Debbie L. Blackwell has more than 30 years of experience in the employee benefits and insurance industries.  She advises clients on the full range of employee benefits issues and plans, including fiduciary counseling, plan design and plan compliance correction.  Much of her practice is focused on health plan matters, such as the integration of wellness and on-site healthcare initiatives into group health plans, COBRA compliance and cafeteria plan issues.  She regularly advises on options for nondiscrimination rule compliance for retirement, cafeteria and welfare plans for employers trying to manage workforces with varied types of employees and business lines.  Her background as a group insurance broker and underwriter enables her to assist with practical as well as legal issues that arise with group insurance policies and third party administration agreements.

Previously, Debbie was a founder and shareholder of Blackwell Smith, P.C.  She also served  MAPCO Inc. as Assistant General Counsel for Human Resources and worked as an employee benefits consultant with a national consulting firm.  Debbie was also with Conner & Winters from 1994 to 2000.  She has served as president of the Southwest Benefits Association and is a frequent speaker at employee benefits conferences.

A graduate of Leadership Tulsa, Class XIX, Debbie has previously served as president of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma Council and on numerous other nonprofit boards.  She has recently served on the Board of Directors of the Tulsa Employee Benefits Group.

Honors & Leadership

Honors & Recognitions

Listed in Best Lawyers in America among employee benefits practitioners, 1994 to present

Listed in Super Lawyers in Oklahoma among employee benefits practitioners, 2006 inception to present

Co-author, "New Flex Plan Rules Require Changes in Design For 1990," J. of Compensation and Benefits 69 (Sept./Oct., 1989)

Co-author, "Welfare Benefit Plans after the Tax Reform Act of 1986," 45 NYU Inst. of Fed. Taxation (1987)

Author, "Cafeteria Plans and Health Care Benefits," 20 Tulsa L.J. 631 (1985)

Community & Professional

American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, Employee Benefits Committee, 1984 to present

Texas Bar Association

Oklahoma Bar Association

Tulsa County Bar Association

Southwest Benefits Association, President 1994-1995

Tulsa Employee Benefits Group, Board Member 2007 to present

Tulsa Pension Attorneys



University of Tulsa, J.D., 1986

University of Tulsa, B.S., with honors, 1979

Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation (1982) from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans/Wharton School of Business


  • Texas - 1986
  • Oklahoma - 1988
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