Steeped in History, Prepared for the Future
Tracing our beginnings back to 1926.
Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC traces its beginnings back to 1926, when Clarence Ireland, a University of Colorado School of Law graduate and Army veteran, started the law firm of Ireland and Blackman with his partner Roy Hamfort Blackman. Clarence would go on to serve as Colorado’s 25th Attorney General from 1931 – 1932.
In 1940, Gail L. Ireland, joined his cousin Clarence in the practice of law, creating Ireland and Ireland. Gail Ireland would go on to serve as Colorado’s 28th Attorney General from 1941 – 1945.
In 1946, Benjamin F. Stapleton, Jr. and Wilber “Wib” M. Pryor joined Ireland and Ireland as associate attorneys after returning from serving in the Armed Forces during World War II. The Firm’s law practice centered around commercial enterprises emphasizing corporate law, securities, mergers, acquisitions, insurance, real estate, banking, natural resources, public utilities, and commercial and complex litigation.
As time moved on the Firm grew, and in 1950, Ben and Wib were made partners. The Firm changed its name once again to reflect its newest partners and became Ireland, Ireland, Stapleton & Pryor.
In the early 1950s, Ben served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado. Ben was involved in many significant legal matters in Colorado. He was also very involved in civic activities over the years as President of the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver, Chairman of the Regional Advisory Committee, and national Trustee of the Institute of International Education. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Chevaliers du Tastevin, White House Conference on Ratification of Panama Canal Treaty, and Colorado Committee for Ratification of Salt II. He also served as a Trustee of the Legal Aid Foundation. Further, Ben was decorated by the government of France, receiving the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Merite for his service in the development of the sister-city relationship between Denver and Brest, France.
“The Firm has a long history of tackling complex legal issues. The work we do untangles complex legal issues, sets precedent, and helps lay the groundwork for our communities to thrive.”ERICA L. TARPEY, MANAGING DIRECTOR
Ten years later, in 1960, Monte D. Pascoe joined the Firm. Monte, a graduate of Denver’s East High School in Denver, attended Dartmouth College and earned his law degree from Stanford University. After unsuccessfully running for a seat on the Denver Public Schools Board on a pro-integration platform, he helped back a lawsuit against the school district. Ultimately, this case, known as the Keyes Case, resulted in the desegregation of the Denver Public Schools.
Monte served as state party chairman of the Democratic Party from 1973 to 1977 and was instrumental in the election of former Governor Richard Lamm.
Later in his career, he served as executive director of the Department of Natural Resources and as a commissioner on the Denver Board of Water Commissioners. He also served on the Colorado School of Mines Board and was President of the Illiff School of Theology. The Firm changed its name to its current name of Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC in 1989.
In his later years, Pascoe represented clients wishing to preserve land for open space.
In 2006, the City and County of Denver established the Monte Pascoe Civic Leadership Award to honor Monte’s legacy; and he was given the first award posthumously. Since August 2007, the award has been presented annually by the Denver Mayor to a member of the community who exemplifies the civic leadership qualities demonstrated by Monte throughout his lifetime.
Today, the firm looks much different than it did nearly 100 years ago when Clarence Ireland first opened the doors of the two-attorney law firm. We have expanded to a 40-attorney firm with offices in Denver and Grand Junction, but despite this growth, the Firm’s commitment to legal excellence and its conviction to advocate for and defend the legal rights of its clients has not wavered. “The Firm has a long history of tackling complex legal issues,” said Erica Tarpey, the firm’s managing director; “the work we do untangles complex legal issues, sets precedent, and helps lay the groundwork for our communities to thrive”.
The Law Firm of Ireland & Blackman is Formed.Clarence L. Ireland starts firmClarence L. Ireland practiced law in Denver with Roy Hamfort Blackman they named the Firm Ireland & Blackman.
Clarence Ireland Appointed Colorado Attorney GeneralColorado Attorney General
Between 1931 and 1933 Clarence Ireland served as the Attorney General for the State of Colorado.
Gail L. Ireland joins firmGail L. Ireland joins firm
Gail L. Ireland begins to practice law with his cousin, Clarence, and the Firm changes it’s name to Ireland & Ireland.
Gail L. Ireland Appointed Colorado Attorney GeneralGail L. Ireland - Colorado Attorney General
Gail L. Ireland became Attorney General for the State of Colorado, serving from 1941 to 1945.
Stapleton & Pryor join firm
Benjamin F. Stapleton, Jr. and Wilber M. Pryor joined Ireland & Ireland as associates.
The Firm’s practice centered around commercial enterprises emphasizing corporate law, securities, mergers, acquisitions, insurance, real estate, banking, natural resources, public utilities, and commercial and complex litigation.
Stapleton and Pryor are Named Partners
Benjamin F. Stapleton, Jr. and Wilber M. Pryor became partners, and Ireland & Ireland becomes Ireland, Ireland, Stapleton & Pryor.
The Firm Adds Monte D. Pascoe to Its Ranks
Monte D. Pascoe joins the Firm as an associate.
Chairman of the Colorado Democratic Party
Monte served two two-year terms as the Chairman of the Colorado Democratic Party from 1973 – 1977.
Named a “blue chip” firm
Time Magazine describes the Firm Ireland, Ireland, Stapleton & Pryor as one of Denver’s “blue chip” law firms. The Firm is also recognized by The American Lawyer Guide to Leading Law Firms, a very prominent listing at the time.
Aspen Skiing Co. v. Aspen Highlands Skiing Corp.
Aspen Highlands Skiing Corp. v. Aspen Skiing Company
In 1979, Aspen Highlands Skiing Corp., represented by the Firm, believed that Aspen Skiing Company, which owned and operated three other Aspen, Colorado ski areas, had monopolized the Aspen skiing market. Aspen Highlands filed an antitrust lawsuit in the United States District Court of Colorado claiming treble damages under Section 2 of the Sherman Act. With the contributions of several Firm members, notably Monte Pascoe and Tucker Trautman, Aspen Highlands’ cause was won at the state trial court, in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and finally before the United States Supreme Court in 1985.
Expanding Our Reach
In 1990, the firm joins the law firm network, State Capital Group, a network of independent law firms formed by former state governors from both major political parties. Membership in the network expanded the resources of the firm to serve clients with operations throughout the world.
To this day the Firm remains a highly active member in the network that is now known as SCG Legal.
K.C. Groves elected as managing director
In 2004, K.C. Groves is elected to serve as Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe’s managing director.
Monte Pascoe Civic Leadership Award
In 2006, then Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper honored our late partner, Monte Pascoe, by establishing the Monte Pascoe Civic Leadership Award and the first award was given posthumously to Monte. Now, the award is presented every year to a member of the community who has best demonstrated extraordinary service to improve the community or the world.
Erica L. Tarpey elected managing director
Erica L. Tarpey is elected the Firm’s first female managing director.
The Demise of the Bob Richard’s Rule
In 2019, Mark E. Haynes and co-counsel from Hogan Lovells appear before the United States Supreme Court in Simon E. Rodriguez, as Chapter 7 Trustee for the Bankruptcy Estate of United Western Bancorp, Inc. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as Receiver for United Western Bank. At issue was the “Bob Richards rule” under which a tax refund paid to an affiliated group of corporations is presumed to belong to the subsidiary whose losses gave rise to the refund unless the parties agree otherwise.
In a 0-9 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Bob Richards rule and remanded the case back down to the lower court.