Kathleen A. Odle


Denver, Colorado

Phone: 303.299.8116

Fax: 303.298.0940



  • Juris Doctor, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 1988
    • Staff, Tax Law Journal
  • Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, Regis College, 1982

Kathleen "Kathy" Odle has been providing strategic counsel to employers on all aspects of their employee benefits and executive compensation programs for more than 30 years.

Advising every type of employer, including publicly traded and private companies, nonprofit employers, and governmental employers, Kathy offers practical, business-oriented guidance on the very complex legal requirements that apply to the employee benefit arrangements offered by such employers.

Kathy regularly helps employers with the development, drafting, and implementation of employee benefit plans, assists them in correcting employee benefit plan-related errors, and ensures their compliance with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulations. Her experience includes advising on design and handling documentation for qualified plans, including employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and 401(k) plans, executive compensation and deferred-compensation arrangements (including 409A compliance), equity arrangements, retirement plans, and health and welfare plans. She also defends clients in IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) audits and performs compliance audits and reviews of benefit plans. Her depth of knowledge proves especially helpful when assessing the tax and other implications in structuring employee benefit plans and in defending audits of employee benefit plans.

Repeatedly recognized as a leader in her field, Kathy is ranked at the highest level by Chambers USA for Employee Benefits Law, is recognized by Best Lawyers in America for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, and is listed as a Super Lawyer. Kathy is an active member of numerous employee benefits-related organizations, including the ESOP Association, the Western Pension & Benefits Conference, and the tax sections of both The American Bar Association and the Colorado Bar Association.


  • Assisted a multimillion-dollar ESOP-owned client in selling its stock to a third party, which included obtaining the consent of the ESOP participants to the transaction.
  • Successfully defended several DOL and IRS audits of employee plans, including 401(k) plans and ESOPs, with the result that no or minimal penalties were imposed on the plan sponsor.

Publications & Presentations




  • Presenter, What’s the Deal with Breweries and ESOPs?
    Business of Beer Series | October 2016
  • Employee Benefits: Ten Reasons to Lose Sleep Over Your Exposure to Liability
    Sherman & Howard Annual Arizona Labor & Employment Seminar | April 2015

Professional Activities

  • ESOP Association
  • National Center for Employee Ownership
  • Western Pension & Benefits Conference
  • American Bar Association, Tax Section
  • Colorado Bar Association, Tax Section
  • Colorado Women’s Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association


  • Best Lawyers in America, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Denver (2005-2023)
  • Best Lawyers in America, “Lawyer of the Year,” Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Denver (2021)
  • Chambers USA, Band 1, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation (2007-2022)
  • Super Lawyers (2006, 2009-2019)
  • Denver Bar Association, “Young Lawyer of the Year” (1994)