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Understands complexities of water litigation, acquisitions and transactions. In 40-plus year career has led 750 water litigations and over 20 Supreme Court appeals. Former senior water counsel and first assistant attorney general for the Water Unit of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.

Steve Sims is a leading western water law attorney with a focus on water court litigation, water acquisition strategy and water transactions in the west. He brings four decades of experience representing municipal utilities, industrial and mining projects, oil and gas developments and real estate developments in water adjudications and permitting. He represents clients in the Colorado Water Courts as well as before the State Engineer and Groundwater Commission and the Boards of County Commissioners concerning 1041 permitting.

Steve’s track record of successfully negotiating, documenting and closing complex water rights transactions make him a respected authority in the industry. From the acquisition of water rights for new real estate developments to obtaining water rights for fracking in oil and gas developments, he ensures his clients have access to the resource most integral to their project.

Steve used his deep knowledge of water law on some of the region’s most significant projects including the City of Aurora’s $700 million Prairie Waters Project, and working on behalf of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission to transfer water rights on the Pecos River. Working throughout the western United States, he is the water lawyer clients seek when dealing with legally and technically complex and politically controversial projects.

  • 675 Fifteenth Street, Suite 2900
    Denver, CO 80202
  • Seattle University, J.D., graduated 1979
Bar Admissions
  • Colorado, Colorado Bar Association
  • New Mexico, State Bar of New Mexico
  • Colorado Bar Association, Water Law Section - Executive Council
  • Colorado Water Congress State Affairs - Member

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for work in:
  • Water Law
  • 5280 Top Lawyers, Water, 2015-2016
  • Chambers USA, 2011-2014
  • Appointed by Governor Ritter to Colorado Water and Power Authority Board of Directors
  • Colorado Super Lawyers
Additional Areas of Practice:
  • Natural Resources Law

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