McAfee & Taft Further Expands Business Transactions Practice

N. Martin Stringer, Philip Sears, James Crumpley and Thomas Baker Join Firm

October 17, 2005

McAfee & Taft, Oklahoma’s largest law firm, today announced plans to further expand its business and corporate transactions practice with the addition of N. Martin Stringer, Philip B. Sears, James L. Crumpley and Thomas R. Baker, all formerly of McKinney & Stringer’s corporate and business solutions practice group.

McAfee & Taft’s interdisciplinary transactional practice, which is the most extensive of its kind in Oklahoma, provides clients with comprehensive legal counseling and transactional expertise in all aspects of business law, including corporate and securities, environmental,  mergers and acquisitions, taxation, business formation and governance, contract negotiation, administrative law, franchising and licensing, real estate transactions, and general business matters.

“We are exceptionally pleased to be able to add to the depth of our talent with highly skilled attorneys who have served Oklahoma’s legal and business communities with such distinction over the years,” said John N. Hermes, managing director of McAfee & Taft.  “Their combined experience, as well as expertise in business negotiations and complex corporate matters, complement our firm’s strong business and corporate transactions practice and will serve to enhance our ability to continue providing high quality legal representation to clients.”

Earlier this year, the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business ranked McAfee & Taft first among Oklahoma law firms in the area of Corporate / Mergers & Acquisitions.  The firm also topped the Chambers rankings in the areas of employment law, general commercial litigation and real estate law.

“I am delighted to join such a highly regarded and respected firm as McAfee & Taft,” commented Martin Stringer, co-founder of McKinney & Stringer law firm.  “A number of options presented themselves to me after we made the decision it was in the best interest of our clients to reconfigure McKinney & Stringer into several firms based on practice groups.   As for me, however, the opportunity to join McAfee & Taft was by far the best option, and I am looking forward with great anticipation to using my experience to do what I truly love – practice law at a firm with broad resources and expertise.”

One of Oklahoma’s most notable corporate attorneys, Martin Stringer brings a wealth of legal experience and expertise as a negotiator in the fields of business, financial institutions and governmental relations to his role as of counsel at McAfee & Taft.  He is widely regarded for his strategic planning expertise in complex business litigation matters and his experience in counseling corporate and financial institutions on financial, state and federal regulatory and legislative matters.

His achievements in the area of corporate law have earned him inclusion in some of the nation’s most prominent legal guides, including The Best Lawyers in America and the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

In addition to co-founding McKinney & Stringer in 1971, Stringer has also served as a trial lawyer in the county district attorney’s office, worked as a campaign aide to a former U.S. Senator, and mediated for the System Board of Adjustment of the National Labor Relations Board and the National Association of Securities Dealers.  He is also a frequent lecturer at bar associations, law schools and other professional and business groups.
Stringer is a member of the Oklahoma County, Oklahoma and American Bar Associations and is a past recipient of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Outstanding Service Award.

Phil Sears is a veteran corporate attorney whose practice encompasses a broad range of business transactions, including public and private securities offerings, broker-dealer formation and registration, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and compliance, licensing agreements and joint ventures.  His diversified client base extends throughout the United States and includes both public and private businesses and organizations.

Prior to entering private practice, he served as general counsel for a North Carolina-based biotechnology company.

Sears joins McAfee & Taft as of counsel and is a member of the Oklahoma County, Oklahoma and American Bar Associations.

James Crumpley is a certified public accountant whose legal practice is concentrated in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, tax-exempt organizations, business transactions, estate planning and business tax planning.  Throughout his career, he has represented individuals and all types of business entities, including energy companies, healthcare institutions, retailers, manufacturers and restaurants.

In addition, he has significant expertise in federal income tax law, having previously worked nine years as a revenue agent for the Internal Revenue Service specializing in individual, corporate, partnership and employment taxation.

Crumpley joins the firm as of counsel and is a member of the Oklahoma County, Oklahoma and American Bar Associations, as well as the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Tommy Baker is a recent honors graduate of the Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  He joins the firm as an associate whose practice is concentrated in the fields of securities, transactional law and tax.  Prior to entering law school, he gained significant insight and experience into the software, banking and manufacturing industries, as well as municipal and tribal governments, while serving as a senior associate and certified public accountant with KPMG for more than three years.

Baker is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, American Bar Association and Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants.

McAfee & Taft serves clients throughout the Southwest and nationally in the areas of aviation, business law, corporate and securities, employee benefits, entertainment, environmental law, healthcare, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, oil and gas, real estate, and tax and family wealth.  The firm employs over 200 Oklahomans, including more than 115 attorneys.