Firm names new practice group leaders for 2023

Photo of Mike Blake, Justin Jackson and Nathan Whatley in the Oklahoma City office reception area.

The board of directors of McAfee & Taft, the state’s largest law firm, has appointed shareholders T. Michael Blake, Justin Jackson, and Nathan L. Whatley to serve as new practice leaders for the 2023 term.

Mike Blake has been re-named leader of the firm’s Tax and Family Wealth Group. Blake’s practice is focused on tax and transaction planning and implementation for corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and individuals. He has worked on numerous highly complex transactions affecting a wide variety of business interests and has significant experience in structuring private equity transactions, tax-deferred (section 1031) exchanges of property, as well as reverse and “build-to-suit” exchanges. Blake has previously served on the McAfee & Taft’s board of directors.

Justin Jackson, the long-time leader of the firm’s Securities Group, additionally has been named to co-lead the firm’s Business Transactions and Finance Group alongside transactional attorney Rob Garbrecht. His practice encompasses the areas of mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, securities, and corporate governance and compliance. He also advises investment advisors and companies, venture capital funds, and private equity funds, as well as their service providers, on regulatory compliance with state and federal laws. Jackson is also an experienced franchise lawyer and has assisted clients with organizing and structuring franchise programs, negotiation and preparations of franchise agreements, franchise dispute resolution and prevention, and other related corporate and business matters.

Nathan Whatley returns as the leader of the firm’s Labor and Employment Group, overseeing one of the largest teams of labor and employment attorneys in the region. In addition to counseling clients on a broad range of issues arising from the employer/employee relationship, he represents management in all phases of litigation before both state and federal courts, regulatory and administrative agencies, and arbitration panels. Whatley is a frequent speaker on labor and employment topics and a contributing author and guest legal columnist to numerous professional and business publications.

With more than 175 attorneys, McAfee & Taft is one of the nation’s 250 largest law firms as ranked by the National Law Journal.