Michael S. Beaver

Michael S. Beaver

Holland & Hart LLP

Recognized since 2007

Denver, Colorado

Practice Areas

Insurance Law

Litigation - ERISA

Litigation - Labor and Employment

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2019 - Litigation - Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2011 - Insurance Law
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Mike works with clients to achieve optimal resolution of employment, insurance, and benefit plan disputes, and to develop practical preventive strategies.

Focused on client objectives, Mike has led the defense of hundreds of cases brought against employers and insurers. He also counsels and defends clients in the ski and recreation industries.

Mike’s employee benefits experience includes cases brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), involving pension and welfare benefit claims, insured life, health and disability claims, fiduciary issues, independent contractor status, and class actions. He has led the defense of cases in federal courts throughout the United States, as well appeals in several federal circuits. He has also been involved in extensive non-ERISA benefits and insurance litigation in the state courts. Mike leads a team of Holland & Hart lawyers who litigate employee benefit issues, resulting in dozens of trial court and appellate decisions which have helped shape controlling law.

Mike has also represented in virtually all types of employment litigation, including discrimination, wrongful discharge, executive compensation, and wage-hour litigation. He regularly counsels Fortune 500 companies, as well as small employers, concerning employment issues and compliance strategies.

Overlapping with his ERISA benefits practice, Mike has represented many insurers in life, health and disability litigation. He has defended individual and collective claims, sales practices litigation, product performance, and litigation based upon unique state claims practices statutes.

Mike has also provided comprehensive representation to companies in the ski, resort and recreation industries, including personal injury, employment, and general litigation.

Mike is a regular author and speaker, presenting at programs sponsored by the ABA, DRI, Western Pension & Benefits Council, Colorado Bar Association, and others. He also frequently provides training for employers, managers, and client staff concerning a range of employment, recreational liability, and insurance claim issues. Mike also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Prior to joining Holland & Hart, Mike worked in business, serving as Human Resources Manager and Vice President for Finance and Administration for a Denver-based manufacturer. He has also served in law firm management, as past Chair of Holland & Hart’s Litigation Department, and as a past member of the firm’s Management Committee.

Contact & Links


  • 555 Seventeenth Street, Suite 3200
    Denver, CO 80202-3979


  • University of Denver, J.D., graduated 1986
  • University of Colorado at Boulder, B.S.B.A., graduated 1979

Bar Admissions

  • Colorado, Colorado Bar Association


  • ABA/TIPS - Fellow
  • American Bar Foundation - Fellow
  • American College of Employee Benefits Counsel - Fellow
  • Colorado Bar Association - Member
  • Defense Research Institute - Member

Holland & Hart LLP
Headquarters: Denver, Colorado

183 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

59 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America awards

Best Law Firms Badge Full Firm Profile

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2019 - Litigation - Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2011 - Insurance Law

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Litigation - Labor and Employment, Denver (2019)
  • Insurance Law, Denver (2011)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers® in America 2023 for work in:

  • Insurance Law
  • Litigation - ERISA
  • Litigation - Labor and Employment


  • Rated AV (preeminent) by Martindale Hubbell
  • Listed in Colorado Super Lawyers (Employee Benefits/ERISA and Employment & Labor Law)
  • Best Lawyers Denver-Area Insurance Lawyer of the Year (2011)
  • Chamber USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits & Compensation; Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation


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