Naomi Julia Barnes

(480) 429-4842
(480) 429-5001 Fax

Ms. Barnes is a partner with Kutak Rock. She is affiliated with the Scottsdale office but is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She practices in the area of Public Finance with an emphasis on transactions involving Indian tribes. Ms. Barnes advises on transactions involving tribal governmental and commercial projects. She has served as general counsel to governmental entities, including Native American tribal governments and public schools. As general counsel to tribal governments, Ms. Barnes practiced in a wide variety of areas including oil and gas, natural resources, construction and litigation. Ms. Barnes also has worked closely with tribal governments and the United States in managing tribal resources and promoting their government-to-government relationships. In the public school context, Ms. Barnes has advised schools regarding government procurement, public records, student discipline, special education and other matters. She also has defended tribal governments and public schools in federal and state court and before federal and state administrative agencies.

Ms. Barnes earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1990 and a juris doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1999. In June 2006 she earned an LL.M., with distinction, in Natural Resources Law and Policy from the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee in Dundee, Scotland. 

  • Representing various parties in numerous transactions involving the issuance of tax-exempt and taxable debt by tribal and other governmental entities. Such roles have included bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel and special tax counsel.
  • Representing issuers in debt restructuring efforts, including negotiating amendments to existing transaction documents.
  • Representing various parties in transactions to finance tribal health facilities.
  • Representing various parties in tribal casino debt issuances.
  • Serving as general counsel to tribal corporation.
  • Negotiating, structuring and documenting complex oil and gas transactions for tribal entities.
  • Working with tribal entities on complex state tax issues.

Other Notable Experience:


  • Melaku G. Desta & Naomi J. Barnes, Competition Law in Regional Trade Agreements: an Overview, in Regional Trade Agreements and the WTO Legal System (Lorand Bartels and Dr. Federico Ortino, eds., Oxford University Press, 2006).

Advisor to Anglo-American Contract Models, Department of Law/Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law, University of Oslo: Advisor on contract law of the United States of America to Contract Models Project at the University of Oslo aimed at analyzing the purpose and function of standard common law contract clauses and to determining how those clauses apply when a contract is governed by another legal system.

Contributor to Host Government Contract Analysis Project, Kazakhstan: Assisted in conducting research and drafting report regarding host government petroleum contracts with emphasis on risk-service contracts.

Research and Editorial Assistant to Dr. Melaku Geboye Desta at University of Dundee, Scotland. Ms. Barnes served as a research and writing assistant to Dr. Desta in 2005. Duties included conducting research and editing scholarly articles on the rules governing international trade in the areas of agriculture, energy and competition law. Specific projects included articles on regional trade agreements, agricultural subsidies and the relationship between competition law and regional trade agreements. Co-authored chapter in trade publication; see Melaku Geboye Desta and Naomi Julia Barnes, Competition Law in Regional Trade Agreements: An Overview, in Regional Trade Agreements and the WTO System 239 (Lorand Bartels & Federico Ortino, eds., Oxford University Press, 2006).