Phillips Murrah law firm forms new partnership

By M. Scott Carter

[ SEPTEMBER 15, 2011 – OKLAHOMA CITY ] The Oklahoma City law firm of Phillips Murrah P.C. is 25 percent bigger today – thanks to a new partnership with the Kline, Kline, Elliott and Bryant firm and other new additions.

Company officials said the new agreement would go into effect immediately.

Phillips Murrah director Robert Haupt said his firm chose to partner with the Oklahoma City firm because of its background in banking and bankruptcy.

“Kline, Kline, Elliott and Bryant are just an extremely prestigious bankruptcy firm,” Haupt said. “We are enthused by the additional strength and reputation brought by this partnership.”

Combining forces with the Kline firm, he said, will help Phillips Murrah expand its workout, bankruptcy and banking practices.

Officials at the Kline firm said the partnership offered their attorneys the chance to bring a new creative approach to client services.

“It’s a good fit, personality-wise” said Tim Kline, company director. “We like the people.”

Kline said his firm decided it needed to either expand its client base or merge with another firm.

“Life is full of change,” he said. “We felt like it was time to do something different.”

Phillips Murrah, he said, offered Kline’s firm a great deal of talent and experience.

“Including the areas in which we practice, they provide us with a certain depth that felt like would strengthen us and supplement us,” Kline said.

Considered one of Oklahoma City’s biggest law firms, after the additions Phillips Murrah has 67 attorneys. Company officials said the partnership would add eight Kline attorneys to the firm, including the following:

• Kline, the former president of the Oklahoma County Bar Association and past chairman and current director of the bankruptcy and reorganization section of the Oklahoma Bar Association.

• S. Thomas Adler, who represents physicians and other business interests in a range of transactional matters.

• G. David Bryant, who was named to Oklahoma Super Lawyers in the area of civil litigation defense.

• Stephen W. Elliott, who taught debtor-creditor relations from 2003 through 2005 and consumer bankruptcy in 2005 and 2006 as an adjunct professor of law at Oklahoma City University School of Law.

• Steven J. Goetzinger, who practices in oil, gas, and real estate law and currently serves as general counsel to an independent oil and gas company.

• Matthew C. Goodin, whose practice is in bankruptcy proceedings, including individual and business Chapter 7 liquidation cases, individual Chapter 13 cases and complex Chapter 11 business reorganization proceedings.

• Richard M. Healy, who represents individuals and both privately held and public companies in a variety of litigation matters.

• Clay P. Booth, who represents a broad spectrum of clients, including individuals, lending institutions and corporations, in connection with negotiated resolutions, debtor/creditor collections, and foreclosures.

Others new additions include the following.

• A Thomas Elder, who represents individuals and both privately held and public companies in a range of litigation matters, including aviation, products liability drug, medical device, toxic tort and class-action litigation.

• Matthew P. Anderson, whose practice focuses on litigation.

• Andrew R. Chilson, who served in the U.S. Air Force, where he received the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

• Clayton D. Ketter, whose practice includes representing debtors, creditors and official and informal creditor’s committees in various complex financial restructuring matters.

• Chase H. Schnebel, an attorney and certified public accountant in the business department. Schnebel also served as director of the University of Oklahoma’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.