Benenson, Richard B.

Senior Vice President and General Counsel, The Schaffer Companies

Judicial Clerk to the Honorable William J. Connelly, United States District Court for the District of Maryland

Summer Intern, Honors Program, U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division

 

Richard Benenson is widely commended for his practical and strategic approach. A client says: "He's just extremely practical and he understands our business and priorities." Another source notes his "great expertise in consumer protection" and ability as "a strong business litigator." One particular area of focus is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. - Chambers USA, 2018

Guides the strategic direction of the firm as managing partner. Twenty-five years of litigation experience. Develops innovative and practical solutions to solve complex problems.

As Brownstein’s managing partner and a member of its executive committee, Rich works closely with clients, attorneys, policy advisors, staff and industry and community leaders to drive the firm’s strategic growth and development. From leading new ways to enhance client value to building and retaining a diverse team of legal and government relations talent, he is committed to helping Brownstein’s clients and employees thrive. Prior to taking the full-time leadership role of managing partner, Rich was a senior litigator and former Litigation Department chair. He played a leading role in headline and groundbreaking cases defending companies in complex litigation, antitrust, consumer protection, class actions and regulatory matters. 

Rich’s enviable track record of successfully resolving problems and his thoughtful approach to conflict resolution are an asset whether in the courtroom or boardroom. He couples his deep legal knowledge with a first-hand understanding of business issues to drive practical business solutions. 
Rich is committed to helping those around him succeed. He frequently presents to businesses, trade associations and firm stakeholders, as well as provides industry commentary for national legal publications. Rich’s commitment to helping others extends into the community where he serves on the board of directors for a number of high profile organizations shaping the future of Denver. 

Previous Experience

Senior Vice President and General Counsel, The Schaffer Companies

Judicial Clerk to the Honorable William J. Connelly, United States District Court for the District of Maryland

Summer Intern, Honors Program, U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division

 

Richard Benenson is widely commended for his practical and strategic approach. A client says: "He's just extremely practical and he understands our business and priorities." Another source notes his "great expertise in consumer protection" and ability as "a strong business litigator." One particular area of focus is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. - Chambers USA, 2018

Representative Matters
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of complaint by student loan borrower alleging various forms of fraud.

  • Drafted successful motion to dismiss client from real estate development dispute in Colorado District Court.

  • Represented hospitality company in litigation suit alleging fraud and other common law claims regarding the location of the certain utility lines. Negotiated a walk-away settlement for client.

  • Counsel to a public hospitality company involved in the time share market regarding its policies and procedures s related to compliance with state and federal consumer protection laws.

  • Successfully moved to dismiss Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) case brought by a competitor in Colorado against two Florida companies in the automobile ancillary insurance industry and their officers and directors. The court ruled that the plaintiff failed to plead the requisite elements of a CCPA claim and failed to establish personal jurisdictions over the individual officers and directors. Notably, the court rejected plaintiff’s argument that the harm element was satisfied by merely pleading that the plaintiff was a competitor and therefore suffered injury.

  • Designed and conducted due diligence on behalf of venture capital fund that specializes in the educational fin tech space. Also advised client on compliance with state and federal consumer protection laws and regulations.

  • Developed and conducted a consumer protection audit for a for-profit education company specializing in technology and coding bootcamps. The audit entailed reviewing every consumer-facing aspect of the company’s business including its compliance with state and federal consumer protection laws. Following the audit, conducted multiple training sessions for all of the company’s consumer-facing employees and management.

  • Counsel to one of the largest health insurance companies in the country in a lawsuit alleging violations of the Sherman Act and Colorado Antitrust Act. We asserted counterclaims under the Sherman Act, Colorado Antitrust Act, Colorado Consumer Protection Act, and ERISA, in addition to various tort claims. The case was ultimately settled on favorable terms for our client.

  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of defendant loan servicer on all claims in action brought by borrower for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in connection with serving of loans.

  • Counsel to investment management client in defending state and federal class action lawsuits brought by music festival ticket purchasers and vendors seeking damages for alleged breaches of contract, unjust enrichment, and deceptive trade practices in connection with the cancellation of the event.

