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Kenzo Kawanabe


Kenzo Kawanabe is a trial lawyer representing businesses and individuals in high-stakes matters involving hundreds of millions of dollars. Mr. Kawanabe has significant experience in all types of large, complex cases, with a particular emphasis on intellectual property. Past clients include Fortune 500 companies, local technology startups, and private equity firms.

Mr. Kawanabe is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (State Chair), and regarded as one of the top civil trial lawyers (e.g., Chambers USA® (Band 1), Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year for Bet-the-Company Litigation”, Colorado Super Lawyers® Top 10). His experience includes:

  • Counsel for technology companies concerning intellectual property rights and trade secrets.
  • Counsel for officers and shareholders in complex business and fiduciary duty disputes.
  • Trial counsel for companies regarding a variety of industries and issues including real estate, construction, mass torts, products liability, and environmental matters.
  • Construction defect litigation relating to industrial/ highway projects, as well as residential homes.
  • Trial team leader in a five-week trial on behalf of schools and students against the State of Colorado in a historic public education finance case.
  • Pro bono counsel for refugees seeking asylum, tenants, and various legal clinics.

Mr. Kawanabe served on the DGS Executive Committee, as Pro Bono Coordinator, and Chair of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. He teaches at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and dedicates significant time to volunteer work, including board service for Colorado Legal Services and the Colorado Lawyers Committee.

Mr. Kawanabe is a fourth-generation Coloradan who engages in community service. He serves on the Board of Governors for Colorado State University, and on the Board of Advisors for the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. Mr. Kawanabe also is the former board chair of the Boettcher Foundation and the Denver Foundation, one of the nation’s largest community foundations. He served on the boards of the Sakura Foundation, Colorado Nonprofit Development Center, Community Resource Center, Barton Institute for Community Action, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC.

Mr. Kawanabe clerked for then Chief Justice Mary J. Mullarkey of the Colorado Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Bar Association (ABF Fellow), Colorado Bar Association (past board and Bar Fellow), Denver Bar Association (past board and Executive Committee), National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (first-ever General Counsel), Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado (past president and past foundation president), and Minoru Yasui Inn of Court.


  • American College of Trial Lawyers Fellow
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from Martindale-AVVO
  • Benchmark Litigation
  • Best Lawyers® (Past Lawyer of the Year for Mass Tort)
  • Chambers USA Litigation Leader (CO Band 1)
  • Colorado Super Lawyer (Top 10) Thomson Reuters
  • Colorado Client Choice Award
  • Law Week Colorado Barrister’s Best
  • 5280 Top Lawyer, Civil & Commercial Litigation


  • Asian American Hero, Asian Avenue Magazine (2020)
  • National Philanthropy Day (Colorado): Volunteer of the Year (2019)
  • Law Week Colorado Barrister's Best for Colorado's Best Commercial Litigator (2017)
  • PEBC Investing in Education Award (2014)
  • Colorado Education Association Coloradan Award (2013)
  • Colorado Lawyers Committee Team Award (2012)
  • American Constitution Society Impact Award (2012)
  • APABA Minoru Yasui Award (2012)
  • Law Week Colorado Lawyer of the Year (2011)
  • CASE Leadership Award (2011)
  • Denver Mayor’s Pascoe Civic Leadership Award (2009)
  • Denver Bar Association Richard Marden Davis Award (2005)
  • University of Colorado Outstanding Young Alumni (2004)
  • NAPABA Best Lawyers Under 40 (2003)
  • Denver Business Journal Top 40 Under 40 (2001)

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