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Coast-to-Coast Expansion Continues with Nine Attorneys in a New Market for the Firm 

National law firm Frost Brown Todd (FBT) announced that it has opened a new office in Denver, the latest step forward in its strategic, coast-to-coast expansion. The firm opened in Denver with nine attorneys and plans to double its size by the end of 2024. The Denver attorneys add greater depth to the firm’s core practices and industry teams and expand its reach into the robust Colorado and Rocky Mountain regional markets.

“As one of the fastest-growing markets in the U.S., Denver is the right fit for Frost Brown Todd, as we see meaningful synergies between Denver’s growth and the areas in which our firm has a strong record,” said FBT Chairman Robert Sartin. “The breadth and depth of our legal know-how is paired with a strong culture and deep connection to clients and community, and we look forward to bringing this winning combination to Denver.”

FBT is a full-service law firm with more than a century of experience, serving regional, national, and international clients in finance, real estate, private equity, energy, manufacturing, health care, technology, and other industries. Although FBT has its roots in Mid-America, it has expanded within the last decade to offices in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., all while preserving its collaborative, people- and client-first culture.

Attorneys with expertise in real estate, business transactions, commercial bankruptcy, litigation and financial services will join the firm as part of the Denver expansion. They will add to FBT’s strength in the finance, real estate, energy and technology industries, among other sectors that have a notable presence in Denver and the Rocky Mountain region. The initial nine partners are John W. Kellogg, Dustin Charapata, Keely Downs, Jennifer Eiteljorg, Rebecca Givens, Steven Gockley, E. Job Seese, Timothy Swanson, and Jana Willsey. Kellogg will serve as partner-in-charge of the Denver office.

The Denver office brings FBT’s total to 17 offices in nine states and Washington D.C. In January 2023, FBT merged with California’s Alvarado Smith, adding 23 attorneys in Orange County, Los Angeles, and San Francisco offices. Since that time, the firm has welcomed 36 lateral partners to offices across its national platform.

“We look forward to pairing our keen understanding and dedication to Denver and the Rocky Mountain region with Frost Brown Todd’s strong national reputation and client-centered industry focus,” said Kellogg. “Each member of our team has deep roots in the Denver area and possesses intimate knowledge of the unique needs of our growing business community. With the broad range of services available at Frost Brown Todd, we can leverage a greater array of skills, deep industry knowledge and significant national resources to help our clients succeed.”

About FBT’s Denver Attorneys

Partner-in-Charge John Kellogg advises public and private corporations, private equity funds, and investors on deal structures, capital formation, acquisitions and dispositions, corporate finance, and governance matters. His clientele includes start-up and emerging companies seeking venture capital, established corporate entities, and commercial interests seeking growth through acquisition, partnership, and the consolidation of resources. A significant portion of Kellogg’s practice is focused on “off-market” or distressed assets acquisitions, often through Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code. These transactions include significant acquisitions in traditional and non-traditional energy spaces. A former CPA, Kellogg brings extensive, real-world financial experience to his clients and an ability to understand the financial impacts of deal structures. He often consults with directors, auditors, and committees on both compliance and investigative protocols and corporate governance issues. Full bio.

Partner Dustin Charapata is a hospitality and recreation-focused real estate attorney. He uses his firsthand resort experience to deliver expert advice to hospitality clients. Dustin focuses his practice on the hospitality/recreation sectors and acts as lead counsel in the disposition, acquisition, and development of recreation-focused businesses such as ski resorts, tour operators, ranches, and hotels. Dustin also has a broad-based transactional practice in which he delivers practical and effective advice on all facets of the real estate spectrum. Drawing on his in-house counsel experience, Dustin prides himself on delivering practical legal advice in a cost-effective manner and regularly counsels his C-suite clients on a variety of legal matters such as contractual, regulatory, and pre-litigation risk, as well as corporate matters that include negotiating and reviewing a wide variety of commercial agreements.

Partner Keely Downs specializes in representing owners, borrowers, and developers in the acquisition, sale, development, and financing of multifamily properties, as well as obtaining government subsidies for energy-efficient and green multifamily buildings. Downs’s practice also includes commercial real estate acquisition, sales, development, financing, and leasing of retail, industrial, and mixed-use properties. She routinely advises real estate brokers and agents regarding regulatory compliance issues. As a HUD specialist, Downs also has extensive experience guiding borrowers through the HUD financing process, including new construction, acquisition financing, and refinancing, as well as the HUD loan assumption (TPA) process. Full bio.

