James P. Zakoura

James P. Zakoura

Special Counsel

Kansas City

7500 College Boulevard, Suite 1400
Overland Park, KS 66210-4041

T: 913.253.2142


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Jim Zakoura is a business and litigation attorney in Foulston’s Kansas City office. Jim’s practice focuses on energy, public utilities, and corporate and administrative law. He regularly appears before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Kansas Corporation Commission, and the Missouri Public Service Commission on energy and public utility regulatory matters. Jim also represents consortiums and individual clients concerning energy acquisition and sale, negotiation of industrial energy purchases and pricing, mergers and acquisitions, financing, and sale of entities. He provides representation to new-market entrants in such diverse fields as wind energy, petroleum production, pipeline, and telecom and energy marketing. Jim is Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS), serving as a KPERS Trustee since 2018. He is also the president of two nonprofit family foundations providing Kansas youth, particularly those in rural, underserved, and minority communities, with the opportunity to experience the fine arts.


  • University of Kansas School of Law (J.D., 1972)
    Board of Editors, Kansas Law Review, 1971-1972
  • University of Kansas (B.S. in English Education, with distinction, 1970)


  • Kansas (1972)
  • Missouri (2004)
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas (1972)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (1997)
  • U.S. Supreme Court (1997)
Relevant Experience
  • Smithyman & Zakoura, Chartered, Founding Partner, 1986-2022
Professional Memberships, Affiliations, and Honors
  • Kansas Bar Association 
  • Johnson County Bar Association 
  • Selected for inclusion in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers® List, 2005-2022 (a Thomson Reuters business)
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Energy Law, 1991-2024
  • The Legal and Ethical Responsibilities of the Board Member (Foulston Siefkin LLP, Corporate Counsel Series: Ethics 2023) 
Community Involvement
  • Reach Out Kansas, Inc., President, 2009-present 
  • Zakoura Family Foundation, President, 2009-present
  • Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS), Trustee (2018-present); Chairperson (2021-present)