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Representing individuals, corporate entities, and governmental entities in commercial law, real property law, corporate law, along with other practice areas and related litigation.


From our inception in the summer of 1983, Barry Barnes & Associates, then Barnes Morse & Turner, has been guided by one simple tenant - to practice law at the highest level of integrity, professionalism and accomplishment. Whether the matter is complex or simple, large or small, members of the firm are steadfast in their commitment to this principle. This philosophy remains the foundation of our practice and serves as our guiding light with regard to client service.



Our firm was established on July 7, 1983 after much contemplation and discussion among a group of young Texas attorneys seeking to provide comprehensive civil legal services in the Houston area to individuals and businesses, alike. Two individuals within that group would emerge as the firm's leaders and carry the firm into its future. Partners Barry M. Barnes and Sylvester Turner grew the firm into the pillar of exemplary legal service for the community in which it stands. Turner has since withdrawn as partner and has surrendered all interest in the firm so that he may best serve the city of Houston as its current mayor. Barnes and his team continue to uphold the values and standards on which the firm was founded over thirty-five years ago.

While our team is diverse in background and experience, Barry Barnes & Associates PLLC is generally noted for its work in the broad substantive areas of real estate law, corporate and commercial law as well as related litigation. Most recently the firm has added to its experience base work involving Section 108 HUD Guaranty Loan financing.

We eagerly serve our community beyond providing legal expertise to our clients. We volunteer our efforts and resources to various organizations and causes such as  Big Brother Big Sisters of Great Houston, The Community Artist's Collective, Mana House Third Ward Food Pantry, Urban Enrichment Institute (formerly known as Fifth Ward Enrichment Program), and others.

Central to our professional and personal commitment to the greater Houston region, we will continue rendering exemplary services to our valued clients and volunteering our efforts and resources for the good of the community.

About Us



Commercial Law


Commercial transactions; contracts for purchase and sale of goods and services; contracts for professional services; security agreements; financing statements; contracts with private and governmental entities; and related litigation and arbitration.

Corporate Law

Entity formation for both for-profit and non-profit entities; choice of entity; start-ups; ownership interests acquisition and disposition; mergers and acquisitions; dissolution and wind-up; and related litigation.

Personal Injury & Other Torts

Settlement negotiations; mediation; arbitration; trials and appeals including those dealing with accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries and death.

Art & Entertainment Law

Agreements pertinent to the rights and work of musicians, models, and visual artists such as recording contracts, production agreements, service agreements, licensing agreements, purchase agreements and consignment agreements.

Real Estate

Transactions for both residential & commercial real estate; acquisitions & dispositions; residential & commercial leases; multi & single-family housing; landlord & tenants; affordable housing; market rate housing; project financing including performance based loans; residential & commercial real estate debt restructuring; foreclosures; joint development agreements; land use restriction agreements; security agreements; financing statements; lien removal;  title curative matters; and related litigation.

Education Law

General counsel responsibilities; charter applications, adversarial matters; administrative hearings; corrective action plans and revocation proceedings.

Disaster Recovery


Evaluation of and curing property titles for disaster recovery eligibility for single, multi-family and commercial properties; drafting funding agreements and ancillary documents for acquisition, renovation and construction of affordable housing funded by CDBG disaster recovery funds.

Wills and Trust


Probate and estate planning; wills; trust; small estates.

Practice Areas


Barry M. Barnes

Founding Member

A Virginia native, Barry Barnes relocated to Houston to take a position with Exxon after graduating from Northwestern University School of Law in the class of 1975. After nearly a decade at Exxon, Barnes transitioned into private legal practice along with other Texas attorneys including Sylvester Turner. Barnes has led the firm in developing an expansive array of legal services offered to the greater Houston community.

Jermaine S. Thomas, Sr.

Jermaine Thomas, Sr. began his legal career with the firm in 2001 after graduating from South Texas College of Law. Thomas lends his vast knowledge of the law acquired over his years of practice and reliable judgment to all of the firm's practice areas especially civil litigation and educational law. Thomas is an enthusiastic problem-solver and strategist for the firm's clients and the issues presented by them.

Catherine L. York

Senior Commercial Escrow Officer

Catherine York has been apart of the Texas real estate industry for almost forty years. York's experience along with that of her team affords the firms clients, through its relationship with American Title Company of Houston, a smooth and efficient real estate closing process for a timely and satisfying completion. York's history of professional and civic involvement in her field and beyond has made her a leader among her colleagues. The firm's relationship  with American Title Company of Houston is managed by York in her capacity as the firm's lead escrow officer.

Matthew A. P. Barnes

Matthew Barnes was sworn in as a Texas attoreny in 2017 upon his return home from Wake Forest University School of Law. Barnes has served the arts community and entertainment industries, as well as the business community, locally and nationally. He has proven to be a valued team member, serving our clients across all of the firm's practice areas. Under the leadership of the firm's senior members, Barnes strives to nurture client relationships and advocate for their interests.




440 Louisiana Street 

Lyric Tower, Suite 1880

Houston, TX 77002

Tel:  (713) 650-3688

Fax:  (713) 650-0308


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Home Page artwork by: Rose Sprott Swain

Contact Us Page artwork by: Floyd Newsome

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