M. Steve SmithOf Counsel

M. Steve Smith


Mr. Smith graduated summa cum laude from The University of Texas in 1975 and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from The University of Texas School of Law in 1980. He worked briefly in the pipeline industry before beginning the practice of law in 1982. He is licensed to practice in Texas and Louisiana, as well as various United States District Courts. Mr. Smith has been honored with an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell and has been published, most recently in the January/February 2013 issue of Landman, the signature publication of the American Association of Petroleum Landmen.

Mr. Smith started his firm in 1991, focused predominately on oil and gas law. The practice has grown to provide comparable legal services to other industries as well.

Practice Description:

Mr. Smith provides title, transactional, and litigation services to the oil & gas industry and other industries, including:

  • Oil and gas title examination for properties in Texas and Louisiana, including drilling, division order, acquisition, leasing and financing opinions and “stand-up” examination
  • Preparation of title curative documents
  • Negotiation and preparation of oil and gas leases, farmouts, participation agreements, operating agreements, drilling contracts, seismic permits and options, production sharing agreements, underground storage agreements, and unit designations
  • Negotiation and preparation of asset purchase and sale agreements, stock purchase agreements and other documents related to mergers and acquisitions; shareholder agreements, buy-sell agreements, limited partnership agreements, joint venture agreements and other documents related to the formation and maintenance of various business entities; employment, noncompete, consulting, and confidentiality agreements; and all other commercial transaction documents
  • Assistance with acquisitions and divestitures through due diligence and the negotiation and preparation of agreements
  • Assistance with financing transactions, including loan document negotiation, preparation and review
  • Resolution of disputes, through negotiation, mediation, and litigation, arising from oil and gas and other commercial operations and transactions.

Areas of Practice

  • Oil & Gas
  • Business

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 1982
  • Louisiana, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Texas


  • The University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas
    • J.D. – 1980
  • The University of Texas at Austin, Texas
    • B.A. summa cum laude – 1975

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell
  • American Association of Petroleum Landmen
  • Houston, North Houston and West Houston Associations of Petroleum Landmen

Pro Bono Activities

  • Director, Royal Oaks Country Club, 2012 – 2015
  • President, Royal Oaks Country Club, 2015 – 2016


  • Phi Beta Kappa