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Houston Barnes

J. Houston Barnes, J.D.

Houston Barnes is an Entrepreneur, business attorney and is the founding member of The Barnes Law Firm serving North Carolina. Houston is experienced and  seasoned with a background in both business and law.

He has worked in a number of areas as varied as consulting for a Fortune 500 company, to serving as counsel for a number of start-up entrepreneurial and emerging growth businesses. He enjoys counseling clients, both from the legal aspects, but also on business issues involved in starting and growing companies. Learn more about Houston’s Practice Areas. In his spare time, Houston serves as a mentor in the entrepreneurial programs with CED and in the business schools of both the University of North Carolina, and formerly at North Carolina State University.

During his almost 5 year tenure, as an executive, entrepreneur, as well as the in-house corporate lawyer with a life science, medical device, and pharmaceutical start-up in the RTP, Houston was part of the team which raised over $4.5 million in equity financing; he was part of the team that sought and received multiple regulatory clearances by the FDA for healthcare
related technologies; and was integral in the commercialization & out-licensing of the technologies throughout the world. His former company is currently operating independently as a successful international healthcare company.

Houston has an established, strong, sophisticated network of relationships with elected and appointed officials within multiple levels of the North Carolina and Federal Governments. Houston explored a run for U.S Congress with a 2013 Exploratory Committee spanning 9 North Carolina counties, overseeing campaign staff and top-tier national consulting team. Raised an historic amount of money for the seat and was considered the party frontrunner and favorite to win nomination. Houston did not file for the seat after careful and thoughtful examination of longterm dynamics in the congressional district.

Houston has served, and is currently serving on many corporate as well as local non-profit boards, and he is very involved with entrepreneurial efforts with the local universities including UNC and NC State. Houston is admitted to practice law in North Carolina. He is married with two young sons. You can keep up with Houston’s accomplishments and newest developments on our News page.


  • Member, Board of Directors, 14th Judicial District Bar; Durham Bar Association
  • Member, Board of Directors, Durham SciNergy
  • Member, Board of Directors, Pay It Forward Fertility Foundation
  • Member, Board of Advisors, Cherokee Challenge
  • Mentor, Venture Mentoring Service, Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED)
  • Advisor / Coach – UNC Kenan-Flagler School of Business (Launch the Venture)
  • Member, Board of Advisors, Morrisville Innovation Foundation
  • Former Executive In-Residence – NCSU College of Management, HiTEC program
  • Former Vice Chairman, Durham Capital Programs Advisory Committee
  • Former Member North Carolina Banking Journal


  • J.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Law
  • B.B.A., cum laude, honors in business, Southern Methodist University


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