Joel O. Benson

Joel O. Benson


P: 303.892.7470

F: 303.893.1379




Susanne Joslin

P: 303.892.7593

Admitted In

  • Colorado

Joel Benson focuses on domestic and international debt financings, acquisitions and divestitures, commercial transactions, and project development, with specialized expertise working with mining and natural resources companies and private equity investors. He has been selected to The International Who’s Who of Mining Lawyers each year since 2011 and has earned an AV Preeminent® Peer Review RatingTM from Martindale-Hubbell® since 2006. In 2016, Who’s Who Legal named Mr. Benson as one of the ten “most highly regarded individuals” in the Northern Hemisphere for mining law. Mr. Benson is also an adjunct professor of mining law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (since 2012).

He frequently advises private equity funds and mining company clients on their acquisitions, investments, joint ventures, project development, and other business activities. He has extensive experience with structuring and documenting complex credit arrangements and associated multi-jurisdictional collateral security arrangements involving a variety of industries, in the United States and around the world. Mr. Benson’s debt financing practice involves representing both borrowers and lenders (including banks, private equity funds, merchant banks, and other financial institutions) in international project finance, mezzanine debt, corporate credit facilities, senior secured facilities, royalty financings, gold loans, senior and subordinated note offerings, and other financing arrangements.

His international transactional practice has involved projects and companies in over twenty-five countries, including the U.S., Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Ghana, Honduras, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Spain, Thailand, and Turkey, and has covered numerous minerals, including gold, silver, rare earths, platinum/palladium, uranium, cobalt, nickel, iron ore, zinc, copper, and other metals, industrial minerals, thermal and metallurgical coal, and oil and gas. His work with international projects has led to counseling clients with respect to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Benson served for three years as a legislative assistant for Congressman Tim Johnson (SD) in the U.S. House of Representatives. While there, he focused on public land, water, environmental, and energy issues as the staff person responsible for the Congressman’s duties on the House Natural Resources Committee, in addition to covering a variety of other issues ranging from foreign affairs to education.


  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
    • Member of Board of Directors 2013-2015
    • Trustee 2008-2010
    • Financial Advisory Committee 2005-present (Chair since 2014)
    • Audit and Risk Management Committee 2010-2013
  • Colorado Bar Association, Natural Resources and Energy Law Section (past chair)
    • Executive Council 1999-2006
  • International Bar Association, Mining Committee, Corporate and M&A Committee and Section on Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Law
  • American Bar Association, Environment, Energy and Resources Section and Business Law Section
  • Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada
  • Colorado Mining Association
  • Denver Coal Club


University of Denver, J.D., Order of St. Ives, 1994
Duke University, B.A., 1988

August 2015

52 DGS Attorneys Named Best Lawyers®

Fifty-two Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP attorneys were named Best Lawyers® by publisher Woodward/White, Inc. in its annual guide recognizing legal excellence. The 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in America is based on a peer-review survey in which more than 43,000 attorneys comment on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. The publication only recognizes the top four percent of attorneys in the country.

October 2010

Understanding Debt Financing for Mining Companies: Sources of Financing and Fundamental Terms

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation's Mining Law Short-Course

January 2010

Lobbying Registration and Reporting in Colorado

Law for Change

The following is intended to provide a brief overview of the various potential registration and reporting requirements under federal and Colorado laws with respect to the lobbying activities of most social sector organizations, both nonprofit and for-profit, including public charities, social welfare organizations and other forms of organization with a social change mission. The lobbying limitations imposed on tax-exempt organizations by the Internal Revenue Code are described in the section entitled “Taxation of Nonprofits” and are not reiterated here.


April 2009

Understanding Debt Financing for Mining Companies: Sources of Financing and Fundamental Terms

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation's International Mining and Oil & Gas Law, Development and Investment

March 2008

Understanding Debt Financing for Mining Companies: Sources of Financing and Fundamental Terms

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation's Oil and Gas Agreements: Joint Operations

September 2006

Davis Graham & Stubbs Handles $225 Million Strategic Alliance for Apex Silver Mines

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP has advised Apex Silver Mines Limited (AMEX: SIL), a mining exploration and development company, in a $225 million strategic alliance with Sumitomo Corporation, a diversified international company whose business operations include major interests in mining. Under the agreement, Sumitomo acquired a 35% participating interest in Apex Silver’s San Cristobal open-pit silver-zinc-lead project located in southwestern Bolivia and an option to earn a 35% share of additional Apex Silver exploration projects in Peru, Mexico, Argentina and Bolivia.