D. Benham Kirk maintains an active commercial transactions practice, including the structuring, formation, drafting and negotiation of various business entities, joint ventures and other commercial dealings. For over 35 years, his practice has been concentrated in the areas of commercial litigation and transactions.
Ben also has extensive experience advising borrowers and regional lenders in commercial/secured loan transactions, and drafting and negotiation of many business agreements, including governing documents, employment agreements, service agreements, intellectual property agreements, buy-sell and other contracts. Ben is skilled in all aspects of commercial real estate transactions, including development, quiet title and like-kind exchanges.
Ben’s practice places an emphasis on the representation of entrepreneurs and small businesses, which often involves creative thought. A significant part of Ben's clientele are large multi-unit legacy brand restaurant operators. He is also privileged to represent various real estate developers, oil and gas owners and operators and oil field service companies, health care providers, and many other small business entrepreneurs in various sectors, including the rapidly evolving cannabis industry.
Ben has also been a seminar presenter on a number of occasions, particularly with respect to commercial leasing.
- Represented numerous multi-unit restaurant operators in the acquisition, structuring, development and financing of units.
- Represented numerous borrowers in the negotiation and review of loan documents for large credit facilities.
- Represented numerous small business owners in connection with start-ups, as well as acquisitions of existing businesses from $500,000 to more than $50,000,000.
- Represented regional and community banks in real estate and cash flow/net income lending transactions.
- Successfully represented a commercial real estate broker in an action for recovery of a six-figure unpaid commission when the sale did not close due to the seller's wrongful conduct.
- Represented an operator/minority owner in the sale of multiple saltwater disposal wells in the Bakken oil and gas field in North Dakota.
- Frequently represents entrepreneurs in service, real estate, technology and manufacturing sectors in connection with start-up organization, business planning, contractual relationships, business ventures and, when appropriate, litigation.
- Represents health care providers in contract negotiations, preparation and acquisitions.
- Represented an entrepreneur in acquiring the dealership rights to a well-known automobile brand in a highly competitive market.
- Represented an oil field service company in connection with a multi-entity, multi-state merger.
- Represented numerous cannabis industry ventures and investors.
- Represented high-level executives in connection with separation and/or employment-related agreements.
Professional, Community and Pro Bono Involvement
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of the Court, Group Leader 2013; Treasurer 2014 to 2018
- Oklahoma Bar Association, Civil Procedure Committee, Member
- Oklahoma Bar Association, General Practice, Business, Corporate Law, Banking Law Sections
- Oklahoma Bar Association, Estate Planning and Probate Section, Past Board Member
- Oklahoma Bar Association, Bankruptcy and Reorganization, Past Chairman
- Oklahoma City Ballet, Board of Trustees, 2015-2019; Executive Committee, 2016-2017; Governance Committee Chair, 2016-2017; President-Elect, 2017-2019; President, 2019-2020
Honors and Awards
- Best Lawyers®, Oklahoma City, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2018-2019
- Best Lawyers®, Oklahoma City, Real Estate Law, 2019
- OKC Friday Newspaper, 50 Most Powerful Oklahomans List, 2018
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of the Court, Master of the Year, 2013
- J.D., University of Oklahoma College of Law, 1982
- B.A., Trinity University, 1979
Bar & Court Admissions
- Oklahoma, 1982
- Northern, Western and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma, 1982
- United States Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit, 1982
- Northern District of Florida, 2004
- Western District of Michigan, 2006
- United States Supreme Court, 2006
- United States Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit, 2006
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