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McAfee & Taft elects eight new shareholders

January 3, 2014

2014 New ShareholdersThe shareholders of McAfee & Taft, Oklahoma’s largest law firm, have elected attorneys Mark H. Allen, Jodi W. Dishman, J. Barrett Ellis, Roberta B. Fields, Maria E. Gonzalez, Alison Patel, Keith E. Peters and Sharolyn C. Whiting-Ralston as fellow shareholders, effective January 1, 2014. The announcement was made by managing director Richard D. Nix.

Mark H. Allen is a veteran business lawyer with a broad base of experience in private practice, in senior executive leadership roles with public companies, and in the private equity and venture capital industries. His practice is focused on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, corporate structuring, tax planning, financing, and other complex business transactions.

Jodi Warmbrod Dishman is a trial lawyer who handles complex litigation matters in federal and state courts across the country, as well as in various arbitration forums, with an emphasis on complex business litigation, class actions, and appeals. Jodi’s practice spans numerous industries, including energy and oil and gas, hospitals and health care systems, waste management, insurance/financial, sports, and retail. Prior to joining McAfee & Taft, the Edmond native worked in the San Antonio, Texas, office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

J. Barrett Ellis is a banking and corporate attorney who advises corporate and financial institution clients in a wide range of transactional matters, with a particular emphasis on finance transactions and regulatory compliance. His clients include several of the region’s largest financial institutions and private companies, as well as community banks, small businesses and start-up ventures. Prior to joining McAfee & Taft, he 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.

Roberta Browning Fields is a trial lawyer whose primary practice is focused on the representation of employers in all areas of employment law, including litigation in state and federal courts, in arbitrations, and before regulatory and administrative agencies. A portion of her practice is devoted to railroad law, public utility law and commercial litigation. She has successfully represented major railway, electric utility and telephone companies in lawsuits involving claims of negligence, environmental damage, asbestos exposure, wrongful death, and personal and property damage.

Maria E. Gonzalez is an aviation attorney whose practice primarily focuses on aircraft transactions and aircraft title and registration matters. Her practice involves the review of Federal Aviation Administration records for aircraft, engines and propellers and advising clients regarding title issues as well as liens and encumbrances of record at the FAA. She also reviews security agreements, leases, bills of sale and other documents to ensure compliance with FAA regulations and procedures and advises clients on matters arising under the Cape Town Convention with regard to the filings of interests and prospective interests in aircraft with the International Registry.

Alison Patel is an ERISA attorney with extensive experience in a wide range of employee benefits and executive compensation matters for a broad base of clients, including public and private companies and tax-exempt and governmental entities of all sizes. She frequently represents clients in dealings with the Internal Revenue Service, including plan audits, governmental reporting, requests for determinations and voluntary compliance programs. In addition, she has extensive experience handling the employee benefit and executive compensation aspects of corporate mergers and acquisitions.

Keith E. Peters is a tax attorney whose practice is primarily focused on general tax planning for corporations, partnerships, and individuals; structuring business transactions; estate planning; and federal and state tax disputes. He has represented closely held corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships as well as public companies. He also advises tax-exempt organizations on formation and administration issues. He has successfully represented taxpayers in appeals to the IRS, the Oklahoma Tax Commission, the U.S. Tax Court, and in other federal and state courts.

Sharolyn C. Whiting-Ralston is a trial lawyer whose practice primarily focuses on labor and employment law as well as general civil and business litigation. She represents employers in all phases of labor and employment law, including litigation before state and federal courts, regulatory and administrative agencies, and arbitration panels. She also represents clients in general civil and business litigation matters including construction disputes and complex commercial litigation.

McAfee & Taft is one of the nation’s 250 largest law firms as ranked by the National Law Journal and serves clients locally, nationally and internationally in the areas of aviation, business law, corporate and securities, employee benefits, entertainment law, environmental law, healthcare, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, oil and gas, real estate and tax and family wealth. The firm employs nearly 350 Oklahomans, including 182 attorneys, and has offices in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa.