Office Information

  • Member, Executive Committee
  • Ex Officio Member, Diversity and Inclusivity Committee
Tray focuses his practice on public finance and economic development. Before joining the firm, he served as Counsel and Economic Development Advisor to Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. He has served as Bond Counsel for various cities and counties throughout Mississippi and the Southeast. Tray is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) through the International Economic Development Council.

Biography – View PDF Bio

Narrative Bio

Tray Hairston concentrates his practice on public finance and economic development matters, including all types of municipal bond issues, serving as bond counsel for both taxable and tax-exempt financings. He has served as bond counsel for various cities and counties and has worked on transactions totaling more than $100 million.

Prior to his legal career, Tray served as counsel and economic development policy advisor to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. He was also a member of the Business Development Division at the Mississippi Development Authority where he provided project management assistance to companies and consultants looking to locate new businesses in Mississippi. Hairston regularly publishes scholarly legal articles, with his most recently published paper titled, “The Future of Economic Development, 35 Miss. C.L. Rev. 370 (2017)”. The Bond Buyer also recognized Tray as a Rising Star. The publication’s Rising Stars program honors 28 municipal finance professionals under the age of 40 throughout the country whose leadership, collaborative spirit and innovative work with issuers has positively impacted their communities. Rising Stars are nominated by their peers, and submissions are judged by a panel of municipal finance leaders throughout the country as well as The Bond Buyer’s editorial leadership team.

Tray has been recognized by Mid-South Super Lawyers® for Government Finance (2016-2021), Mississippi College School of Law as Young Lawyer of the Year (2013) and Mississippi Business Journal as one of its Top 40 under 40 (2012-2013). He is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, International Economic Development Council, Southern Economic Development Council, Mississippi Economic Development Council, and Mississippi Bar Association. He received his undergraduate degree from Tougaloo College, his MBA from Belhaven College, and his Juris Doctor from the Mississippi College School of Law.

Associations

Bar Admissions

  • Mississippi, 2009
  • U.S. District Courts
    • Mississippi: Northern, Southern

Civic Involvement

  • Board of Trustees, Belhaven University, 2020-Present
  • Board of Directors, Mississippi Main Street Association, 2017-Present
  • Board of Directors, Tougaloo College Research and Development Foundation, 2017-Present
  • Board of Directors, Mississippi Today, 2016-Present
  • Tougaloo College, 1869 Annual Fund, Co-Chairman, 2015-2016

Distinctions

  • Certified Economic Developer, International Economic Development Council
  • Fellow, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, 2020
  • Fellow, Delta Regional Authority's Delta Leadership Institute, 2018
  • The Bond Buyer, Rising Star, 2018
  • PORTICO 10, Class of 2017
  • Adjunct Professor, Mississippi College School of Law, 2010-Present
  • Super Lawyers®
    • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Government Finance, 2016-2018
  • Top 40 Under 40, Tougaloo College Inaugural Class, 2016-2017
  • Top 100 Black Lawyers (Ridgeland, MS), The National Black Lawyers, 2015
  • More...

Education & Honors

  • Mississippi College, J.D., 2009
    • American Jurisprudence Awards: Corporate Finance (2009), Counseling & Negotiations (2008)
    • Most Outstanding Oralist, MS Moot Court Competition (2009)
    • 1st Place Winner, Duberstein Appellate Advocacy Bankruptcy Competition, New York, NY (2008)
  • Belhaven University, M.B.A., cum laude, 2006
  • Tougaloo College, B.A., dual degree in English and Philosophy, magna cum laude, 2002
  • Clerkship, Chief Judge Henry T. Wingate, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, 2009-2010

