Stephanie H. Cook

Principal | Austin | Dallas/Fort Worth


Stephanie Cook has extensive experience with a wide range of business negotiations and disputes, having successfully represented general contractors, banks, insurance companies, owners, developers, and individuals in complex commercial and construction litigation and bankruptcy for over twenty years. She began her career at Winstead P.C. and worked in the Austin and Houston offices handling lender liability and workouts. She actively served in its leadership committee before moving back to Austin to work in a litigation boutique handling civil and appellate litigation in state and federal courts for insurers, national lending institutions, and construction clients.

Stephanie has successfully negotiated contracts and resolved claims in excess of $1 billion in mission critical and emerging technology work, including for national and regional Top 20 ENR contractors and leading industry practitioners. She has experience in mission critical contracting, various project delivery methods, nuclear energy project delivery, project delays and claim resolution.

Stephanie has settled, tried or appealed a broad range of commercial and construction cases in state and federal courts in Texas, from delay claims, fraud, construction defects, commercial leases, subcontractor and general contractor disputes, director and officer liability, to lender liability and partnership disputes. She continues to represent international and national lending institutions relating to workout, debt restructuring, asset protection, and defaults. Her knowledge of lending practices translates into her ability to assess and protect clients in projects that are financially distressed.

Her devotion to the construction industry includes representing the industry before the Texas Legislature on matters important to continued construction success in Texas. She is a member of the Associated General Contractors-Texas Building Branch, Legal Affairs Committee which monitors developing law affecting the construction industry, and partners with experts in engineering and architecture to understand all aspects of construction, engineering, and design. Frequently, she speaks with professional associations on best practices and developing law to understand business risks within the construction industry. Her experience also earned her acceptance into the American Arbitration Association roster for complex commercial and construction litigation.

Stephanie also gives back to the community through leadership. She is working with TEXO (AGC/ABC in North Texas) to chair a new Risk Management Committee.  She is the past-Chair of AGC-Austin’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and past Chair of TEXO Foundation’s DEI Committee.  She was the past District Chair for Scouts, USA and continues to participate at the local level in community outreach with her children.


  • St. Mary’s School of Law – J.D., magna cum laude, 1999
    – Order of Barristers
    – John Harlan Society
    – Phi Delta Phi Honor Society
    St. Mary’s Law Journal, Associate Editor
  • Texas Tech University – B.A., 1994

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers in America 2021 – 2024: Construction Law & Litigation – Construction
  • America’s Top 100 Bet-the-Company Litigators (2019-2022)
  • “Texas Rising Star,” Texas Monthly (2004)

Speaking Engagements & Presentations

  • Adjunct Professor, University of Texas at Austin School of Law, Arbitration – Spring 2024; Fall 2022; Fall 2021
  • “The Power and Persuasion of a Lien” — AGC-TBB, June 2023
  • “DEI Impact Initiatives: Sexual Harassment” — TEXO Association, May 2023
  • “Contract Drafting and Administration After James v. Westlake” —DBIA Southwest, April 2023
  • “James v. Westlake”— AGC-TBB, July 2022
  • OSHA: AGC-Austin June 2022
  • SB 45 and Anti-Discrimination- Client Presentation, August 2021
  • “Modernizing Commercial Liens – Is HB 2237 Better?” AGC TBB Legislative Update, July 2021
  • “Risks and Rewards of Contracting in Texas” – Chambers Events Webinar, June 2021
  • “Pointers for General Contractors and Design-Builders” – Client Presentation, March 2021
  • “An Antidote for Construction Defects? The Right to Cure in Public Works and Buildings” – 34th Annual Construction Law Conference, March 2021
  • The Impacts of COVID-19 and the November Election on the Construction Industry – AGC Central Texas, November 2020
  • “COVID–Where Are We Today?” –  TEXO Association, October 2020
  • “Key Provisions in Construction Contracts” – Client Presentation, February 2020
  • “Texas Legislative Update,” TCEL / Geoprofessionals Serving Texas, February 2020
  • Guest Lecturer, Texas State University, Construction Science and Management 2020- present
  • “COVID–Where Are We Today?” – TEXO Association, October 2020
  • “Managing Engineering Liability and Risk,” HalfMoon Seminar, January 2019
  • Guest Lecturer, Texas A&M University, Graduate Program in Engineering 2019- present
  • “The Successful Use and Presentation of Experts,” The Basics in Construction Law Annual Seminar, December 2018 & December 2019
  • “Concrete and Contracting Issues,” American Concrete Institute, July 2018
  • “Meeting the A/E’s Standard of Care,” Houston Engineering Society, February 2018
  • “Navigating Risks for Geoprofessionals,” TCEL / Geoprofessionals Serving Texas, January 2018
  • “The Toll of Litigation,” Moderator, Geoprofessional Business Association, October 2017
  • “Contract Clauses,” National Association of Women in Construction, April 2017
  • “The Toll of Litigation,” TCEL/Geoprofessionals Serving Texas, Geoprofessionals Case Histories Seminar, February 2017
  • “You Won! Ten things you did not know when collecting a judgment,” NACM Southwest Credit Exchange, August 2015


  • “An Antidote for Construction Defects? The Right to Cure in Public Works and Buildings” – 34th Annual Construction Law Conference, March 2021
  • “Negotiating a Contract, Clauses, Changes, and Delays,” Construction Executive, July 2017
  • “Case History Reviews,” Editorial Board, Geoprofessional Business Association, April 2017 – December 2019 (Assist with legal content and editing)
  • “Texas Groundwater: Reconciling the Rule of Capture with Environmental and Community Demands,” 30 St. Mary’s L.J. 305 (1998)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Associated General Contractors (“AGC”)
    – AGC-TBB Legal Affairs Committee
    – AGC Austin Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair (2019-2022)
  • TEXO Foundation DE&I Committee Chair (2022-2023)
  • DBIA Southwest Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee
  • American Arbitration Association – Roster
  • Construction and Civil Law Sections, State Bar of Texas
  • Past ACE Mentor (Austin) Legal Chair
  • American Bar Association
  • Austin Bar Association
  • Travis County Women Lawyers Association
  • CREW Austin Chapter, Past –Committee Member
  • National Association of Women in Construction, Austin Chapter, Board of Director 2017-2018, Past –Committee Member


  • State Bar of Texas (1999)
  • United States District Court: Northern, Eastern, Southern & Western Districts of Texas
  • United States Bankruptcy Court: Northern, Eastern, Southern & Western Districts of Texas

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