Chris is committed to helping his clients tackle tough challenges and develop proactive strategies that generate results.
His practice focuses on economic development, government affairs, and land use law. As counsel to clients with economic development projects, Chris is experienced in incentive negotiations and advises domestic and international companies in public and private financing, and state and local economic incentive packages that bring significant economic benefit for his clients. He also helps clients navigate regulatory and permitting requirements, select optimal sites, and acquire real estate. Client projects have ranged from corporate office and headquarter development to manufacturing, distribution and back-office facilities.
Chris regularly works with state and local officials in collaborative ways on behalf of his clients. This, in turn, helps his clients deliver the added value of their goods and services to the broader economy. Through these collaborations, Chris advises companies in their various government affairs needs, which has resulted in clients winning significant public contracts, managing and resolving state and local tax issues, and structuring partnerships for improvements in public infrastructure. He helps clients with land use needs, including rezoning and annexation. Chris started his legal career as a corporate counsel, assisting clients on a wide range of general corporate matters – from mergers and acquisitions and complex contract agreements to venture capital, private equity, corporate governance and entity formation.
His economic development, land use, and government affairs work is open-ended as to the industries he serves. Chris' clients operate a wide range of businesses, including, Fintech and financial services, manufacturing and distribution, wholesale produce, child safety, real estate and development, and motorsports, among others. He spent six years focusing in the motorsports industry in North Carolina, serving as General Counsel and Head of Government Affairs of Charlotte Motor Speedway, experience that expanded his statewide network among officials in economic development, law enforcement, travel and tourism, politics, and state government. In his corporate-focused legal practice, Chris has clients in manufacturing, construction, food sourcing, food service, industrial cleaning and maintenance, advertising, travel and tourism, telecommunications, web-based start- ups, retail grocery, education, law enforcement, and nonprofit industries.
Throughout his legal practice, Chris has focused on numerous areas, including but not limited to manufacturing, construction, food-sourcing, food service, advertising, travel and tourism, telecommunications, web-based start- ups, grocery store, education, law enforcement, and nonprofit industries. In 2002, Chris ran for the US House of Representatives in the 8th Congressional District of North Carolina. His campaign focused on job creation and strengthening economic opportunity in a part of North Carolina that had lost thousands of manufacturing jobs. He has enjoyed practicing Economic Development law, seizing on the laws and policies put in place to promote job creation.
Outside of his practice at the firm, Chris is a passionate football fan. His appreciation for the game was honed by 16 years on the gridiron. He was lucky to play for some legends: Coach Jim Oddo (Charlotte Catholic High School), Coach Carm Cozza (Yale University, College Football Hall of Fame class of 2002), and Coach Don Shula (in the 1992 Miami Dolphins preseason camps). After the Dolphins released him, Chris eventually found his way to Aix-en-Provence in the south of France, where he played for the undefeated Argonautes and was named MVP of the French Super Bowl.
Community & Professional
- Board Member and Chair of Education Committee, NC Motorsports Association and Foundation 2013-present
- Board Member, North Carolina Economic Development Association, 2019-present
- Board Member Yale Football Association 2014 - present
- General Counsel and Member of Executive Committee, Charlotte Regional Partnership, 2015-2019
- Former Board Member, North Carolina Travel and Tourism Coalition
- Former member, Governor’s Motorsports Advisory Council
- Former member, Governor’s Healthy Schools Cabinet
- Former member, UNC Charlotte Motorsports Program Advisory Council
- Former member, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce
- Former member, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation State Advisory Panel
- Former member, Motorsports Industry Council
- Former Board of Directors, Southern Webbing Mills Inc.
- Former member, Public School Forum of North Carolina
- Former member, Charlotte Organizing Project (CHOP)
- Former member, Charlotte Catholic High School Alumni
Outside Maynard Nexsen
With young children, an old house and a growing practice, my days are full. I love time with my family, and I revel listening to my music (preferably rock n’ roll and the blues), reading (especially about American history and culture), and time in my study with a sip of something good and a game on. And while baseball in summertime and basketball in the winter are both great, I love watching football most of all.
Travel and time with friends has always been a passion, though it’s taken a different character with the kids. My friends and I find more and more interesting excuses/venues for visits, much of it around football…and several of us can’t stop reminiscing about the casinos.
When disaster strikes, I feel a strong pull to go and help. Immediately after Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti struck, I was able to go within days and pitch in at both places. It was with a heavy heart, but I loved that work.
I am struck by the growth of my hometown. Charlotte continues to become a city with great character. I am delighted to be here, to be home, serving my clients and community and growing my practice.
- Best Lawyers in America for Corporate Law, Since 2014
- Recognized in Business North Carolina's Legal Elite of 2021
Chris moderated an NCEDA-hosted webinar with Governor Roy Cooper and his chief policy adviser Ken Eudy on April 29, 2020. The Governor covered the intertwined issues of public health and the impaired economy the COVID-19 crisis presents and laid out his vision and thoughts for a way forward in the crucial months ahead. Listen and view here: NCEDA Webinar with Governor Roy Cooper.
Presenter, Maynard Nexsen Economic Development Seminar: NC vs. SC, NC Property Tax Incentives; Port Cargo Credits/Data Centers, November 6, 2015
- 01.03.2023 | News from Maynard Nexsen
- 02.05.2021 | Video
- 07.16.2019 | News from Maynard Nexsen
Attorneys Chris Kouri and Yolanda Davis discuss strategic opportunities for growth, expansion and relocation.
- State Bar: North Carolina