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Brownstein Announces 2023 Shareholder Elevations

January 25, 2023

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck is pleased to announce 10 elevations effective Jan. 1, 2023. Travis Chance (Las Vegas), Liz Esposito (Sacramento), Craig Finger (Denver), Justin Lerner (Denver), Chloe Mickel (Denver), Charlotte Phelps (Denver), Amalia Sax-Bolder (Denver), Zach Siegel (Denver), Mike Smith (Denver) and Melanie Taylor (Denver) will all become shareholders.

At Brownstein, clients receive access to the top legal minds in the industry, powerful policy knowledge and best-in-class business acumen to solve businesses’ toughest challenges. Brownstein is a law and lobbying firm that has been making moves for more than 50 years to stay at the vanguard of its industry. The firm is at the heart of many of the most important cases, the most significant deals and the country’s most pivotal legislation. At Brownstein—we’re all in.


Travis Chance is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department and is well versed in the intricacies of complex commercial litigation. With a degree in the physical sciences, he brings a structured but pragmatic approach to his practice that allows him to formulate efficient solutions for his clients. Chance has handled issues in a variety of legal areas, including corporate derivative actions, anti-SLAPP suits, defamation claims, complex commercial construction disputes and commercial real estate litigation. He has also represented clients before administrative agencies in adversarial proceedings and administrative trials.

A member of the firm’s Natural Resources Department, Liz Esposito combines a background working with and for government agencies. She leverages her diverse, hands-on natural resources experience to provide strategic counsel and advocacy on a range of natural resource matters. On behalf of private and public clients, Esposito assists in the acquisition, development, maintenance and protection of water rights and resources. She manages the environmental analysis process for large natural resources projects and regularly represents clients in complex natural resources litigation, including at the appellate level.

A member of the firm’s Litigation Department, Craig Finger’s practice encompasses the intricate world of commercial litigation with a particular expertise in navigating highly complex and emerging legal issues. He has extensive experience advising on and litigating issues related to the constantly evolving legal cannabis industry. Finger brings the required high-level analytical skills to navigate novel and complex legal questions in a variety of practice areas, including employment, class actions, securities, general contracts, breach of fiduciary duty and other business torts, consumer protection, cannabis, administrative law and government investigations. In addition to his commercial litigation work, he is skilled in helping businesses resolve pre-litigation disputes.

A member of the firm’s Real Estate Department, Justin Lerner is a gifted negotiator who helps clients maneuver through complicated commercial real estate deals, corporate transactions and day-to-day business and legal considerations. He has experience working on some of the largest and most complex real estate transactions in New York and nationally, but also regularly acts as legal counsel to startups and small businesses. He represents landlords and tenants in complex commercial lease negotiations for office, industrial and retail space throughout the country.

Chloe Mickel, a member of the firm’s Litigation Department, provides comprehensive counsel to real estate developers, design-builders and other construction professionals on multifamily, mixed use, commercial and retail projects. She also has a niche practice representing interior designers. In her transactional practice, Mickel drafts and negotiates complex design and construction agreements, including AIA form agreements. She has also worked with many clients to create a library of custom contract forms to suit their business needs. Mickel started her legal career as a litigator and continues to represent clients in litigation and arbitration.

Practicing in the firm’s Corporate & Business Department, Charlotte Phelps focuses primarily on representing private equity sponsors, individual founders and strategic companies in complex transactions. She counsels clients on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, minority investments and general corporate governance matters. Phelps has wide-ranging industry knowledge, representing clients in consumer products, manufacturing, hospitality, health care and media, among other industries. In addition, she regularly provides general commercial legal advice to clients and makes it a point to understand their day-to-day business operations and objectives.

Amalia Sax-Bolder, a member of the firm’s Litigation Department, guides a diverse set of clients in her bankruptcy and restructuring practice. She maintains an active Chapter 11 debtor practice and also represents lenders, purchasers, secured creditors, strategic investors and trustees in Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcies, receiverships and foreclosures. Sax-Bolder is a skilled litigator and frequently represents clients in adversary proceedings and arbitrations, relief from stay matters and property turnover disputes. In her transactional practice, she provides structural advice to avoid or minimize the risks of bankruptcy in mergers and acquisitions, real estate and structured finance transactions.

A member of the firm’s Real Estate Department, Zach Siegel leverages an understanding of his clients’ businesses to achieve their strategic goals. He has specific expertise in complex acquisitions and dispositions, leasing and development projects (including master-planned communities). Siegel’s work spans asset classes—multifamily, retail, office, industrial and mixed use—and transactions big and small. He handles every component of the deal with significant experience negotiating complex agreements, managing due diligence, assisting with corporate structuring, coordinating financing and facilitating closing.

Mike Smith, a member of the firm’s Natural Resources Department, helps clients untangle and navigate increasingly complex regulatory regimes and disputes. Clients turn to Smith for help with a range of matters that often involve water rights, water quality, solid and hazardous waste, protected species, land use, floodplains and oil and gas royalty disputes. His diverse practice spans regulatory compliance, rulemaking, enforcement actions, transactions and litigation. Representative clients include water and wastewater utilities, project developers, mining companies, oil and gas companies, lenders and investors.

Practicing in the firm’s Real Estate Department, Melanie Taylor advises prominent institutional real estate investors and developers as well as small businesses and nonprofit organizations in a broad range of large and complex real estate transactions in Colorado, New York and nationally. She represents both landlords and tenants in the leasing of a variety of asset classes—such as office, retail, restaurant, industrial and mixed-use—for established, redevelopment and new construction properties. Taylor also has extensive experience representing both buyers and sellers in the acquisition and disposition of office, industrial, multifamily, hospitality and mixed-use properties as well as development parcels.