Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order
by firm name.
Real Estate - Colorado
THE FIRM A stalwart of Colorado real estate, this substantial team is active on a range of matters, from tax credits for affordable housing to commercial financing transactions. The group is also noted for its strong presence in the Colorado ski resorts market, where it has advised on redevelopment work at a number of locations. In 2012, it provided financing advice to owner and developer Breckenridge Grand Vacations, which it helped to gain approval for an Alternative Financial Assurance program.
Sources say: "Their work is excellent. I appreciate that their focus is always on getting to the best solution."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Beverly Quail is best known for her work on behalf of lenders and special servicers. Commentators confirm that she "has an impeccable reputation, and has done a lot of work for sophisticated clients," also noting: "Her level of respect always gets the ball moving."
THE FIRM Entering the table for the first time, this boutique is highlighted for its prowess on construction work. The team help clients of all sizes on matters such as payment disputes, defect claims and other related issues.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alvin Cohen is a highly regarded trial lawyer, who specializes in construction litigation cases. Sources praise his efficiency and say: "His understanding of the issues is excellent." His ability to "get to the nub of it" and "ask clients the important questions right away" is also highlighted.
Janet Lawler McDaniel is a first-class construction lawyer who is widely recognized for her strong negotiation skills. Peers note that "you can tell that she understands what is important for her client and does a good job."
The "very knowledgeable" James Benjamin is best known for his lending expertise, as well as his experience in acting as an expert witness. His oratory skills are highlighted: "He is a very good speaker who finds an interesting way of putting his point across."
THE FIRM This sizable team has deep roots in the Colorado real estate market, where it acts for major industry names such as Griffis Residential and Woodward. The group helps clients with a variety of issues including financing, zoning, construction and disputes. Its transactional prowess is underlined by recent mandates; for instance it was instructed by Zocalo Development in relation to the acquisition of a vacant plot of land, and subsequent construction financing, for a large residential complex.
Sources say: "They have a large footprint in the area and have long been recognized as big players."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Highly reputed partner Edward Barad concentrates his efforts on advising investors in relation to developments, acquisitions and workouts. He is active both in state and nationally.
Managing partner Bruce James maintains a broad practice in the hotel and resorts sector, while he is also noted for his expertise on PPP and urban redevelopment projects. In one noted highlight he helped a client to negotiate a lease for a complex multiuse development.
Lynda McNeive is an experienced commercial real estate lawyer who acts for developers and investors on a wide range of projects. She is singled out by sources for her strong technical capabilities.
Catherine Gale has had a very busy year, one highlight of which was working for long-term client Zocalo Development on the aforementioned matter. She is especially active on sales and acquisitions, PPP and land use.
THE FIRM This full-service firm handles the full gamut of core real estate matters, including acquisitions, financings, commercial leasing, development and land use. The Colorado team is supported by a strong nationwide practice, and has involvement in deals spanning from New York to Los Angeles. In one recent highlight it advised the borrower GD Holdings in relation to refinancing for the Four Seasons Denver Hotel. Clients include Commerce Bank, Citicorp North America and Industrial Income Trust.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of the department Robert Holmes is a highly regarded partner, who frequently acts for lenders in relation to real estate financing transactions. He was recently part of the team that represented BMC Investment in its acquisition from two sellers of five properties in Cherry Creek District in Denver.
Robert Bach is an outstanding lawyer, praised for his business sense and practicality. He is especially noted for his financing capabilities, acting for a range of lenders, owners and developers.
Chris Kinsman acts for large developers on construction finance, sales and acquisitions and leasing. One client noted: "He is an integral part of our team," going on to explain that he is "business-minded and always strives to solve matters without making it a burdensome legal process."
THE FIRM Faegre Baker Daniels handles transactional real estate work across a broad range of property types; it is especially noted for its work in the affordable housing sector, and is also active on commercial and energy infrastructure deals. Clients include Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Agrium, Xcel Energy and Lincoln Property. The firm is also praised for its construction law expertise.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Construction specialist David Arkell is well known for his deep understanding of construction contracts, and also has an active contentious practice.
Charles Calvin is especially noted for his expertise in commercial real estate and project finance. In a recent highlight he advised Xcel Energy in relation to property issues needed for a bond issuance by Public Service Company of Colorado.
Diane Davies is the firm's global real estate practice leader and has a broad practice which includes titles, leasing and development and commercial lending. Recent highlights have included leasing and title work for oil and gas and solar facilities.
Leslie Fields is one of the state's foremost experts on eminent domain law. She has extensive experience on key governmental projects, and has appeared before both the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court on novel cases in this field.
THE FIRM Holland & Hart has one of the most preeminent real estate groups in the region. It handles a wide variety of large-scale projects, ranging from new urban residential and office developments to major ski and golf resorts. The firm's prestigious client roster features well-known names such as Berkeley Homes, Shea Homes and Peak Properties & Development.
Sources say: "Holland & Hart is one of the finest law firms I've ever had the opportunity to work with." "Their attention to detail is impeccable."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Benson elicits great respect from sources, who single out his exceptionally deep knowledge in the construction field. Today his focus is upon arbitrations and mediation work. A commentator said: "Everyone recognizes that he is a very experienced construction lawyer in Colorado and that prestige and respect also makes him more effective as a mediator."
Kevin Bridston is a sought after-construction law litigator who represents both plaintiffs and defendants. His expertise ranges from disputes about financial transactions to public works claims.
Rebecca Dow is an "extremely bright" commercial real estate lawyer. Sources appreciate the fact she is "a deal-maker, not an attorney who finds reasons to break deals up." She is also "very hard-working and responsive to client deadlines" and "works well under pressure."
