Stephanie Hayes Cook

Stephanie Hayes Cook

Senior Counsel

Construction Lawyer in Austin, TX, Litigation & ADR, Stephanie Hayes Cook

Stephanie Hayes Cook has extensive experience with a wide range of business disputes, having successfully  represented contractors, subcontractors, banks, insurance companies, developers, owners and individuals in complex commercial and construction litigation and bankruptcy. She began her career at Winstead, Sechrest & Minick, PC, in 1999.  Stephanie has handled, tried and/or appealed a wide variety of commercial and construction cases in state and federal courts in Texas, including matters related to construction defects, delay and acceleration claims, breach of contract, mechanic’s liens, performance and payment bonds, termination, commercial leases, subcontractor and general contractor disputes, director and officer liability, fraud, lender liability, transportation claims and professional liability.  Her experience includes creditor rights in bankruptcy. She represents general contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers on substantial construction projects, including schools, public universities, highway projects, multi-family projects, mixed-use developments, retail centers, hotels, and office buildings.

Stephanie has counseled owners, contractors, subcontractors, insurance companies, banks, officers/directors in workouts of debt, collection of assets, and recovery of administrative claims.  Her representative industries are broad providing her with the knowledge, experience and versatility to handle the most complex matters.  She has successfully represented and assisted clients in acquiring assets from financially distressed individuals and companies in and out of bankruptcy, recovering assets, workouts, and foreclosures, and in drafting and reviewing construction contract documents. Stephanie’s legal acumen is complimented by experience with all aspects of banking litigation from loan origination to foreclosure, and workouts in debt restructuring, bankruptcy or collections.

Areas of Practice

  • Construction law
  • Litigation
  • Creditors Rights

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas
  • U. S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas

Representative Experience

  • Represented public university in breach of contract dispute related to contract interpretation.
  • Represented subcontractor in negotiation of additional work for safety delays and differing site conditions related to multi-million dollar highway project.
  • Represented landlord in successful termination of multi-year lease agreement.
  • Represented general contractor in multiple lien filings related to hotel development.
  • Represented general contractor in negotiation of performance bond claims related to multi-million dollar mixed-use development.
  • Represented general contractors in construction defect claims, schedule delays with owners, and disputes with subcontractor claims.
  • Represented landlord in termination of lease agreement through litigation.
  • Represented various subcontractors in lien disputes and collections of unpaid work.
  • Represented national banking institution in recovery of large workout of multiple debts against insurance company in state court and bankruptcy.
  • Represented homeowners in breach of contract and fraud action, and construction trust fund recovery in bankruptcy related to construction of home.
  • Represented banking institution in fraud and liability related to banking agreements, and collection of assets.
  • Represented national insurance company in preference action related to post-petition insurance contract.
  • Represented national insurance company in recovery of administrative expenses related to insurance contract.
  • Counseled lending institution on matters related to workouts and restructuring of debts in civil and criminal actions.
  • Counseled and assisted architectural firm with general corporate governance and stock distribution.
  • Counseled national insurance company on rights and duties to insured and additional insured related to liability for construction defect and design.
  • Represented national home care provider in connection with insurance coverage for liability in multi-million dollar settlement allocation dispute.
  • Counseled national insurance companies on bad faith liability related to insurance claims of policyholders.


  • St. Mary’s School of Law, San Antonio, Texas
    • J.D. (magna cum laude) – 1999
    • Honors: Harlan Society
    • Honors: Order of the Barristers
  • Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
    • B.A. – 1994

Professional Recognition

  • “Texas Rising Star,” Texas Monthly, 2004

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section and Civil Litigation Section
  • Austin Bar Association
  • Travis County Women Lawyers Association
  • National Association of Women in Construction, Austin Chapter
  • Community Involvement with Mobile Loaves and Fishes and Boy Scouts of America

Speeches and Publications

  • Negotiating a Construction Contract: Clauses, Changes and Delays,” Construction Executive’s Risk Management E-Newsletter, June 2017
  • “The Toll of Litigation,” presented at the TCEL/Geoprofessionals Serving Texas, Geoprofessional Case Histories Seminar, February 2017
  • “You Won! Ten Things you did not Know about Collecting a Judgment,” NACM Southwest Credit Exchange, August 2015
  • Texas Groundwater: Reconciling the Rule of Capture with Environmental and Community Demands, 30 St. Mary’s L.J. 305 (1998)