  • Represented a client in matters concerning alleged violations of consumer protection and fair debt collection laws, in additional to private contract and tort claimes.

  • Represented a law firm in defense of a federal class action alleging claims under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

  • Represented client in putative class action lawsuit regarding disputed foreclosure practices and alleged violations of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Colorado Antitrust Act.

  • Successfully resolved a class action lawsuit for defendant in which the alleged violations included violations of the California Unfair Competition Law and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act for alleged false and deceptive advertising related to the printed and online advertising of a particular personal care product.

  • Represented client in litigation in disputed foreclosure action, asserting claims of breach of contract, violations of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and civil conspiracy.

  • Conducted an antitrust review for a public company.

  • Litigated to open the Torcido Creek road as means of access to Taylor Ranch property for beneficiaries of Colorado Supreme Court decree in the landmark case of Lobato v. Taylor 70 P.3d 1152 (Colo. 2003), which confirmed rights of descendants of Mexican settlers to access to land under Spanish land grant of 1884 and confirmed in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ending the Mexican/American war.

  • Successfully and efficiently represented international personal care product company in a California Proposition 65 class action lawsuit alleging that upon application, the particular cosmetic product released a previously bound chemical, which required a Proposition 65 warning.

  • Successfully defended a nutritional supplement company and its officers in Colorado and New York Attorney General's Consumer Protection and Deceptive Trade Practices investigations and related civil litigation.

  • Successfully defended a company and its officers in derivative and direct shareholder litigation against claims of breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and civil conspiracy.

  • Represented the officers and directors of Teletech Holdings, Inc. in the $11 million settlement of a class action securities fraud case in the Southern District of New York and a shareholder derivative case in Delaware involving allegations of options backdating.

  • Successfully represented Madison Capital in an oil and gas case involving properties in Colorado and New Mexico.

  • Represented Metalwest, one of six defendants, in a large antitrust case in Federal Court in Oklahoma City. The plaintiff, Champagne Metals, sought more than $500 million in lost profits in damages, alleging a group boycott under Section 1 of the Sherman Act. After seven years of litigation, including an important decision by the Federal Appeals Court, the case settled during trial. Champagne Metals v. Ken-Mac Metals et al.

  • Represented national company in lawsuit stemming from the purchase of multiple multi-million dollar assets.

News & Events
Community
  • Advisory Council, Emily Griffith Technical College
  • Board of Directors, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation
  • Board of Directors, Global Livingston Institute
  • Governor Appointee, Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission 
  • Executive Committee, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (2017-2019)
  • Board of Directors, Colorado Judicial Institute (2016-2019)
  • Mayor's Drug Strategy Commission (2008-2014)
  • American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) (2002-2012)
  • Board of Directors, Great Education Colorado (2005-2008)
  • Board of Directors, Anti-Defamation League, Mountain States Region (2008-2012)
  • Board of Directors, Friends of the Denver Fire Department (2007-2012)
  • University of Denver Law School Mentoring Program (2007-2011)
  • Board of Directors, Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestra (2002-2005)
Publications & Presentations
Education
  • J.D., 1996, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, valedictorian
  • M.B.A., 1995, with honors, University of Baltimore, Merrick School of Business
  • B.A., 1991, Miami University
Admissions
  • Colorado, 2001
  • District of Columbia, 1998
  • Maryland
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
Recognition
  • Super Lawyers, 2020
  • Best Lawyers of America, 2017-2021
  • Chambers USA, 2014-2020
  • 5280 Top Lawyers, Litigation – Antitrust, 2015, 2018, 2019
  • Law Week Colorado's 2015 Top Litigators
  • Law Week Colorado, Barrister's Best People’s Choice “Best Antitrust Lawyer”, 2015
  • Benchmark Litigation Future Star Award, 2015
  • Leadership Denver, Class of 2012
  • 50 for Colorado, Class of 2010
Membership

American Bar Association

Bar Association of the District of Columbia

Colorado Bar Association

Denver Bar Association

Maryland Bar Association

Federal Bar Association

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