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Husch Blackwell Sanders’ Denver Office Grows

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Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP announces its recent expansion to Denver, Colorado. A new office opened in Denver in September and now has seven attorneys working at that location. There will be an official firm location grand opening on November 6, 2008, at the Wells Fargo Center.

“The reasons for establishing a Denver presence are compelling. The amount of healthcare work we are already doing in Denver and the Rocky Mountain region is significant,” said Dave Fenley, co-chairman of Husch Blackwell Sanders. “We’re also outside counsel to a major energy client in Denver. We see clear opportunity in other areas as well, such as investment management, franchising and transportation.”

Husch Blackwell Sanders’ extensive research into the Denver business community revealed a significant demand for legal service providers in the middle of the United States who can be accessed locally. The research concluded that Denver law firms tend to focus exclusively in markets in or west of the Rocky Mountain Region. Firms with Middle America offices didn’t compare to the breadth of markets or the depth and diversity of the legal services Husch Blackwell Sanders already offers.

Winn Halverhout spearheads the Denver office, located in the Wells Fargo Center. He joined the firm’s Kansas City, Missouri office in 1988. Halverhout focuses his practice on health law and represents many large hospital systems, including Lester E. Cox Medical Centers, Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, Saint Luke’s Health System and The Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Mary H. Stuart, David S. Steefel, Christopher L. Ottele, Matthew J. Smith and Jeffrey D. Whitney have joined the firm’s Denver office in the Litigation Division. Stuart, Steefel, Ottele and Smith join as partners, while Whitney joins as an associate. “Our nationwide litigation practice will be enhanced by the addition of these outstanding and seasoned trial lawyers,” notes Joe Conran, co-chairman of Husch Blackwell Sanders.

Mary Stuart joins the firm from her position as head of Holme Roberts & Owen LLP’s employment practice group, where she practiced in the areas of commercial litigation and employment. Stuart represents employers in courts and agencies defending wrongful termination, breach of contract, harassment and discrimination claims. She is a member of the board of trustees of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado and chair of the board of trustees of the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado. Stuart earned her J.D. from the University of Denver (1981) and her B.S. from the University of Maine (1976).

David Steefel joins the firm from Holme Roberts & Owen LLP, where he focused his practice on complex commercial litigation. An experienced trial lawyer, Steefel represents clients in appeals, arbitrations and mediations. He has handled litigation involving a range of commercial disputes, including contracts, natural resources, securities, business torts, construction, real estate and environmental law. Steefel earned his J.D. from the University of Colorado (1978) and his B.A. from Carleton College (1973).

Prior to joining the firm, Christopher Ottele practiced at Holme Roberts & Owen LLP as an employment attorney. Ottele has successfully litigated claims involving wage and hour law, discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, and non-competition agreements. Ottele testifies before the Colorado General Assembly on legislation that will affect Colorado’s judicial system or Colorado’s employers. In 2007 Ottele was named Colorado Civil Justice League Lawyer of the Year, an organization for which he serves as the Chair of the Legal Advisory Board. He earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago (1999) and his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College (1996).

Matthew Smith joins the firm from Holme Roberts & Owen LLP. Prior to joining HRO, he practiced at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP in Denver. Smith specializes in complex commercial litigation and securities-related arbitration and litigation. He has experience representing public companies, directors and officers of public companies, insurance brokers, and broker-dealers in securities and regulatory matters. He represents clients in proceedings before governmental entities and self-regulatory organizations, including the SEC, the Colorado Division of Securities, the NASD and NYSE. Smith earned his J.D. from the University of Denver (2000) and his B.A. from the University of Colorado (1997).

Jeffrey Whitney joins the firm from Holme Roberts & Owen LLP. His practice includes representing companies and individuals involved in contract and license disputes, business torts, and securities related matters. He advises clients in the securities industry regarding techniques to avoid litigation. Whitney also counsels clients regarding their obligations under various employments laws. He earned his J.D. from the University of Colorado (2004) and his B.S. from the University of Nebraska (2000).