Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck today announced that Douglas “Doug” J. Friednash, one of Denver’s leading attorneys, will return to the firm on Jan. 2, 2018, as a shareholder after nearly three years as Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper’s chief of staff. A Denver native, Friednash joins the firm’s nationally renowned Government Relations Department and will chair a new, national political strategies practice group that will coalesce the firm’s ability to solve policy, regulatory and legal problems for the firm’s clients.
“Our firm was built on a commitment to public service and we’re delighted to welcome Doug back to the firm following the tremendous contributions he made to Colorado as Governor Hickenlooper’s chief of staff,” said Adam Agron, Brownstein’s managing partner. “As an attorney who has spent his entire career operating at the intersection of business, law and politics, Doug has much to contribute to our firm and our clients.”
Since January 2015, Friednash served as chief of staff to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. In this role, he served as the lead staff member of the administration and oversaw the management of state agencies, advised the governor and cabinet members on key issues and provided crisis management leadership, helped to fill critical positions within the cabinet and senior staff, and was responsible for implementing Gov. Hickenlooper’s statewide policy and legislative initiatives.
“We will miss Doug greatly and wish him much success as he returns to the career he loves,” said Governor Hickenlooper. “There’s no role a governor values more than that of the chief of staff. Doug brought critical experience and guidance to our team.”
Prior to his role at the governor’s office, Friednash served as a shareholder in Brownstein’s Government Relations Department where he worked on several high-level legal and government affairs issues, including negotiating a deal that brought Panasonic Enterprise Solutions to Denver’s aerotropolis (airport city).
Before joining Brownstein in 2013, Friednash spent two years serving as Denver’s city attorney managing more than 100 attorneys and 90 staff members including paralegals, victim advocates, and other support and supervisory staff members. His team supported the mayor, auditor, the Clerk and Recorder, City Council and all city agencies, departments, boards and commissions from Denver International Airport to the Denver Police Department. In this role, he represented Mayor Hancock in all matters involving the administration as well as municipal operations, litigation and airport legal services.
Before joining Mayor Hancock’s team, Friednash was a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, where he represented clients in governmental matters and election issues. He was lead counsel in Ritchie v. Ritter, where he represented a coalition of groups challenging the constitutionality of Colorado’s Amendment 54, and was counsel to Mark Udall’s campaign for U.S. Senate.
Previously, he served as lead counsel to the First Amendment Council, a coalition of Colorado-based individuals, nonprofit corporations and businesses that challenged the constitutionality of Amendment 41 in Developmental Pathways v. Ritter. Friednash also handled campaign finance litigation, successfully defending a campaign finance case filed by Clear the Bench against the Colorado Bar Association, University of Denver, and League of Women Voters. Friednash successfully represented Congressman Mike Coffman in defense of ethics charges brought by Colorado Ethics Watch. He has also represented numerous candidate, political and issue campaigns. Prior to that, Friednash worked on the Dukakis presidential campaign in 1987 and 1988 before returning to Colorado to work in the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, Criminal Enforcement Section. In 1992, he was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives where he served two terms.
Friednash has received numerous recognitions including University of Colorado School of Law’s Pay It Forward Award (2014), National Hispanic Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Award (2013), America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Chambers USA (2011, 2010), Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Champion (2011), Denver Business Journal’s Power Book Award – Law Category (2011), Law Week Colorado’s Best Government Lawyer, Barrister’s Best (2009-2010) and Law Week Colorado’s Lawyer of the Year (2009).
In addition to his commitment as an attorney, Friednash has a long history of giving back to the community through his efforts with numerous university and nonprofit organizations.