Russell W. Kemp



Russell W. Kemp



Russell Kemp is a business lawyer with a diverse practice. He has a passion for closing deals, and also helps clients work through challenging circumstances, resolving disputes and finding creative solutions. His clients include ranch owners, real estate investors and developers, and businesses in a variety of industries including oil and gas.

Mr. Kemp represents clients involved in complex real estate transactions including property acquisition and sale, construction, development, leasing, financing, foreclosure and workouts, partnerships, joint ventures, entity formations, condemnations and title disputes. Russell has been fortunate to represent land owners with a desire to preserve and protect wildlife and natural habitats across Colorado.

He led the legal team that challenged the development of an electric transmission expansion into one of Colorado’s most beautiful regions and helped turn the development threat into a landmark conservation success for wildlife habitat and preservation. The conservation project involved public and private entities and resulted in the creation of a landscape-level conservation area with conservation easements on almost 200,000 acres. He represents several of the largest ranches in Colorado.

Landowners have hired Mr. Kemp to advise on policy issues and to fend off threats from public and private actors. He led the legal team protecting private landowners in a highly-publicized attempt to condemn valuable development property for alleged urban renewal. Business clients have also taken his practice to agencies such as the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission, where he has addressed issues such as electric transmission and resource planning and renewable energy policy.

He brings the same motivation and intention to his business and estate planning clients. He gives advice with perspective to business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals; and he helps his clients navigate regulatory and policy issues, probate and business matters. Mr. Kemp advises a number of family offices and private foundations.

Prior to joining Ireland Stapleton, Mr. Kemp worked in television news. He joined the firm in 1998 and served on the firm’s Executive Committee from 2004-2012. An active member in the Denver community, he gives his professional and personal time and money to various nonprofits including Community First Foundation, WorldDenver, Habitat for Humanity of Metropolitan Denver, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, the Women’s Foundation of Colorado and Metro Denver YMCA. Through his civic and community work, Mr. Kemp has a passion for creating connections and partnerships between non-profits serving the Denver community.

Legal Experience

  • Representation of buyer in one of the largest real estate acquisitions ever in Colorado.
  • Counsel to several of the largest ranches in Colorado.
  • Representation of developers of mixed-use commercial buildings, golf course projects and residential communities.
  • Commerical loan workouts and foreclosure.
  • State regulatory, lobbying and policy work, including before Colorado General Assembly, Colorado Public Utilities Commission, Colorado Secretary of State, Colorado Department of Revenue, and the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission.
  • Successful resolution of complex issues in large probate estates.

Presentations and Publications

  • Panelist, The Land Report 2015 Aspen Summit, October 17, 2015
  • Speaker, real estate CLE, “Practical Title Insurance and Survey Tips,” February 2004


  • American Bar Association
  • Fellow, Colorado Bar Foundation (2007-present)
  • Colorado Bar Association; past member, Real Estate Section Council
  • Denver Bar Association
  • Chair (2017-2018) and Emeritus Member, Alumni Council for University of Denver Law School
  • Real Estate Section Council of the Colorado Bar Association (2006-2009)

Community Involvement

  • Community First Foundation, Board of Directors and Vice Chair
  • WorldDenver, Founding Board Member and Past Chairman of the Board
  • Colorado-European Union Center of Excellence, Leason Scholarship Committee
  • Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, Board President (2013); World of Hope Campaign Council
  • Rocky Mountain Regional Board of Advisors of the Institute of International Education (2007-2012)
  • French American Chamber of Commerce, Member
  • Downtown Denver YMCA, Board of Advisors and Chairman (2000-2011)
  • Metro Denver YMCA, Former Trustee
  • The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, PEP Club


  • Quoted in, “Digital estate planning vital for data assets,” Denver Business Journal, January 16, 2015

Personal Interests

Maps, bicycling, Persian rice and gardening and cooking with his wife and kids.

Contact Info

Practice Areas


  • University of Denver Sturm College of Law J.D., Order of St. Ives, 1998 Thompson Marsh Scholar
  • Dartmouth College A.B., magna cum laude, 1988

Honors & Awards

  • Selected to The Best Lawyers in America® for Real Estate Law
  • Selected by Colorado Super Lawyers® for Real Estate Law, 2009-2020
  • State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs IVLP Volunteer Certificate, 2014
  • WorldDenver Volunteer of the Year Award, 2012
  • Ray Cushman Award for Volunteer Service from Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, 2006
  • Volunteer of the Year Award for Downtown Denver YMCA, 2003


  • Admitted to practice in Colorado