Change at Brownstein Managing Partner Position

Rich Benenson takes over for Adam Agron

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck shareholder Rich Benenson officially began his term as the firm’s managing partner. He spent the last six months transitioning his litigation practice and working with Adam Agron, the firm’s managing partner since 2013, the executive committee and the business leadership team to ensure a smooth succession of firm leadership.

“It’s been a privilege to serve as managing partner for the past six years” said Agron. “I’ll miss leading such an incredible organization comprised of some of the most talented and dedicated attorneys, policy professionals and staff in the country, but I look forward to continuing to work alongside them as I return to my law practice.” Agron added, “Rich is a terrific choice to continue the strategic growth and direction of the firm. He has proven to be a highly effective lawyer, businessperson and leader. He’s had instrumental roles at the firm but most importantly, he’s an exceptional person who embodies the firm’s core values. We expect to see great things from Rich as he guides the firm forward.”

Prior to taking the full-time leadership role, Benenson’s practice focused on defending companies in complex litigation, antitrust, consumer protection, class actions and regulatory matters. His clients represented a variety of industries, including consumer goods, financial services, real estate, manufacturing, health care, technology, supplement/nutrition, cannabis, political, telecommunications and energy.

“It’s a great honor to be elected to lead the firm as managing partner,” Benenson said. “I’m deeply humbled to collaborate with the many talented lawyers and policy professionals across the enterprise. I’m also looking forward to continuing our strategic growth, investing in our talent and creating paths to success for everyone here at the firm.”

Prior to joining the firm, Benenson was an associate at two AmLaw 100 firms. He joined Brownstein in 2002 as an associate in the firm’s litigation department before leaving in 2005 to serve as senior vice president and general counsel of The Shaffer Companies. Benenson re-joined the firm in 2007 as counsel and was then promoted to shareholder. He chaired the firm’s litigation department from 2013–2017 and then joined its executive committee.

Benenson received a law degree from the University of Maryland Law School, an MBA at the University of Baltimore, Merrick School of Business, and a bachelor’s degree from Miami University.


Hall Estill added Jennifer Benda as a shareholder in the firm’s Denver

Benda is a former certified public accountant and has experience practicing as a tax attorney. She advises and defends businesses in the cannabis industry with tax related matters. Benda is also involved in the community as an ABA Adopt-A-Base trainer for the IRS Military VITA program. 

She received her law degree from George Washington University Law School.

Holland & Hart announced the addition of partner Tim Crisp to its commercial finance practice. Crisp counsels banks and non-traditional lenders such as commercial finance companies, equipment factors and accounts receivable factors to structure transactions in ways that identify and manage risk. 

Before joining Holland & Hart, Crisp was a partner at Foley & Lardner and Michael Best & Friedrich. 

He is admitted to practice in New Mexico, Illinois, Wisconsin and Oregon. His practice in Colorado is temporarily authorized pending admission, and practice in Utah is authorized from June 25, 2019, to June 25, 2020.

Snell & Wilmer announced that Elizabeth Wylie has joined the Denver office as a partner in the firm’s labor and employment and commercial litigation groups.

Wylie joined the firm from Messner Reeves and has experience in business and employment litigation. She has handled breach of contract disputes across several industries, including health care, construction, real estate and manufacturing. 

Wylie represents employers in discrimination, wage and hour, whistleblower, trade secret and non-compete claims.

Wylie received a law degree from the University of Texas Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.

Jackson Kelly announced the addition of Karl Kumli to the firm’s Denver office. Kumli joins the energy, manufacturing and mining law groups where he will focus primarily on workplace health and safety. 

Prior to joining Jackson Kelly, he was regulatory compliance counsel with Triumvirate Environmental with a focus on regulatory, administrative and labor and employment matters.

Kumli received a law degree from the Northeastern University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University. 

Prior to attending law school, Kumli spent 10 fire seasons fighting wildland fires in the Western U.S.

Kumli will continue to represent clients on regulatory, administrative and employment matters involving the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation.

