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With extensive experience in the food and brewing industries, Chris helps employers to solve the full range of employment issues and disputes.

Chris Ottele solves 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 and complex employment laws. 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 handles matters across a range of industries including manufacturing, alcohol, cannabis, industrial hemp and telecommunications.

Chris practices in all areas of employment law, but has particular experience on trade secrets, noncompetes, wage and hour, and wrongful termination. While focusing on Colorado, Chris has had the good fortune to practice throughout the country, handling litigations for sophisticated clients in more than two dozen jurisdictions. Chris has a passion for all phases of litigation, but enjoys the court room and appeals.

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 serves as Husch Blackwell’s Hiring Chair, which includes hiring a summer class of more than 80 summer associates nationwide.




  • Benchmark Litigation, Labor & Employment Star - West, 2019-2020
  • 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 Associations and Memberships

  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association
  • Routinely defeated allegations of discrimination, retaliation, unlawful discharge, breach of contract, family and medical leave violations, labor arbitrations and overtime denials.
  • Regularly represented employers and executives in cases concerning noncompetition and confidentiality agreements.
  • Handled jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations and appeals.
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