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Christopher L. Ottele

Christopher L. Ottele

phone: 303.749.7209
fax: 303.749.7272

Representing a wide range of clients in the manufacturing, cannabis and high technology industries, Chris advises employers on workplace issues and employment law disputes.

Chris's primary objective is to solve employers' problems in the workplace. He first counsels clients on straightforward ways to minimize and manage their legal risks, then provides day-to-day advice on compliance with ever-changing employment laws and sensitive workplace situations. Chris frequently conducts workplace investigations about employee misconduct. When litigation ensues, Chris fights for clients with zeal and determination, all the while making sure clients are making informed choices about risks and rewards at every stage. 

Chris practices in all areas of employment law, but has developed particular expertise advocating for clients in claims involving noncompetes, wage and hour, discrimination and wrongful termination. While focusing on his home state of Colorado, Chris has practiced throughout the country, handling litigation for sophisticated clients in more than two dozen jurisdictions. Chris has a passion for the court room and appeals.

Chris's litigation experience often translates to sophisticated commercial disputes, including intellectual property, trade secrets and consumer protection.

On behalf of Colorado’s business community, Chris testifies before the Colorado General Assembly on proposed legislation that will affect employers and businesses, as well as submitting amicus briefs to appellate courts on matters of significant public interest.

Chris served as Husch Blackwell’s Hiring Chair for three years, which included hiring summer classes of more than 80 summer associates nationwide.




  • Benchmark Litigation, Labor & Employment Star - West, 2018-2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2021-2024; Employment Law - Management, 2023 and 2024
  • Chambers USA, Labor & Employment, 2022 and 2023
  • Colorado Super Lawyers, 2016, Employment & Labor, Rising Star, 2010-2014


  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School
  • B.A., Claremont McKenna College
    • cum laude


  • Colorado
  • Washington

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association
  • Prevailed on several preliminary injunction hearings regarding trade secrets and noncompetes.
  • Routinely defeated allegations of discrimination, retaliation, unlawful discharge, breach of contract, family and medical leave violations, and wage and hour classifications.
  • Regularly represented employers and executives in cases concerning trade secrets, noncompetition, and confidentiality agreements.
  • Prevailed in collective and class actions.
  • Handled jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations and appeals.
  • Served as de-facto general counsel and in-house employment counsel for multiple clients without internal legal personnel.
  • Retained by sophisticated employers to conduct independent investigations into allegations of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, financial impropriety, and other employee and executive misconduct.
Legal Updates | November 04, 2020
FAQs for Colorado Paid Family Leave Law (FAMLI)
Legal Updates | March 25, 2020
Colorado Governor Issues Stay-at-Home Order
Legal Updates | February 04, 2020
Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order

This impact will also be significant because non-exempt Colorado employees are entitled to overtime for workdays in excess of 12 hours, which is not a requirement under federal law. 

Legal Updates | April 12, 2019
Colorado's Employers Should Expect Enactment of Paid Family Leave For All

FAMLI, if ultimately enacted, will weave a new, complex and multi-faceted framework into the workplace that will impact all employers and employees in Colorado.

News Releases | October 01, 2019
Benchmark Litigation's 2020 Edition Recognizes 33 Husch Blackwell Attorneys

The firm also received Benchmark’s “Highly Recommended” ranking in Missouri and Wisconsin and its “Recommended” ranking in Nebraska.

Media Mentions | March 24, 2019
Safety + Health: Clearing the air on marijuana
Community Leadership
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, Associate Board, 2007-2011 
  • Claremont McKenna College, alumni interviewer, 2002-present  
  • Colorado Civil Justice League, Legal Advisory Board, chair, 2008-present