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Risa Wolf-Smith

Senior Counsel

555 17th Street, Suite 3200, Denver, CO 80202

Recognized as one of the leading bankruptcy practitioners in the nation, Risa Wolf-Smith represents secured lenders, creditors’ committees, unsecured creditors, asset purchasers, landlords, franchisors, licensors, licensees, and receiver clients in bankruptcy proceedings of all sizes in many jurisdictions.

Risa has in-depth expertise in complex financial restructurings both in and out of court as well as in complicated bankruptcy sale and acquisition transactions. Recently, she has represented major Power Purchase Agreement creditors in large energy cases across the country, including the First Energy and Energy Future Holdings bankruptcies, and garnered exceptional results for her clients. She has also litigated complex intellectual property and franchise agreement disputes and frequently defended lender liability actions brought against secured lenders.

Risa chaired Holland & Hart’s Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Practice Group for over 17 years. Risa is admitted to practice in Colorado and California.


  • Bankruptcy
  • Business reorganization
  • Business workouts
  • Receiverships 
  • Creditors’ rights

Client Results

  • Represented Wells Fargo as secured lender, DIP lender, and exit lender in successful reorganization of one of the largest concrete pumping businesses in the nation.

  • Represented Jiffy Lube in Chapter 11 reorganization of more than 30 franchise locations.

  • Lead counsel to official committee of unsecured creditors in Chapter 11 case involving debtor with loan portfolio of over $150 million.

  • Lead counsel to official committee of unsecured creditors in Ponzi scheme case and prosecuted claims against insiders, professionals, and insurance company.

  • Represented asset purchasers in some of the largest Chapter 11 cases ever filed in Colorado, including the successful purchaser of the Schwinn cycling assets and the assets of one of the largest telephone and cable providers in the industry.

  • Represented private equity fund as senior secured lender, DIP lender, and acquirer of the assets of subprime loan servicer in one of the largest credit bid acquisitions in Colorado.

  • Represented secured lenders and loan servicers in state and federal receivership actions involving hotels, apartment complexes, and other real estate projects and businesses.

  • Defended numerous fraudulent and/or preferential transfer actions in jurisdictions throughout the country.




Bar Admissions


  • American College of Bankruptcy, Fellow 
  • The Best Lawyers in America® Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2011-2023
  • Colorado Super Lawyers®, Bankruptcy: Business, 2006-2022
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy & Restructuring Lawyers, 2020, 2022
  • The Legal 500, 2009-2016

Professional and Civic Affiliations

  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Director
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, Executive Editor
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference and Advisory Board Member, Co-Chair
  • Mountain/Desert Network, International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation, Director
  • Colorado Limited Liability Company Act, Co-Author; Colorado Limited Liability Company Act Revision Committee, Member
  • American Banking Institute, Asset Sales Committee, Former Education Director
  • Colorado Chapter Turnaround Management Association, Former Director
  • Colorado Bar Association, Bankruptcy Subsection, Former Co-Chair
  • State Bar of Colorado, 1986
  • State Bar of California, 1986

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