Real estate attorney James G. Benjamin and regulatory attorney Tom Downey have been named “Top Lawyers” by 5280 magazine.

This is the sixth annual list of 5280’s “Top Lawyer” list.  Attorneys in the seven-county metro area vote for the peers they respect most in 50 areas of law.  Based on those survey results, 5280 reporters conduct their own interviews and assemble the list.  This year, approximately 350 Denver area attorneys made the list.

Benjamin is listed for real estate law. He is well-known for his legal work in real estate, banking, and lending. In his practice he works with developers, landowners, banking and lending institutions, landlords, commercial tenants, lenders, borrowers, and sellers and purchasers of a variety of commercial real estate, including office buildings, vacant development land, subdivisions, apartments, shopping centers, hotels, campgrounds, and mixed-use complexes. Benjamin’s practice focuses on commercial real estate transactional work, including acquisitions, sales, commercial leasing (office, retail, and ground), financing, condominium development, land development and condominium conversions. He also has a broad range of experience with institutional client lending, representing lenders and borrowers, including real estate secured and asset-based financing transactions. His experience extends to all aspects of real estate including preparation and negotiation of purchase and sale agreements, loan documents, lease agreements (retail, office, and long-term ground leases), reciprocal easement agreements, development related agreements and easements, joint venture agreements, documents for common interest community creation, and documents for real estate ownership entity formation.

Downey has significant experience as both a government official and private attorney.  He helps clients navigate all aspects of regulatory law, including the administrative, transactional and disciplinary processes related to liquor licensing, legalized marijuana, hemp, and CBD; gaming; sports betting; and licenses governed by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.

Prior to joining Ireland Stapleton, Downey held several prominent positions in state and local government.  Most recently, he led Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses.  At the Department he redrafted the policies and procedures for liquor licensing and wrote the original policies and procedures for Denver’s legalized recreational marijuana licenses.  While in this role, he was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to advise the administration and the Colorado General Assembly on legislation that would create legalized recreational marijuana.  Downey also worked in the Colorado Secretary of State’s office under Secretary Bernie Buescher and Secretary Scott Gessler.  In this role, he worked with the Advisory Committee to merge and ultimately run the licensing and business divisions.  Additionally, Downey served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Business and Licensing Section of the Colorado Attorney General’s office under Attorney General Ken Salazar.  His higher profiles cases include congressional redistricting, state reapportionment, and the GAVEL Amendment and Blue Book battles.