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Cole Finegan

Regional Managing Partner

Cole Finegan

For more than 30 years, Cole Finegan has focused his practice on working locally and nationally with businesses and governmental entities to create and expand public-private partnerships. He has represented clients in regulatory, land use and development, and legislative and public policy law.

Cole's efforts led Law Week Colorado to recognize him as "Lawyer of the Decade" and "Lawyer of the Year" for 2013. He was also named one of the most influential people in Denver by 5280 magazine in its feature "The 5280 Fifty." Best Lawyers in America has also honored Cole as the "Denver Municipal Lawyer of the Year" (2016).

Prior to joining Hogan Lovells, Cole served both as Denver's City Attorney and Chief of Staff to Mayor John Hickenlooper. During his tenure as City Attorney, Cole reorganized the office of 100 lawyers for the first time in 20 years, saving the city more than US$1 million by cutting outside legal services and expanding the city's capabilities to try its own cases.

As Chief of Staff, he led the successful campaign to change Denver's charter to add a Chief Financial Officer and to modernize the city's 100-year-old financial services structure. Cole's passion for community service has kept him involved in almost every major private-public partnership in Denver, including the redevelopment of Stapleton Airport, the Gates Rubber Company facility, and most recently Denver Union Station.

Cole also served both as Chief Legal Counsel and Director of Policy and Initiatives for Colorado Governor Roy Romer from 1991 to 1993. He handled the governor's legal matters, advised the governor on judicial appointments, and supervised a policy development staff of 60 working on economic, environmental, healthcare, energy, telecommunications, transportation, and education policy issues.

From 1978 to 1986, Cole worked as a legislative aid and Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative James R. Jones of Oklahoma, who chaired the U.S. House of Representatives' Budget Committee from 1981-1985.

"I instantly felt a sense of trust. We had four great years — he did a great job for us. There is no swagger, no arrogance, but a quiet confidence."

Governor John Hickenlooper

Education and admissions


  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1986
  • B.A., University of Notre Dame, 1978


  • Past Board Member, Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce
  • Past Board Member, Teach for America
  • Member, Colorado Forum
  • Past Board Chair, Downtown Denver Partnership
  • Past Board Member, The Denver Foundation

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia (inactive)
  • Registered Foreign Lawyer, UK


500 Leading lawyers list



Municipal Law

The Best Lawyers in America


Denver Municipal Law, Lawyer of the Year

The Best Lawyers in America

2007-2009, 2012-2017

Colorado Super Lawyers


Top Lawyer - Government Relations, Contracts, and Lobbying



People's Choice Government Lawyer

Barrister's Best, Law Week Colorado


Lawyer of the Year

Law Week Colorado


Lawyer of the Decade

Law Week Colorado


The 50 Most Influential People in Denver


Latest thinking and events

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