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Gary is known for using his depth of experience to bring practical solutions to the table. 

Early in his career, Gary was drawn to the complexity of the Bankruptcy Code. He clerked for The Hon. Dennis J. Stewart, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Missouri, at a time when bankruptcy laws had just undergone dramatic change. Today, Gary draws on his decades of experience in bankruptcy, insolvency, finance and business litigation to ensure the best possible outcomes for clients.

As national and regional insolvency counsel, Gary represents secured lenders, landlords, lessors, preference defendants, buyers in 363 sales and creditors committees in commercial financial restructurings and bankruptcies. He serves as special insolvency counsel for a number of bank clients. In addition, he has served as a court-appointed bankruptcy examiner and a Chapter 11 responsible person of a large restaurant group.

Known for his transparency and good communication, Gary coordinated development of the firm’s ExtraAdvantage case management system. This tool allows clients to more cost-effectively manage their legal cases through extranet access to shared private files and reports.




  • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star, 2015-2022
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Litigation-Bankruptcy, 1995-2024
  • Best of the U.S., Best Attorneys, 2007-2009
  • Kansas City Business Journal, Best of the Bar, 2015
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • Missouri Bar Commercial Law Committee, Michael R. Roser Excellence in Bankruptcy Award, 2019
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights, 2005-2019, 2022-2023; Top 100, 2005, 2008-2009; Top 50 Kansas City, 2005


  • J.D., University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
  • B.A., William Jewell College
    • Political Science
    • summa cum laude


  • Missouri
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • American College of Bankruptcy, Fellow, 2008-present; Eighth Circuit Admissions Council
  • American College of Bankruptcy Foundation, Pro Bono Committee
  • Missouri Bankers Association, Bank Counsel Section, Chair, 2006-2007
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • American Bar Association, Business Bankruptcy Subcommittee
  • American Bar Foundation, Lifetime Fellow, 2002-present
  • The Missouri Bar, Commercial and Bankruptcy Committee
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, Commercial and Bankruptcy Committee, Former Chair
Featured Experience

Unsecured Creditors Receive Exceptional Payment in Chapter 11 Case

Gary successfully represented the unsecured creditors committee in the Farmland Industries Inc. Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, one of the 20 largest bankruptcy cases in the world at the time. Scheduled debt in the case was $1.9 billion, and the ultimate payment to the unsecured creditors was more than 100 percent of the allowed unsecured claims. This result is exceptional in a case of this size.

Additional Experience
  • Served as national insolvency counsel for floor-plan financing division of Fortune 100 company.
  • Represented national banking company in insolvency matters, including bankruptcy of cattle-feeder operation with more than $150 million in total claims.
  • Served as counsel for chair of creditors committee in bankruptcy of large U.S. ham supplier, with total claims of more than $1.8 billion.
  • Represented bondholders committee in Chapter 11 proceedings involving 22 nursing home facilities throughout the United States.
  • Represented creditors committee in successful Chapter 9 proceeding of rural Missouri hospital district, with favorable results.
  • Served as creditors committee counsel in Chapter 9 proceeding of rural Missouri school district.
Legal Updates | August 30, 2019
New Legislation Likely to Spur Increase in Bankruptcy Filings

Lenders and trade creditors alike need to assess their exposures and risk in light of these changes.

News Releases | October 01, 2019
Benchmark Litigation's 2020 Edition Recognizes 33 Husch Blackwell Attorneys

The firm also received Benchmark’s “Highly Recommended” ranking in Missouri and Wisconsin and its “Recommended” ranking in Nebraska.

News Releases | August 22, 2019
Gary Barnes to Receive Roser Award

Recipients are selected by a special selection subcommittee consisting of past recipients and attorneys representing different geographical areas throughout the state in a variety of practice sizes.

News Releases | August 15, 2019
Husch Blackwell Places 143 Lawyers in 2020 BL Rankings' Best Lawyers in America®

The firm has eight "Lawyers of the Year" and 11 attorneys appearing on the list for the first time.

Outside the Office

When Gary is not serving clients, he dedicates time to serving his community.

He likes to make community service a family affair and regularly volunteers alongside his wife. One of their favorite charities is the Assistance League of Greater Kansas City, an organization that annually clothes more than 2,500 children in Kansas City. Gary has served on the organization’s Advisory Board since 2007.

In his rare free time, Gary enjoys spending time with his family and attending sporting events.

Community Leadership

Gary is passionate about education and uses that enthusiasm to support programs for children and young adults.

  • William Jewell College, Vice Chair, 2017-present; Board of Trustees, 2004-2016 and 2017-present; Executive Committee Member, 2006-2016 and 2017-present
  • University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law, adjunct professor, 2019-present
  • William Jewell College National Alumni Association, President, 1991-1993
  • Assistance League of Greater Kansas City, Advisory Board, 2007-present
  • Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s Botanical Garden, Board of Directors
  • Liberty, Missouri, School Board, 1999-2005
  • Missouri Boys State, former member, Board of Directors
  • “Kick With Nick” Lowery Fundraiser for Cerebral Palsy
  • Liberty Hospital Foundation, former member, Board of Directors