joann matthiesen

JoAnn Matthiesen, Managing Partner

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JoAnn Matthiesen, Managing Partner, was born in Englewood, New Jersey, graduated from Rice University in 1980 and from the University of Texas School of Law in 1983.  In 1998 she obtained an LL.M in Environmental Law from the University of Houston.  After a quarter of a century practicing at large Houston law firms, JoAnn joined several of her former partners to form Baker Williams Matthiesen LLP.

JoAnn’s practice is concentrated in the areas of public and corporate finance. She has handled over $100 billion of public and private financing transactions. She serves as general counsel, bond counsel, and disclosure counsel to governmental entities, utility districts, and special districts. She is listed as a recognized public finance lawyer in the Municipal Bond Attorneys Section of The Bond Buyer’s Municipal Marketplace (the “Red Book”), has consistently been named a Top Rated Transactional Lawyer by American Lawyer/Martindale-Hubbell, and holds an "AV Preeminent" rating from Martindale. She has also been repeatedly selected to Texas Best Lawyers (Best Lawyers in America) and Woman Leader in The Law.

JoAnn’s clients include financial institutions, governmental entities, municipal utility districts and special districts, as well as state and national underwriters and underwriting syndicates. She represents financial institutions (acting as trustee, custodian and collateral administrator), servicers and issuers in connection with public and private domestic and international asset-backed offerings. 

Representative transactions include tax exempt public improvement bonds, taxable pension bonds, collateralized debt obligations, foreign debt securitizations and receivables financings.  She regularly represents governmental clients before the Texas Water Development Board, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Attorney General’s Office. Additionally, she has advised governmental clients regarding the Tax Reform Act of 1986, arbitrage rebate requirements, the Securities and Exchange Commissions Exchange Act and continuing disclosure requirements. She has experience with public works construction contracts, land use development and regulation, voting rights and election matters, ad valorem taxation, and Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy debt restructuring.

JoAnn is married to John Rawls and together they have three children.


  • LL.M. University of Houston Law Center (1998)
  • J.D., The University of Texas School of Law (1983)
  • B.A., Rice University (1980)

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 1983
  • Washington, 2011


  • State Bar of Texas
  • Washington State Bar
  • Houston Bar Association
  • National Association of Bond Lawyers
  • Association of Water Board Directors
  • Texas Association of Bank Counsel