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Sean Hanlon


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

Sean Hanlon consistently achieves positive outcomes for clients, whether through contract drafting and negotiation, settlement, dispositive motion, trial, or appeal.

With over a decade of litigation and trial experience, Sean is focused on counseling clients through the whole life cycle of commercial construction projects. Understanding the litigation of construction disputes, Sean and his team of project attorneys anticipate problems and protect clients’ interests in drafting and negotiating construction and design contracts. Through informed project counseling, Sean works to resolve disputes before they cause project delays. When litigation or formal dispute resolution is necessary, Sean consistently achieves positive outcomes for clients, whether through trial, dispositive motion, or settlement.

Sean recently completed a fully-dedicated secondment for one of his construction clients. During that secondment for a large contractor focused on infrastructure and landmark construction projects, Sean served as internal senior counsel and legal point of contact on many active and in-pursuit projects in the Mountain West, South Central, and South Eastern Atlantic regions of the U.S. Those projects involved a variety of project delivery methods—including traditional design-bid-build, CMAR, Design-Build, Progressive Design-Build, and Public-Private-Partnerships (P3s)—and ranged in contract value per project from several million dollars to over $3 billion. After completing his secondment, Sean is serving as external project counsel on a P3 transportation infrastructure project exceeding $2 billion and a design-build transportation infrastructure project exceeding $3 billion.

Proven Experience: Sean has first-chaired 34 trials, 12 for Holland & Hart clients, and another 22 during his secondment as a special prosecutor with the Denver City Attorney's office, including 12 jury and 10 bench trials. In addition to counseling owners, prime contractors, lenders, and loan servicers, Sean handles a variety of general commercial litigation matters. He has also successfully represented clients in appellate matters in Colorado at the state and federal levels.


Litigation & Trial Practice
  • Jury Trials 
  • Bench Trials 
  • Summary Adjudication 
  • Dispositive Relief 
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (Mediation & Arbitration) 
  • Favorable Settlements

Client Results

Construction Litigation
  • Represent owner of private hydroelectric power to project in mediation and arbitration.

  • Successfully defended a global prime contractor against claims brought by an unsuccessful bidder on a private subcontract. Our motion for summary judgment was granted in full, and the entire matter was dismissed with prejudice.

  • Lead role representing a museum owner in a construction arbitration dispute over damages resulting from HVAC system deficiencies. The matter settled favorably for our client.

Financial Litigation
  • Lead role in defense of a large, nationwide loan servicer against a borrower's action for injunctive relief and damages relating to foreclosure. After demonstrating to the court the suit was without merit, our team secured the dismissal of the matter with prejudice in five business days.

  • Represented a large financial institution in Tenth Circuit appeal resulting in affirmation of the client's trial court victory over multiple claims asserted by a residential borrower.

  • Representing commercial or mortgage lenders, has successfully resolved dozens of cases in early case stage through dismissal or summary judgment.

Tax Litigation
  • Co-chaired tax litigation trial for a large movie theatre involving extensive expert testimony in the field of computer science to determine the scope and reach of the applicable tax code.



Speaking Engagements


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions


  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Litigation - Construction, 2021-2023; Litigation - Real Estate, 2022, 2023; Construction Law, 2023
  • Denver Business Journal, "40 Under 40,” 2016 
  • Colorado Super Lawyers® Rising Stars, Business Litigation, 2014-2017
  • Chambers USA, Construction, 2021, 2022

Professional and Civic Affiliations

  • Construction Lawyers Society of America, Fellow
  • Downtown Denver Partnership, Member 
  • Downtown Denver Partnership, Transportation & Development Council, Member 
  • Downtown Denver Partnership, Economic Development Council, Member
  • American Bar Association Construction Law Forum, Member 
  • Planning Committee, Mile High Country Q & Brew charity event benefiting the Tennyson Center for Children, Member, 2011-2016
  • U.S. Green Building Council, Colorado Chapter, Member
  • DBIA Rocky Mountain Region, Member
  • 2014 Downtown Denver Leadership Program, Member

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