Personal injury attorney Bryan Doran joined the Metier Law Firm as a trial lawyer. Doran joined Metier from Doran Law, a firm he founded in Washington state devoted to serving catastrophic injury victims.

Doran joined Metier after a successful co-counsel relationship with Metier senior managing partner Tom Metier. Doran started his legal career as a clerk for the Washington State Supreme Court. He previously worked at Seattle law firms Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala and Levy Von Beck and Associates, before establishing his own firm in 2014.

He received a law degree from the Seattle University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound.

Doran is licensed in Washington and Colorado and will actively practice in both states. Metier recently opened an office in Port Orchard, Washington.


Emily Stork joined Holland & Hart’s Denver office as an associate in the firm’s corporate practice. 

She has expertise representing both borrowers and lenders in finance transactions. She has significant experience managing complex financing transactions from the borrower side, particularly syndicated secured commercial loans in connection with acquisition financings for private equity firms or other borrowers. 

Prior to joining Holland & Hart, Stork worked as a banking and corporate finance attorney at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in New York City. 

She received her law degree from Columbia Law School and her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. She is admitted to practice only in New York. Her practice in Colorado is temporarily authorized pending admission.

Koenig Oelsner Taylor Schoenfeld & Gaddis added attorney Danijela Gazibara to its commercial practice and data privacy team.

Gazibara represents clients in complex commercial, IP and technology transactions as well as product development, data protection and privacy, digital marketing and advertising, and legal issues related to social media, innovation and disruptive technologies. 

Prior to joining KO, Gazibara practiced in the transactional group of Paul Weiss in New York, served as in-house counsel for a global communications agency and a venture-back IoT startup and advised high-growth startups as a solo practitioner. She received a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College and a law degree from New York University School of Law.


Gov. Jared Polis announced July 2 the appointment of Matthew Barrett as a district court judge in the 21st Judicial District to fill a vacancy created by Senate Bill 043.

Barrett is currently a district court magistrate for the 21st Judicial District, a position he has held since 2018. His docket consists of domestic relations matters. Previously, Barrett was a senior deputy district attorney in the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, an associate at Silver & DeBoskey and a deputy district attorney in the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. 

Barrett received a bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College and a law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Barrett’s appointment is effective immediately.

Polis on July 3 announced the appointment of Vincente Vigil as a district court judge in the 19th Judicial District to fill a vacancy created by Senate Bill 043.

Vigil is an attorney at the Law Office of Robert Ray, a position he has held since 2014. His practice consists primarily of felony and misdemeanor criminal defense matters. 

Previously, he was a partner at Man & Vigil and a deputy state public defender in Greeley. Vigil received a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School.

Vigil’s appointment is effective immediately.

The 18th Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet at the Arapahoe County Justice Center on Aug. 16, to interview and select nominees for appointment to the office of district judge for the 18th Judicial District. 

The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Judge Charles Pratt. The vacancy will occur on Sept. 16.

Each applicants must be a qualified elector of the 18th Judicial District at the time of investiture and must have been admitted to the practice of law in Colorado for five years. 

Application forms and more information about the position are available from the office of the ex officio chair of the nominating commission, Justice Carlos Samour Jr., 2 E. 14th Ave. in Denver, and the office of the court executive, Shaun Clark, 7325 S. Potomac Street in Centennial. Applications also are available on the court’s home page at

Applications must be submitted by 4 p.m. July 31. Any person wishing to suggest a candidate to fill the vacancy may do so by 4 p.m. July 24.

The members of the nominating commission for the 18th Judicial District are: Candace Figa and Adelita DeHerrera, both of Aurora; Delford Philips of Denver; Christopher Richardson of Elizabeth; Michael Yowell of Hugo; Stephen Burg of Lone Tree; and Troy Porras of Parker.

Amiel Markenson, appointed in June by Gov. Jared Polis to a new 10th district court judgeship, was sworn in July 12. The judgeship was created pursuant to Senate Bill 043.

Markenson has served in various positions with the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender since 2011, including county court supervisor and deputy state public defender. Most recently, he has served as lead deputy state public defender.

He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado in 2005, and his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2010.

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