Partner Jennifer Eiteljorg thrives on the challenge that comes with a diverse and busy national real estate practice. National in scope, Eiteljorg’s practice is focused on real estate finance as she advises institutional lenders, debt funds and banks on commercial real estate loan origination. She has secured multimillion-dollar fixed and floating rate loans backed by all asset types, including multifamily, office, healthcare, hospitality, self-storage and manufactured home portfolios. Eiteljorg has comprehensive experience negotiating and working out non-performing loans, and advises clients with respects to forbearance agreements, restructurings, deed in lieu agreements and disposition of REO property. She represents local and national owners and investors on acquisitions, financing, development and disposition of all asset classes including casino projects and assets leased to the General Services Administration.

Partner Rebecca Givens leads teams in all aspects of real estate construction, acquisitions and dispositions, development, and lending. Her experience includes projects such as master plan communities, hospitality, retail developments, self-storage facilities, multifamily and single-family developments, senior housing, and single-family homes for rent. Givens collaborates with clients to assess risk and manage regulatory issues. She also provides real-time strategies for current economic and societal constraints. Keeping her clients’ goals in mind, Givens assists with the development of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) policies. In addition to her transactional real estate practice, Givens negotiates, drafts, and closes creative business transactions. She works with clients to manage construction and permanent financing, and assists in private placement capital raises. Full bio.

Partner Steven Gockley is an experienced real estate and construction attorney whose practice focuses on the development of commercial and industrial properties. He represents a wide range of project participants in complex commercial transactions, including owners, developers, construction managers, design professionals, Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) firms, and general contractors. He is known for providing tailored advice and strategic counsel to decision-makers throughout all phases of a project. In addition to his transactional experience, Gockley works with clients through the course of development and construction, providing counsel as to their rights and obligations under the contracts and providing strategic guidance to mitigate risks and avoid conflicts. Should disputes arise, Gockley has extensive experience in the negotiation and disposition of the same, providing counsel to assist clients to prepare for and achieve a preferred outcome. Full bio. 

Partner E. Job Seese is an experienced trial lawyer who handles a diverse range of business disputes, including oil and gas, cannabis/hemp, land issues, construction, non-competes, and general contractual matters. Job’s oil and gas practice focuses primarily on Exploration & Production (E&P) and midstream companies, which he has represented in a wide range of disputes in federal and state courts. Job’s current clients range from national corporate clients to Colorado-based landowners, agricultural interests, and cannabis and hemp companies. A trusted advocate and advisor, Job assists clients in finding ROI-effective paths to resolve and prevail in their business disputes and challenges. Job’s broad experience across industry sectors and practice areas gives him the ability to find creative paths to resolving clients’ legal challenges. Skilled both in the courtroom and in written advocacy, Job represents clients that are seeking to win in and outside the judicial system.

Partner Timothy Swanson’s practice focuses primarily on commercial bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, and commercial litigation. He brings creative problem-solving to difficult insolvency scenarios, with an emphasis on obtaining practical and cost-driven results. Swanson has extensive experience with Chapter 7 and 11 matters, drafting and arguing a multitude of motions, objections, appellate briefs, and other pleadings, while also handling contested bankruptcy court proceedings and appellate proceedings. Swanson pursues and negotiates a variety of collection, litigation and/or settlement strategies with each insolvency matter he handles. He has represented numerous participants in bankruptcy proceedings including secured creditors, trade creditors, landlords, tenants, debtors, creditors’ committees, trustees, asset purchasers, equity holders, and various other interested parties. Full bio. 

Partner Jana Willsey is a finance and development attorney with experience in commercial real estate financing, including multifamily housing, office, industrial, retail, and mixed-use projects. She represents regional and national financial institutions and borrowers in structuring, negotiating, and documenting complex real estate-secured transactions throughout the country. These include acquisition, stabilization and other bridge loans, construction and rehabilitation loans, lines of credit, syndications, participations, and agency financing.

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