60 years, and we’ll continue to seek out legal talent that shares those values and meets our clients’ high expectations.”

McAfee & Taft is Oklahoma’s largest law firm, serving clients throughout the Southwest and nationally in the areas of aviation, business law, corporate and securities, employee benefits, energy, entertainment, environmental law, healthcare, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, real estate, and tax and family wealth.  The firm employs over 250 Oklahomans, including 140 attorneys, in its Oklahoma City and Tulsa offices.