Russell W. Kemp


PHONE 303-628-3624
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Russell Kemp is a business attorney and strategist who helps clients to prevent legal problems from arising and to resolve difficult situations.

He represents business owners, executives, and real estate investors. Russell is well-known for his work representing owners of large ranches in Colorado and neighboring states. His practice is intentionally broad to include policy issues at state and local agencies, business structure, and agreements. Further, he advises on succession planning issues, including estate planning and estate and trust administration.

Throughout his career, Russell has worked on some large and consequential issues. 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. He advised one of the largest estates in Colorado, helping fiduciaries navigate a quagmire of probate and trust issues. Landowners have hired him 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. Russell has appeared before agencies such as the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, the Colorado Secretary of State, and the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission.

Prior to joining Ireland Stapleton, Russell worked in television news in Denver. He joined the firm in 1998 and served for years on the firm’s Executive Committee. 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, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Russell is proud to have been named the first Citizen Diplomat by WorldDenver and to have been honored by the US State Department for work on international exchange, but nothing makes him prouder than his two daughters growing up to be citizens of the world.





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

Honors & Awards

  • Selected to The Best Lawyers in America® for Real Estate and Corporate Law, 2016-2024
  • Selected by Colorado Super Lawyers® for Real Estate Law, 2009-2023
  • WorldDenver Volunteer of the Year Award, 2012, Citizen Diplomat, 2019
  • State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs IVLP Volunteer Certificate, 2014
  • Ray Cushman Award for Volunteer Service from Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, 2006
  • Volunteer of the Year Award for Downtown Denver YMCA, 2003

• “Strategies in Acquiring and Managing Large Properties,” The Land Report 2015 at Aspen Summit, October 17, 2015
• “Practical Title Insurance and Survey Tips,” at Real Estate CLE, February 2004

  • American Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association, Fellow, 2007-Present
  • Colorado Bar Association, Real Estate Section Council, 2006-2009
  • Denver Bar Association
  • University of Denver, Law School Alumni Council, Chair 2017-2018 and Emeritus Member
  • Community First Foundation, Chair of Board of Directors
  • WorldDenver, Former Founding Board Member and Chair of Board of Directors
  • Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, Board President (2013)
  • 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 & Dads for Daughters
See all of Russell's Community Involvement