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Kenzo Kawanabe image

Kenzo Kawanabe


Phone 303.892.7541
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Kenzo Kawanabe is a trial lawyer who represents clients in a variety of matters relating to commercial disputes, mass torts, products liability, and intellectual property. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has significant litigation experience in high-stakes cases including:

  • Leader of a defense team regarding hundreds of plaintiffs, as part of a nationwide mass tort litigation against a pharmaceutical company.
  • Trial counsel for a subsidiary of a supermajor oil company in a dispute with the State of California concerning breach of contract and environmental claims exceeding $100 million. The case settled on favorable terms the third day of a jury trial.
  • Represented various clients against Lanham Act infringement and consumer protection act claims.
  • Trial counsel defending engineering company in a $170 million power plant case (jury denied fraud claim, and awarded a fraction of the claimed damages).
  • Trial counsel in County v. Brown Group Retail, Inc. (District of Colorado) (favorable toxic tort trial).
  • Trial counsel for a NYSE company against false advertising, breach of contract, and conspiracy claims (full defense jury verdict).
  • 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.

Mr. Kawanabe is the DGS Pro Bono Partner and was on the DGS Executive 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 Colorado Lawyers Committee.

Mr. Kawanabe is a fourth-generation Coloradan who engages in community service. He currently serves as board chair for the Boettcher Foundation, and is the former board chair of The Denver Foundation, one of the nation’s largest community foundations which annually grants tens of millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations. He also served on the boards of the Sakura Foundation, Colorado Nonprofit Development Center, Community Resource Center, Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities, Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Mr. Kawanabe served as a law clerk 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 (board of governors and Bar Fellow), Denver Bar Association (board of trustees and Executive Committee), National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (first-ever general counsel), Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado (past president and foundation president), and Minoru Yasui Inn of Court.


  • American College of Trial Lawyers Fellow
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from AVVO
  • Benchmark Litigation
  • Best Lawyers (Past Lawyer of the Year for Mass Tort)
  • Chambers USA Litigation Leader
  • Colorado Super Lawyer (Top 10) from Thomson Reuters
  • Colorado Client Choice Award
  • 5280 Top Lawyer
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America


  • 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)
  • CEA Coloradan Award (2013)
  • Colorado Lawyers Committee Team Award (2012)
  • American Constitution Society Impact Award (2012)
  • APABA Yasui Award (2012)
  • Law Week Colorado Lawyer of the Year (2011)
  • CASE Leadership Award (2011)
  • Denver Mayor’s Pascoe Civic Leadership Award (2009)
  • Richard Marden Davis Award (2005)
  • Denver Bar Association Young Lawyer of the Year (2005)
  • University of Colorado Outstanding Young Alumni (2004)
  • NAPABA Best Lawyers Under 40 (2003)
  • Denver Business Journal Top 40 Under 40 (2001)
  • University of Colorado School of Law Commendation (2001)

Court Admissions

  • Colorado
  • United States District Court for the District of Colorado
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court


Georgetown University, J.D.

University of Colorado, B.A., Boettcher Scholar

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