Frost Brown Todd Opens in Denver with Ambitious Plans

Managing Partner of Frost Brown Todd's Denver office stands in front of the new office's conference room.
Managing Partner John Kellogg talks to Law Week about Frost Brown Todd’s new office in Denver. / Michael Rummel for Law Week Colorado.

Frost Brown Todd recently expanded into the Denver area, bringing the firm’s office total to 17 across the country and cementing its footprint in the Rocky Mountains. The Denver office launched with nine partners, led by managing partner John Kellogg. 

Kellogg said FBT has been looking to expand into Denver for quite some time. 

“The way our firm [was] approaching Denver growth and expansion was to build a full-service operation in Denver, and do that with well-known practitioners who have established practices in Denver, and bring those folks on board into Frost,” said Kellogg.  

Part of that vision was bringing in people that fit with FBT’s culture, said Kellogg. 

Joining Kellogg in the office’s initial partnership group are Dustin Charapata, Keely Downs, Jennifer Eiteljorg, Rebecca Givens, Steven Gockley, C. Michael Shull III, Timothy Swanson and Jana Willsey. 

Kellogg said there were a couple of things, in addition to the culture of the firm, that brought him and the rest of this team to FBT. 

“One, we saw that the product offering we could give to our clients, the level of service we could give to our clients, [would expand] quite a bit from where we were,” said Kellogg. “There are specialty areas we can offer, there are support and resources that you can offer with a firm the size of Frost Brown that you couldn’t offer at a smaller firm. So we found that attractive, and I think that was probably one of the primary factors to move us in this direction.” 

Right now, the office is focused on building the base for its practice in the Rocky Mountain region. Kellogg said that includes real estate, corporate litigation, labor and employment and bankruptcy restructuring. 

“So building a core offering for our clients in Denver, and then expanding from that,” said Kellogg. “The firm nationally is very strong in IP, very strong in securities, very strong in tax, all those offerings are here through us in Denver and through our national platform.” 

And FBT is currently in expansion mode. 

“Our expansion is deliberate. We’re focusing on certain practice areas, we’re focusing on certain folks in town,” said Kellogg. “And the idea is that we’d like to get our office to about 20 people by the end of the year. I know our chair said we’d like to be at 70 in two years. That’s a big lift, but I think we can do it.” 

If the expansion works out as planned, FBT would be in the top 20 firms for number of lawyers in Colorado, when compared to the most recent Law Week Colorado 200 data.

As the firm expands, there’s an eye to adding on more specialized practices. 

“We’d probably have a stronger IP presence, we’d probably have a stronger corporate tax presence, partnership taxation, maybe we’d add trust and estates, some of those more specialized practices,” said Kellogg. “But generally they’re going to be focused on those core areas.” 

As far as where those attorneys would come from, Kellogg noted that Denver continues to be an attractive legal market for people from out of state. 

“I think we have opportunities potentially to bring some folks, more likely at the associate level, from out of town into Denver that are looking to relocate into this market,” said Kellogg. “I think from a partner level, we’re probably focused more on partners in Denver, just because they’re established in this region.” 

Kellogg added the management committee at FBT is firmly behind the new office and excited by the possibilities in Denver and the larger Rocky Mountain region. 

“The great thing is we’ve established the Frost Brown beachhead in Colorado,” said Kellogg. “We’re growing this office, all the folks we’ve talked to and the people we’ve brought on board, we have a really cohesive team. We’re enjoying working together and building this office.” 

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