Beat Steiner helps clients in the resorts industries, and is best known for his work on ski and golf resorts. He handles projects across the USA and internationally, and is praised for being able to "consistently provide productive solutions to the client."
Elizabeth Sharrer helps owners and investors monetize their commercial real estate assets across transactions, leasing, acquisitions and title matters. A source said: "She is incredibly diligent, reliable and knowledgeable in her field." She recently advised Shea Properties on the formation of a joint venture and sale of a large office building.
THE FIRM This highly regarded group covers transactional work as well as land use, zoning and development matters. In a particular highlight, the team represented the Metropolitan Stadium District in relation to the acquisition of a large portion of its land for the development of a rail link by Regional Transportation District.
Sources say: "They're responsive, they're fast and they deal with a lot of workflow. They know all the nuances and they help me protect my risks."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Thomas Ragonetti is described by a source as "one of the most brilliant attorneys I know," and is also praised as "very creative, thoughtful and able to get things done." His broad docket includes matters relating to land use and zoning, public-private transactions and government regulation.
"Super-smart" attorney Michael Westover is "an excellent real estate lawyer," confirm sources. He is well known for his financing expertise in the sector. Last year he advised several multifamily unit developers in relation to transactional matters.
Frank Robinson is a founding member of the firm who enjoys a long-standing reputation for transactional real estate work. He was part of the team representing Brookfield Properties Acquisitions in its purchase of an office building in downtown Denver.
Sources report that John Sternberg is "one of the brightest real estate lawyers" in the state, who is "very detailed-oriented, but can think strategically as well." He is best known for his work on commercial development, but also has experience representing investors and investment funds.
THE FIRM This Colorado giant houses a top-notch real estate and construction bench. The group maintains a very diversified practice encompassing leasing, acquisitions, developments and sales. On the construction side, the firm is expert in advising owners on contractual issues, and also handles construction-related disputes. Clients include CoBiz Bank, Westpac Investments and East West Partners.
Sources say: "They are responsive, aggressive, good listeners and helpful. They take the time to understand my goals and help our team work toward those goals."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of the group Robert Brown has a strong focus on transactional work. He is singled out for his excellent commerciality; as one client puts it, "he is able to practically apply the law to our business needs, and that is what we value the most."
The "levelheaded" and "business-oriented" Michael Cook is considered to be a "top strategic thinker." Armed with significant experience, he helps clients with construction litigation and transactional matters. One client notes: "That broad experience and knowledge base means he can grasp the big picture quickly and dispense advice."
Rebecca Fischer is described by a source as "one of the strongest lawyers you could get anywhere." She specializes in the hotels and resorts sector, where her practice encompasses construction financing, acquisition and development.
"Knowledgeable and courteous" Bret Gunnell is a trial specialist who takes on cases across the country, but most often in Colorado and Utah. His excellent reputation is endorsed by clients, one of whom explains: "If we have a major litigation, he is the guy we turn to."
Experienced attorney Diana Wendel has a broad-based real estate practice which covers sales and acquisitions, financing and leasing. She is praised for her responsiveness and her technical ability.
Steve Cohen of Husch Blackwell LLP has a broad real estate practice which includes niche expertise in the resort and hotels industry. His commerciality is praised by clients, one of whom notes: "He is a business lawyer - he doesn't give legal advice for its own sake." Another confirms: "He has his eye on the ultimate goal, which is the client" and is frequently "instrumental in deals."
Paul Jacobs of Husch Blackwell LLP is widely regarded as a "very fine lawyer." He is especially known for his long-standing experience on real estate development for major league sports. Recent highlights include advising the City of Oakland in its bid for a ballpark for its A team.
Kevin Kelley of Husch Blackwell LLP has an active practice on senior housing, mixed-use developments and hotels. He has a strong reputation among peers, one of whom said: "He is a very sharp guy, who I have a high opinion of." He recently acted for Battle One Developer on its development of a resort near Vail.
Stephen Kaplan of Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP garners excellent feedback from sources, who point to his "extremely good negotiating skills" and ability to"dissect complex problems and quickly drill down to the heart of the issue." He is a go-to name for many developers and public bodies when it comes to infrastructure developments.
Sarah Rockwell of Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP is a highly regarded real estate and land use lawyer who has extensive experience in transit-related development projects.
Director Alan Lottner of Lottner Rubin Fishman Brown & Saul, PC is an expert on transactional real estate. His practice extends throughout the Rocky Mountains region, where he works for brokerage companies, financial institutions, developers and home builders.
Karen Samuels Jones of Perkins Coie LLP is a highly regarded real estate lawyer with a broad practice. Clients laud her uncanny ability to bring opposing sides to a mutual consensus.
Roy Bash is a construction disputes expert, and chairs the construction, energy and real estate litigation group at Polsinelli PC. He advises on a range of matters, including EPC and design liability issues, and also serves as an arbitrator and mediator in construction disputes.
The exceptionally well-regarded Thomas Grimshaw of Grimshaw & Harring PC has a long-standing reputation for his work on land use, planning and zoning.
The "very well-respected" Lawrence Donovan of Ryley Carlock & Applewhite is noted for his developer side practice, acting for clients in relation to a range of property types including resorts and multifamily units. He is highly experienced on commercial leasing matters, and also handles acquisition and financing.
Mark Senn of Senn Visciano PC is considered by many to be "one of the top commercial leasing lawyers in the state." His "very good technical knowledge" and "very practical" approach are also singled out.
Barry Permut of Ryley Carlock & Applewhite attracts respect from peers and clients alike, who characterize him as "just a fantastic person" who is "very straightforward." His practice covers a range of development, construction and financing work.
Daniel Frost of Snell & Wilmer LLP is a renowned construction specialist, who is singled out for his litigation prowess. As one source put it, "his experience in multimillion-dollar disputes is second to none in the state."