David E. Waters

A diverse network of clients in the real estate, business, start-up, health care, and governmental industries trusts David Waters to successfully handle all manner of business, transactional, contractual, planning and zoning, development, health care and licensing projects.

In his real estate and business practice, David assists local and national clients in connection with all phases of commercial, retail, and industrial development including leasing, zoning and planning, project financing, and public incentives, and he supports clients with the formation, sale, and acquisition of businesses and practices. He also maintains an active practice in the architecture/engineering/construction industry, advising on design and construction projects and delivery methods. In his health care practice, he handles and focuses on hospital and medical office development, medical office leasing, condominium and property tax concerns, and governance of public or municipal facilities.

His municipal and public law practice extends to local cities, counties, school districts, and public hospitals, and he counsels these clients with respect to governmental authority and procedures, open records and open meetings, and economic development. David is an elected official himself, serving on the City Council for Westwood, Kansas. Prior to that, he served on the Westwood Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals, and on the 47th and Mission Road Area Redevelopment and Management Committee in the Kansas City area. This municipal experience and expertise enables David to more effectively represent businesses and other private clients, and he regularly appears on their behalf before governmental entities. 

David is a recognized leader in his community, and he helps his clients develop important relationships with decision-makers and thought-leaders. He is a member of the board of directors of the Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, and serves as Chair-Elect of the Chamber's executive committee. He has been selected to Leadership Kansas, and in 2015 received the Kansas State University College of Arts & Sciences Young Alumni Award. In 2016, David was also named to the Arts & Sciences Alumni Advisory Council.

David is also engaged with the local start-up community—understanding the partnership, funding, technology, and media issues facing entrepreneurs, creatives, and investors—and he strives to bring an entrepreneurial approach to his own practice. He was recently named to the Advisory Board for the Kansas City Startup Foundation, organized to help grow and cultivate the city's entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

He is married, the father of two sons, and has completed two marathons. You can follow him on Twitter @davidewaters where he regularly provides professional content and commentary.

Court Memberships

  • Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri
  • Kansas
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas


  • Named "Lawyer of the Year" by The Best Lawyers in America® for Land Use and Zoning Law in Kansas City, Kansas, 2019
  • Named "Lawyer of the Year" by The Best Lawyers in America® for Construction Law in Kansas City, Kansas, 2018 
  • Selected as a Charter Fellow, Construction Lawyers Society of America, 2018
  • Leadership Kansas, an affiliate of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, Class of 2017
  • Elected City Councilman, City of Westwood, Kansas
  • Selected among The Best Lawyers in America®, 2013 - 2019
  • Selected for Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers “Rising Stars,” 2012 - 2017
  • Outstanding Young Alumni Award, K-State College of Arts & Sciences, 2015
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce “Leadership Northeast,” 2009
  • Phi Gamma Delta Wilkinson Award
  • University of Kansas School of Law Dean Jimmy Green Scholar

Professional Affiliations

  • Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Kansas State Affairs Committee, Vice-Chair
  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Johnson County, Kansas, Bar Association
  • Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, Board Of Directors (2012 - present), Executive Committee (Treasurer, 2014, 2015; Vice Chair, 2017; Chair Elect, 2018)
  • Kansas State University College of Arts & Sciences Alumni Advisory Council
  • Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Council
  • Kansas City Startup Foundation Advisory Board
  • Leavenworth County Development Corporation


The National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals

Kansas Bar Association

  • Author, Deeds, Kansas Real Estate Practice and Procedure Handbook (Lewis A. Heaven, Jr. and Mark A. Andersen, eds., Kansas Bar Association 2009)

Johnson County Bar Association


League of Kansas Municipalities

  • Co-presenter, Municipal Finance and Economic Development: Introduction to Public Incentives, Governing Body Institute (2018)

University Of Missouri - Kansas City, School of Law

  • Presenter, Working with Neighborhoods in Rezoning, Special Topics: Entrepreneurial Urban Development (2017)

Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentorship Program

  • Presenter, Avoiding Social Media Pitfalls: An Introduction for Entrepreneurs (2015)

HarenLaughlin Restoration

  • Co-Presenter, Pay Heed, All Who Enter! (And please be careful!): Reducing Risk for Property Managers and Building Owners (2015)

Kansas Bar Association

  • Presenter, Get a (Social Media) Life: A Guide for Practicing Attorneys, KBA Annual Meeting (2015)

Heartland Paralegal Association

  • Presenter, Legal Ethics in Online Firm Marketing (2015)

Venture Lounge, Enterprise Center of Johnson County

  • Panel Moderator, Due Diligence (2014)

Social Media Club of Kansas City

  • Presenter, Top 10 Legal Pitfalls for Content Generators (2014)

Association of Legal Administrators - Greater Kansas City Chapter

  • Presenter, Social Media for Law Firms (2013)

National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals

  • Presenter, Hospitality Suites on the Rocks: Compliance and Risk Issues Associated with Private Parties (2012)

Leavenworth County Bar Association

  • Author and Presenter, Negotiating Land Use Changes in Leavenworth and Ethical Considerations in Land Use Law (2005)
  • Presenter, The Ethical Use of Social Media: An Introduction to Lawyers (2015)

Building Owners and Managers Association

  • Presenter, Types of Owners and their Employment Relationships (2007)
  • Presenter, Leases and the Landlord-Tenant Relationship (2010, 2011)

Lathrop Gage “Lunch & Learn”

  • Author and Presenter, Boards of Zoning Appeals and the Proper Use of Variances and Community Improvement Districts in Kansas (2009)
Photo of David E. Waters
  • Overland Park

    10851 Mastin Boulevard
    Building 82, Suite 1000
    Overland Park, KS 66210-1669
F: 913.451.0875


Amanda Cyster


University of Kansas School of Law, J.D., 2002

Kansas State University, B.A., Political Science and Modern Languages (Spanish), 1999