Experience

  • Developer’s Counsel 
    • Developer’s Counsel and Incentive Counsel to $100M+ Tradition Medical & Learning City (Biloxi, MS).
  • Tax Rebate Counsel and Incentive Counsel
    • $22,500,000 Hattiesburg Hospitality H.I., LLC Tourism Tax Rebate Incentive Project (Indigo Hotel Project, Hattiesburg, Mississippi).
    • $23,996,499 Meridian Downtown Hotels, L.L.C. Tourism Tax Rebate Incentive Project (Threefoot Building Courtyard Marriott Project).
    • $44,282,128 PIAM, LLC Tourism Tax Rebate Incentive Project (Flowood Hotel & Conference Center Project).
    • $40,000,000 Claiborne at Adelaide, LLC Health Care Industry Zone Project.
  • Lease Counsel 
    • $9,991,214 City of Meridian, Mississippi Equipment Lease Purchase Agreement Transaction, March 1, 2018.
    • $1,000,000 Promissory Note (Kemper County, Mississippi Lease Purchase Project A), Series 2015.
    • $13,554,500 Moss Point, Mississippi Tax-Exempt Energy Equipment Lease-Purchase Agreement Transaction, Series 2015.
  • Bond Counsel 
    • $4,700,000 Mississippi Business Finance Corporation Taxable Revenue Bonds (Meridian Downtown Hotels, L.L.C Threefoot Building Courtyard Marriott Project), Series 2018A (the “Series 2018A Bonds”) and the $11,800,000 Mississippi Business Finance Taxable Revenue Bonds (Meridian Downtown Hotels, L.L.C Threefoot Building Courtyard Marriott Project), Series 2018B (the “Series 2018B Bonds).
    • $9,300,000 Mississippi Development Bank Special Obligation Bonds, Series 2018 (Greenville, Mississippi Public Improvement Bond Project).
    • $22,495,000 Mississippi Development Bank Special Obligation Bonds, Series 2018 (Vicksburg, Mississippi Sports Complex General Obligation Bond Project).
    • $3,347,000 Claiborne County, Mississippi General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2018A (the “Series 2018A Bonds”) and $1,795,000 Claiborne County, Mississippi Taxable General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2018B
    • $9,930,000 Mississippi Development Bank Special Obligation Bonds, Series 2018 (Vicksburg, Mississippi Public Improvement Bond Project).
    • $3,200,000 Columbus Redevelopment Authority Taxable Revenue (Burns Bottom Project), Series 2017.
    • $6,075,000 Mississippi Business Finance Corporation Taxable Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2017 (Retro Metro, LLC Refunding Project).
    • $20,000,000 Mississippi Development Bank Special Obligation Bonds, Series 2017 (Meridian, Mississippi Arts & Entertainment Center General Obligation Bond Project).
    • $6,405,000 City of Columbus, Mississippi Electricity System Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2016.
    • $2,000,000 City of Greenwood, Mississippi Taxable Urban Renewal Revenue Bonds (Milwaukee Too Project), Series 2016.
    • $7,500,000 Meridian, Mississippi General Obligation Bonds, Series 2016.
    • $9,690,000 Columbus, Mississippi Water & Sewer System Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2015.
    • $550,000 Sharkey County, Mississippi General Obligation Hospital Bonds, Series 2015.
    • $200,000,000 State of Mississippi Gaming Tax Revenue Bonds, Series 2015E.
    • $2,369,000 City of Greenwood, Mississippi General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2015.
    • $2,919,000 City of Greenville, Mississippi General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2015.
    • $1,525,000 Kemper County, Mississippi Taxable Negotiable Note, Series 2015.
    • Developer Counsel for not to exceed $1,250,000 City of Columbus, Mississippi Taxable Tax Increment Financing Bonds, Series 2015 (University Mall Project).
    • $9,450,000 City of Flowood, Mississippi General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2014.
    • $1,670,000 Noxubee County, Mississippi General Obligation Road and Bridge Bonds, Series 2014.
    • $8,200,000 City of Meridian, Mississippi, General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2014.
    • $7,785,000 City of Vicksburg, Mississippi, General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2014.
    • $1,595,000 Culkin Water District, Warren County, Mississippi General Obligation Refunding Bond, Series 2014.
    • $319,800 V Lakes Utility District, Rankin Mississippi Taxable Water System Junior Lien Revenue Bond, Series 2014.
    • $15,000,000 Mississippi Development Bank Special Obligation Bonds, Series 2014 (Pascagoula, Mississippi General Obligation Bond Project).
    • $850,000 Tunica County, Mississippi Taxable General Obligation Industrial Development Bonds, Series 2013.
    • $5,500,000 Wayne County, Mississippi Taxable General Obligation Industrial Development Bonds, Series 2013.
    • $2,100,000 City of Newton, Mississippi General Obligation Bonds, Series 2013.
  • Underwriter’s Counsel 
    • $1,315,000  Tax Increment Financing Revenue Bond, Series 2018 (Madison County Medical Center/Nissan Parkway Project).
    • $182,595,000 State of Mississippi General Obligation Bonds, Series 2015F (Tax-Exempt).
    • $9,500,000 Mississippi Development Bank Special Obligation Bonds, Series 2015 (City of Vicksburg, Mississippi Public Improvement General Obligation Project).
    • Underwriter’s Counsel for $154,685,000 State of Mississippi General Obligation Bonds, Series 2015A (Tax-Exempt).
    • Underwriter’s Counsel for $128,950,000 State of Mississippi Taxable General Obligation Bonds, Series 2015B.
    • Underwriter’s Counsel for $249,980,000 State of Mississippi General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2015C (Tax-Exempt).
    • Underwriter’s Counsel for $179,135,000 State of Mississippi Taxable General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2015D.
    • Underwriter’s Counsel for $17,270,000 Mississippi Valley State University Educational Building Corporation Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2015 (Mississippi Valley State University Facilities Refinancing).
  • Other Experience
    • Assisted in the negotiation of an economic development incentive agreement or MOU with the State, local governmental unit, and private industry on a $225 million economic development project.
    • Drafted legislation and regulations related to Mississippi Health Care Industry Zone Act of 2012.
    • Served as Counsel and Policy Advisor for the Office of Governor Phil Bryant providing counsel as liaison to the Mississippi Development Authority and the Mississippi State Bond Commission. Also served as liaison to the Mississippi Home Corporation in preparation of the State of Mississippi’s Qualified Allocation Plan for 2012 and 2013.
    • Provided advice and counsel to the Office of the Governor in the state’s $300,000,000 Variable Rate Demand Obligation restructuring and advance refunding of $240,000,000 in debt.
    • Provided advice and counsel to the Office of the Governor in preparation for ratings presentations for Moody’s, Fitch, Standard & Poor’s from 2012-2018.
    • Assisted with drafting legislation, including the Mississippi Health Care Industry Zone Act of 2012 and drafted policy for the Mississippi Home Corporation’s 2013 Qualified Allocation Plan for the administration of LITHC tax credits in Health Care Zones.
    • Managed and assisted with several major economic development projects on behalf of the Office of the Governor.
    • Assisted with commercial transactions which included providing advice on the financing for both small and large manufacturing companies along with the representation and formation of 501(c) non-profit corporations.
    • Advised on the preparation of a private placement memorandum for a $25,000,000 Reg D capital raise.
    • Advised broker-dealers on FINRA regulations.
    • Advised on the application of Section 42 Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) on behalf of the Mississippi Home Corporation.
    • Drafted commercial lease agreements and membership interest purchase agreements for corporate entities.

In the News

Papers, Presentations, & Publications