Emily H. Cowles

Emily H. Cowles

Lexington, Kentucky
859-231-8780 (ext. 216)

Emily H. Cowles joins McBrayer after practicing for more than a decade for Morgan & Pottinger, P.S.C., where she was a shareholder for the last five years, and served on the firm's executive committee and as managing director of the Lexington office for the last two years. Ms. Cowles is a native of Nashville, and graduated with her B.A. in 2000 from the University of Kentucky and obtained her J.D. from Capital University Law School 2003.

Her law practice primarily focuses in all areas of creditor's rights, the equine business in general, real estate, and, large and community banks and businesses throughout Kentucky. Specifically, Ms. Cowles provides services in real estate and equine transactions and work-outs, collections, Articles 2, 3, 4 and 9 under the Uniform Commercial Code, and lender liability litigation, whiles also servicing lenders with respect to special asset based lending and credit ranging from equine collateral to special inventory, front-end loan documentation and back-end enforcement of same, and repossession of various types of collateral ranging from business equipment, inventory,, and horses, to commercial and consumer foreclosures. . Ms. Cowles also represents several Lexington based businesses in various capacities, including, but not limited to the acquisition and sale of real property, litigation, transactions, leases, collections, and in their day-to-day operations.

Unlike many in her field, Ms. Cowles has hands on experience in the horse business and culture, which stems from the personal involvement and management of her family's thoroughbred breeding operation located in Lexington. Ms. Cowles can certainly speak the language and isn't afraid to wear muck boots when necessary. One could say that she is a steady hand for horsemen, no matter how rocky the ride gets!

Ms. Cowles also uses her leadership skills by donating time to various service projects in Central Kentucky, and particularly with Commerce Lexington. It is because of her passion for the continued growth of Lexington that she partners with Commerce Lexington and works to improve Lexington through economic development in local businesses and surrounding neighborhoods.

She was recognized by The Lane Report as a 2014 Top Women in Business, 2014 "Kentucky Rising Star" by Super Lawyers®, 2015 Kentucky Super Lawyers, and was recently selected to the 2016 Kentucky Super Lawyers list.

Areas of Practice

  • Creditor’s Rights
  • Equine Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Banking Finance

Bar Admissions

  • Kentucky, 2003
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, 2005
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky, 2005


  • Capital University Law School, Columbus, Ohio
    • J.D. - 2003
  • University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
    • B.A. cum laude - 2000


  • Equine Law Annual Seminar: Unique Breeding Practices, 2009
  • Equine Law UCC Update, "Attachment, Perfection and Enforcement of Equine Liens.", 2010
  • National Business Institute, Equine Law: “Drafting, Contracts and Agreements,” “Boarding Issues Generally,” “Special Topics in Equine Law,” “Ethics for the Equine Lawyer,” 2014
  • Fayette County Bar, Uniform Commercial Code Update: “Attachment, Perfection and Enforcement,” 2010
  • University of Kentucky National Equine Law Conference: “Unique Breeding Practices,” 2009

Honors and Awards

  • Super Lawyers®, Kentucky, 2016 and 2015
  • 2014 Top Women in Business, The Lane Report, (Link to award: http://www.lanereport.com/36751/2014/08/top-women-in-business-2/)
  • “Kentucky Rising Star” by Super Lawyers®, 2013-2014

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Fayette County Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Kentucky Equine Law Association
  • Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association
  • American Horse Council
  • Kentucky Equine Education Project
  • Women Leading Kentucky
  • International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC)

Past Employment Positions

  • Fayette Circuit Court, Hon. Lawrence B. VanMeter, Staff Attorney, 2003
  • Kentucky Court of Appeals, Hon. Lawrence B. VanMeter, Staff Attorney, 2003 - 2004
  • Morgan & Pottinger, P.S.C., Attorney (2005-2015); Shareholder (2010-2015), Managing Director of Lexington office (2013-2015)

Pro Bono Activities

  • Leadership Lexington Alumni Steering Committee, Commerce Lexington, 2012 - Present
  • Sayre School, Mentor, Don Jacobs Financial Seminars, 2012 - Present
  • Leadership Lexington, Commerce Lexington,Class of 2011-2012
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Lexington, Executive Committee, 2011
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), 2010 - Present
  • Bluegrass Conservancy, Young Friends, 2005 - Present
  • University of Kentucky Alumni Association, 2000 - Present
  • Alpha Delta Pi, Beta Psi Chapter, Alumni Association, 2000 - Present