Michael J. Cook


Denver, Colorado

Phone: 303.299.8200

Fax: 303.298.0940



  • Juris Doctor, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 1977
    • Order of the Coif
    • Member, University of Denver Law Journal
  • Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, College of Idaho, 1971

Michael Cook is a trial lawyer and mediator acting on behalf of businesses and public entities involved in the construction industry. He has more than thirty years of experience in all aspects of construction law, including jury and bench trials, arbitration, mediation, contract and claim preparation, contract negotiation and government contracts. Mike is a member in Sherman & Howard’s Denver office and is former chair of the firm’s Construction industry practice group. He has been recognized by his peers as one of the outstanding construction law attorneys in the region.



  • Obtained a $20 million jury verdict, including $9 million in punitive damages, for a general contractor on an airport runway construction project at the Denver International Airport.
  • Lead counsel for City in litigation against general contractor and pipe manufacturer involving a high pressure water pipeline. $19.5 million settlement obtained for City; general contractor received no compensation on its $10 million differing site conditions claim against City.
  • Claim preparation and litigation through trial of $5.5 million claim by a general contractor for delays and cost overruns on a railroad tunnel ventilation project. $5.5 million judgment obtained for the general contractor.
  • Claim preparation and successful mediation of $9 million in claims for general contractor on San Francisco high-rise retirement home.
  • Successful mediation of $8 million claim for general contractor on steel manufacturing facility.
  • Represented general contractor in successful negotiation of a $6 million claim on a resort hotel project.



  • Prepared CMGC contract documents for $90 million water treatment plant expansion.
  • Prepared $17 million design-build agreement for owner renovating downtown Denver high-rise and $10 million design-build agreement for owner on an operations center.
  • Negotiated and prepared joint venture agreements for contractors on multi-million dollar construction projects.
  • Prepared design services agreement and construction contract for public owner on $30 million justice center complex and for numerous small projects.
  • Prepared construction documents and related agreements for quasi-governmental entity on multi-million dollar public-private construction project and for contractor on public-private buy-design-build-operate water treatment facility.

Professional Activities

  • American Arbitration Association, Construction industry panel of arbitrators and mediators
  • American Bar Association, Forum Committee on the Construction Industry
  • Frequent lecturer to numerous construction industry groups and professional organizations on construction law matters and has authored articles on construction issues


  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation – Construction, Denver (2006-2022)
  • Chambers USA, “Senior Statespeople,” Real Estate: Construction, Colorado (2019-2021)
  • Super Lawyers, Construction Litigation, Colorado (2005-2020)
  • Best Lawyers of America, “Lawyer of the Year,” Litigation: Construction, Denver (2011-2012)
  • BTI Client Service, “All Star, Super All Star, and MVP” (2011)
  • Colorado Lawyers Committee, “Individual of the Year” (1993, 2004)
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow