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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 claims, and consumer protection act claims.
  • Trial counsel defending engineering company in a $170 million power plant case (jury denied fraud and negligence claims, and awarded a small fraction of the claimed damages).
  • Trial counsel in County v. Brown Group Retail, Inc. (D. Colo.) (favorable three-week 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 constitutional trial on behalf of schools and students against the State of Colorado in a historic public education case.

Mr. Kawanabe was the DGS Pro Bono Partner and on the DGS Executive Committee. He currently serves on the board of the Stapleton Foundation, which crafts plans for redevelopment of residential, commercial, retail, open space, and parks in the Stapleton community. He teaches at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and dedicates significant time to volunteer work including service with the Colorado Lawyers Committee (Board Chair), Colorado Legal Services (Board), and Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Kawanabe is a fourth-generation Coloradan who engages in community service. He was Board Chair of The Denver Foundation, one of the nation’s largest community foundations which annually grants tens of millions of dollars to non-profit organizations. He also served on the Boards of the Boettcher Foundation, Sakura Foundation, Colorado Nonprofit Development Center, Community Resource Center, the Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities, University of Denver Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Mr. Kawanabe served as a law clerk for the Honorable Mary J. Mullarkey, Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Bar Association (ABF Fellow), Colorado Bar Association (past Board of Governors 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 Foundation President), and Minoru Yasui Inn of Court.


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


  • 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)
  • Denver Bar Foundation Davis Award (2005)
  • Denver Bar 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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