Stephen A. Cooney

Stephen Cooney is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He represents buyers and sellers in negotiating and preparing documents for the sale, purchase, lease, development, finance and operation of commercial properties.  He also advises clients and prepares and negotiates documents regarding land use issues, deed restrictions, and property owners association formation and operation.  In addition, Stephen has a general corporate practice where he assists businesses with day-to-day operating needs, negotiating and drafting business contracts, asset and stock sales, business governance issues, and the formation and operation of business entities.  Stephen also handles matters for clients in the areas of public law and government relations. Before joining Gray Reed, he served as Communications Director and as a senior policy advisor to former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels. His ten years of experience in county government has provided him a wide range of knowledge on local governmental issues including permitting, land use development and open records/meetings laws.

Representative Experience

Real Estate

  • 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.

Business Transactions

  • 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.

  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
February 22, 2018 
 Speeches and Presentations
Texas Bar CLE Water Law 101
June 23, 2017 
 Thought Leadership
Legislative Update: Significant Bills of the 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session Affecting Real Estate Lending and Other Commercial Matters
Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section of the State Bar of Texas Section Report
January 12, 2017 
 Press Releases
March 6, 2014 
 Speeches and Presentations
The Intersection Between Family Law and Business Entities and Real Estate Law
28th Annual Family Law Conference, South Texas College of Law.
  • Named a Houstonia Magazine Top Lawyer in Houston (2018)
  • 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
  • Texas Bar College
  • State Bar of Texas
    • Real Estate Section - Real Estate Legislative Affairs Committee, Member for 82nd, 83rd, 84th , and 85th Texas Legislature
    • Real Estate Probate & Trust Law Section
    • Business Law Section
  • 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)
  • 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 (1994)
Bar Admission
  • Texas