Bret Gunnell

Bret is a Denver-based construction attorney with a technical background, practicing exclusively in the area of construction law and litigation. Bret has extensive experience in mediating, arbitrating, and litigating a broad range of construction disputes. His practice involves public and private commercial, heavy/highway, and industrial projects ranging in value to over $1 billion.


He is licensed in Colorado and Utah, and has arbitrated or tried cases in over a dozen states and U.S. territories. In addition to his work as a trial attorney, Mr. Gunnell has served on the American Arbitration Association’s panel of construction neutrals, with experience both as mediator and arbitrator of construction disputes. He lectures and publishes frequently, and teaches a graduate-level course entitled “Legal Aspects of the Construction Process” in the Construction Management department of Colorado State University. He is consistently listed and recognized as among Colorado’s Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, 5280’s Top Lawyers, and Denver’s Top Lawyers, as well as in Continental Who’s Who, NADC’s Distinguished Counsel and the Chambers (Tier 1) USA Registry for construction law.


Bret is a cum laude graduate of Brigham Young University in civil engineering, with an M.S. degree in engineering management, with distinction, from the University of Missouri-Rolla, and a Juris Doctorate, with honors, from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was associate editor of the Texas Law Review and graduated Order of the Coif.

Bret Gunnell

Founding Partner

(720) 576-7225



  • Colorado
  • Utah


  • Obtained defense verdict on $27M in claims brought by EPC contractor. He recovered $5M in extra work and changed conditions and attorneys’ fees claims on behalf of the marine contractor on a Mexico power plant project involving construction of a $22M underwater pipeline.
  • Secured a bad faith jury verdict entailing double damages and attorneys’ fees. This was against a general liability carrier for its unreasonable delay and denial of coverage for damages arising out of a construction accident.
  • Prevailed in a bench trial, recovering $2M in damages and attorneys’ fees on behalf of a girder supplier disputing termination of a $7M subcontract on a Utah highway construction project. Judgment was affirmed on appeal by the Utah Supreme Court in a published opinion (210 P.3d 263).


  • Juris Doctorate, University of Texas at Austin, Order of the Coif
  • Masters of Engineering Management, University of Missouri-Rolla
  • Bachelors of Civil Engineering, Brigham Young University

Practice Areas

  • Vertical Construction
  • Heavy Civil
  • Water Infrastructure
  • Industrial


  • Chambers USA Registry. 2007-present
  • Best Lawyers in America. 2009-present; Lawyer of the Year, Construction 2022
  • 5280 Magazine Top Lawyer Construction Law. 2015
  • Super Lawyer, 2007-present


  • Adverse Weather and the Construction Process. Construction Briefing, Federal Publications, Inc. September 1998
  • Interpreting and Enforcing Unsigned Construction Contracts. Construction Law Notes. September 1998
  • Claims for Lost Profit. Proving and Pricing Construction Claims, Wiley Law. 1996

Speaking Engagements

  • Sherman & Howard Construction Law Update. 2005-2017


  • American Arbitration Association

Represetative Matters