Best Lawyers: Local ‘Ones to Watch’

Best Lawyers’ “Ones to Watch” list recognizes outstanding attorneys beginning their careers. Like other Best Lawyers awards, recipients go through an intensive peer-review process and only a select few are chosen. The “Ones to Watch” list, which was first published in 2020, focuses on those new to private practice — generally with five to nine years in practice — or those who returned to law after a significant sabbatical. 

The 2023 Ones to Watch list includes 19,000 lawyers across the country in 79 practice areas. The list of rising legal talent includes many in Colorado. Law Week received 95 announcements for Colorado attorneys recognized in the “Ones to Watch” list. 

Werge Law Group 

Local firm Werge Law Group, which was formed earlier this year, announced founder Thomas Werge was recognized on the Ones to Watch list in the business organizations (including LLCs and partnerships) and commercial litigation categories. It’s the second year Werge has made the list. 

“The recognition this second year is particularly special as it highlights the firm’s achievements over the past year, including most importantly, Werge Law’s merger with Signal Law,” wrote Werge. “Having Greg Corbin as my law partner has made this year particularly amazing. His transactional and non-profit practice has provided an amazing compliment to the firm’s historic focus on small business litigation.”

Werge added that in the last year, the firm has gained new clients, expanded its expertise and marked several wins in court cases. 

Werge encourages others starting their legal careers to follow their passions. “The practice of law can be incredibly rewarding so long as you are doing what you are called to do. I was one of those naïve folks in law school who always said, ‘I want to become a lawyer so I can help people.’ Well – after starting my own practice to help small businesses and music-related clients – I now get to help our amazing clients every day on issues that are critical to their survival and success,” he added. 

Holland & Hart 

Denver-founded firm Holland & Hart announced 36 of its lawyers in Colorado made the Ones to Watch list. 

At the Aspen office: 

  • Kevin Giles, Real Estate Law 
  • Justin Nyberg, Real Estate Law 

At the Boulder office: 

  • Jordan Bunch, Real Estate Law 
  • Per Larsen, Intellectual Property Law and Litigation – Intellectual Property
  • Catherine Miller, Intellectual Property Law 
  • Kazuyo Morita, Intellectual Property Law 
  • Nathan Mutter, Intellectual Property Law and Patent Law 
  • Amy Tindell, Intellectual Property Law 

At the Denver office: 

  • Desta Asfaw, Trust and Estates 
  • Thomas Balmat, Real Estate Law
  • Sarah Bileti, Corporate Law and Immigration law 
  • Chris Boling, Corporate Law and Project Finance Law 
  • Christopher Butler, Intellectual Property Law
  • Rachel Carnaggio, Intellectual Property Law 
  • Katherine Cooperman, Trusts and Estates 
  • Paige Coriden, Corporate Governance and Compliance Law Mergers and Acquisitions Law 
  • Nate Davis, Corporate Law 
  • Mark Gibson, Commercial Litigation
  • Julie Kent, Intellectual Property Law 
  • Richard Kiely, Trusts and Estates 
  • Stuart Knight, Corporate Law 
  • Madelon Lapidus, Intellectual Property Law 
  • John Lomenick, Intellectual Property Law 
  • Charles Mao, Real Estate Law 
  • Kevin McAdam, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation 
  • Kristin Nichols, Administrative/Regulatory Law Energy Law and Environmental Law
  • Ryan Nichols, Corporate Governance and Compliance Law 
  • Juan Obregon, Labor and Employment Law – Employee 
  • Katherine Percy, Trusts and Estates 
  • Marika Rietsema Ball, Banking and Finance Law Trusts and Estates 
  • Nabil Rodriguez, Administrative/Regulatory Law 
  • Austin Rueschhoff, Environmental Law 
  • Jessica Smith, Appellate Practice and Commercial Litigation 
  • Paul Swanson, Commercial Litigation 
  • Aaron Tucker, Environmental Law 
  • Tina Van Bockern, Environmental Law and Oil and Gas Law 

Coan, Payton & Payne

Colorado firm Coan, Payton & Payne, with offices in Denver, Greeley and Fort Collins, announced R. Clay Bartlett based out of Fort Collins was selected for the Ones to Watch list for his work in real estate and business law. 

Davis Graham & Stubbs

Denver-headquartered firm Davis Graham & Stubbs announced 14 of its Colorado lawyers were selected as Ones to Watch in a range of practice areas. 

  • Andrea Bronson, Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law; Natural Resources Law
  • Kyler Burgi, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Commercial Litigation
  • Nathan James Goergen, Corporate Law
  • Jonathan Goldstein, Real Estate Law
  • James Henderson, Commercial Litigation
  • Aditi Kulkarni-Knight, Commercial Litigation 
  • Maria del Rosario Oxman, Real Estate Law
  • Kathleen Pritchard, Commercial Litigation 
  • Alena Prokop, Mergers and Acquisitions Law
  • Daniel Richards, Commercial Litigation
  • Katie Roux, Energy Law 
  • Taylor Smith, Corporate Law 
  • Emily Wasserman, Commercial Litigation; Intellectual Property Law
  • David Weil, Tax Law


International firm FisherBroyles announced Denver partner Joseph DiRago made the Ones to Watch list in the real estate law category. 

Wells, Anderson & Race 

Denver firm Wells, Anderson & Race announced associate William Healy made the Ones to Watch list in the commercial litigation insurance law category. 

Ballard Spahr 

National firm Ballar Spahr announced two of its Denver attorneys were selected as Ones to Watch. Associate Chad Jimenez was selected in the commercial litigation category and associate Ethan Anderson was selected in the public finance law category. 

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

National firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, which was founded in Colorado, announced 19 of its Denver attorneys made the list. 

  • Matthew Arentsen
  • Courtney Bartkus
  • James Carter
  • Julian Ellis, Jr.
  • Andrew Freyer
  • Shane Griffin
  • Justin Hahn
  • Alexis Hailpern
  • Christopher Hand
  • Amanda Houseal
  • Nicholas Larson
  • David Meschke
  • Chloe Mickel
  • Peter Nagle
  • Hirsch Neustein
  • Charlotte Phelps
  • Julia Rhine
  • Nicholas Santucci
  • Courtney Shephard

Woods Aitken 

National firm Woods Aitken announced five of its Denver attorneys were selected as Ones to Watch. 

  • Laura DePetro, Commercial Litigation, Construction Law, Litigation – Construction
  • Abigail Frame, Commercial Litigation, Construction Law
  • Amanda Hoberg, Commercial Litigation, Construction Law, Litigation – Construction
  • Sarah Mielke, Construction Law, Litigation – Construction
  • Cooper Overcash, Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships), Corporate Governance and Compliance Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Real Estate Law

Levin Sitcoff Waneka

Denver insurance firm Levin Sitcoff Waneka announced Susan Minamizono was recognized as a One to Watch in the insurance law and personal injury litigation for plaintiffs category. 

Ogborn Mihm

National trial and litigation firm Ogborn Mihm announced three of its Colorado attorneys were recognized as ones to watch. Jim Fogg was recognized in the commercial litigation and litigation – trusts and estates category; Amy Rogers was recognized in the medical malpractice law, plaintiffs, personal injury litigation and plaintiffs and product liability litigation categories; and Emily Stevens was recognized in the commercial litigation, labor and employment law for employees litigation in labor and employment categories. 

Robinson Waters & O’Dorisio

Colorado firm Robinson Waters & O’Dorisio announced three of its attorneys made the Ones to Watch list. Keirin Clare was selected in the family law category; Samuel John was selected in the commercial litigation, construction law, insurance law and mass tort litigation/class actions – defendants categories; and Nicholas Labor was selected in the commercial litigation category. 

Griffiths Law PC

Colorado family law firm Griffiths Law PC announced eight of its attorneys were listed as Ones to Watch: Anastasia Evans, Kim Newton, Danielle Contos, Joseph Maher, Eliza Steinberg, Christopher Griffiths and Jamie Paine.

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