Stephen A. Cooney

Getting to know my clients, their business and their goals puts me in a better position to get their deal done in the most efficient way.  I always try to avoid needless back and forth between the lawyers and work closely with my clients to make sure my focus in negotiations is what is truly important to them.  

Stephen Cooney focuses on representing buyers and sellers in negotiating and documenting the sale, purchase, lease, development, finance and operation of commercial properties. He also advises clients and negotiates deals concerning a wide range of other commercial real estate matters, including land use issues, deed restrictions, access to water resources and the formation and operation of property owners associations. Stephen is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Stephen also serves as outside general counsel for clients across many industries, including real estate, manufacturing, distribution, and service providers. He personally handles nearly every issue his clients may encounter, including day-to-day operational issues, negotiating and drafting business contracts, asset and stock sales, business governance issues, the formation and operation of entities and strategic planning. Stephen also advises clients on matters in the areas of public law and government relations.

Before joining Gray Reed, Stephen served as communications director and a senior policy advisor to former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels. While working in county government for 10 years, he gained extensive knowledge on local governmental issues including permitting, land use development and open records/meetings laws.

Representative Experience

Business Transactions

  • Represented buyer in $3.5 million acquisition of three Dollar General stores in Texas and Ohio.
  • Represented seller in the $17.3 million sale of the operating assets of five franchised restaurants. 
  • Represented seller in negotiating $13 million sale of six franchised restaurants.
  • Represented oil field services company in $47 million stock acquisition of company that supplies syntactic foam products for use in offshore exploration and production; $20 million stock acquisition of manufacturer of deep water buoyancy systems.
  • Represented seller in $23 million sale of radiation therapy services business.
  • Represent clients in the oil and gas industry in negotiating master service agreements.
  • Serve as outside general counsel to company that sells and distributes frac flowback water treatment systems.
  • Serve as outside general counsel to rice milling company.
  • Advise clients in forming and operating Texas entities - corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies, including the preparation and negotiation of partnership agreements and LLC agreements.

Real Estate

  • Represented seller in the $54M sale of mobile home park in Dickinson, Texas.
  • Represented developer in negotiation of PSA to sell 168 lots in a Rockport, Texas development to a national homebuilder.
  • Represented buyer in the $37M acquisition of office building in Houston, including negotiation of financing documents.
  • Represented seller from negotiation of PSA to closing in the $34M sale of real estate portfolio of thirteen buildings at seven industrial sites throughout the Houston region. 
  • Represented seller in $24 million sale of five apartment complexes in Houston area.
  • Represented client in a fast track $15.4 million sale of industrial site.
  • Represented seller in $3.8 million sale of site occupied by a restaurant.
  • Represented seller in the $2 million sale of its office building and warehouse, as well as acquisition and development of new site. 
  • Represented pest control company in acquisition of commercial property in Houston to expand business.
  • Represented seller in sale of pads in Bastrop, Texas for development of fast food restaurants.
  • Represented buyer in acquisition of multi-unit complex in College Station, Texas.
  • Represented oil field services company in lease negotiation of 215,000 square foot industrial facility.
  • Negotiation of numerous commercial leasing transactions, including office leases, and retail leases throughout Houston.
  • Advise clients regarding the formation and operation of property owners associations.

  Public Law

  • Serve as General Counsel to the Airline Improvement District, a municipal management district created by the 79th Texas Legislature (HB 1458); advises the Board on all legal issues, including grants, contracts, real estate matters and open meetings/records laws, and advises on legislative matters.
  • Represent investor owned water utilities; represents clients before the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District; advises on Groundwater Reduction Plan issues, and related water issues.
  • Represented a company regarding wage-scale issues while doing business with the City of Houston, resulting in the waiver of all penalties totaling $42,000.
  • Successfully appealed a client's removal from the City of Houston's Minority/Women Business Enterprise Program.
Thought Leadership / News
September 4, 2023 
Energy and the Law
August 24, 2023 
 Thought Leadership

Gray Reed Legal Alert

May 2023 
 Thought Leadership

REPTL Reporter (State Bar of Texas Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section)

  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in Woodward/White, Inc.'s The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Real Estate Law (2021 - 2024)
  • Named a Houstonia Magazine Top Lawyer in Houston (2018 - 2023)
  • Named a Texas Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Edition by Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters company) as published in Texas Monthly and Law & Politics magazine (2010)
Organizational Involvement

Professional Involvement, Memberships & Affiliations

  • Texas Bar College
  • State Bar of Texas
    • Course Director, Changing Face of Water Law Course (2024)
    • Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section
      • Real Estate Forms Committee (2021 - 2024)
      • Water Rights Committee
      • Real Estate Legislative Affairs Committee, Member for 82nd, 83rd, 84th , 85th, 86th, 87th and 88th Texas Legislature
    • Business Law Section
  • Houston Region Business Coalition
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow

Community Involvement, Memberships & Affiliations

  • Governing Board of the Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc.
    • Vice President (2010 - 2011)
    • Chair of Public Policy Committee (2009 - 2010)
    • Chair of Public Policy Committee (2008 - 2009)
  • Rotary Club of Houston
    • Board of Directors (2017 - 2020)
    • Chair, Rotary House Committee
  • Maplewood South/North Civic Improvement Association
    • Past President
    • Former Board of Directors Member
  • J.D., South Texas College of Law Houston (2002)
  • B.A., The University of Texas at Austin (1994)
Bar Admission
  • Texas