Jonathan G. Pray

Jonathan G. Pray



Leading real estate litigator. Shrewd transactional attorney skilled at risk mitigation. Deep grasp of legal and business issues impacting the real estate and construction industries.

Jonathan Pray brings a powerful combination of expertise to his clients in the real estate and construction industries—deep experience as both a litigator and transactional attorney. One of the firm’s lead litigators, he has facilitated the resolution of disputes on some of Denver’s largest development and construction projects. He also skillfully handles all manner of real property disputes, including commercial lease disputes and litigation between buyers and sellers. Jonathan identifies the best solution to help his clients obtain ideal outcomes, whether through litigation in state or federal court or in private arbitration. 

Working across all facets of the development and construction industries, Jonathan has a wide-range of clients who trust his judgment— from commercial, mixed-use, industrial and residential developers to public agencies to design firms and contractors. His diverse client list means there are few issues that arise related to real estate litigation and transactions that he hasn’t seen before. This insight makes him a valued asset to his clients.

Serving as Brownstein’s general counsel, Jonathan also works to balance the legal and business interests of the firm. He draws on this understanding of the issues impacting executives and decision-makers to provide his clients with strategic counsel that takes both their legal and business challenges into consideration.

Representative Matters

Recent Experience

  • Representing nationwide debt settlement company in regulatory inquiry initiated by the Colorado Attorney General.

  • Successfully obtained six-figure verdict in bench trial involving breach of contract, breach of duty, and violation of Colorado’s Trust Fund Statute.

  • Negotiated execution of $39.9 million cost-plus GMP agreement for new construction of hotel.

  • Successfully obtained release of multiple mechanics' liens resulting from general contractor's default on large residential development.

  • Successfully obtained six-figure verdict, plus trebled damages, in bench trial involving a contractor’s violation of Colorado’s Trust Fund Statute on a real estate development project.

  • The firm is representing ZBlock Holdings LLC in negotiating the financing, the joint venture and the condominium and construction documents, as well as numerous management and property-related agreements, in the redevelopment of an entire city block in lower downtown Denver known as Dairy Block. The project includes Dairy Block, a 6 story, mixed use project with 260,000 square feet of office space, ground floor retail and 170 hotel rooms. The deal required two separate financing/lending deals.

  • Assisted client with de-escalation and resolution of disputes with contractor over claims for additional cost and schedule extensions. Represented client in dispute with architect involving alleged design errors and omissions that led to increased construction costs.

  • Represented Continuum Partners in the redevelopment of the former University of Colorado Health Sciences Center 9th and Colorado campus, which will include a horizontal and vertical mix of uses, including residential, office, retail, restaurant, hotel and public space. The firm negotiated the acquisition of the former University of Colorado Health Sciences Center at 9th and Colorado in Denver, which included completing all physical and legal due diligence for the site, providing advice with respect to Continuum’s administrative amendment for the GDP encumbering the property, and negotiating with the Denver Urban Renewal Authority for $47.9 million in TIF funds. We continue to oversee all legal work at the 30 acre project, including the development of both the retail and residential components of the site.

  • Represented developer of large luxury condominium project in negotiation and drafting of owner-architect and owner-contractor agreements. Assisted client in development and implementation of comprehensive risk mitigation and defect avoidance strategy.

  • Represented developer of condominium project in appeals to Colorado Court of Appeals and Colorado Supreme Court in which defaulting unit purchasers had filed lawsuits seeking the return of earnest money deposits.

  • Represented client in landlord tenant dispute and complex condemnation proceeding in both state and federal proceedings.

  • Represented the developer of a mixed-use commercial and residential development in Denver in the negotiation and development of a suite of construction contracts for the project.

  • Represented a homeowner in a construction defect case, resulting in dismissal of more than $900,000 in liens and in a residential judgment in excess of $900,000, including a fee award.

  • Successfully represented a mixed-use developer in its build out and partnership disputes related to a major mixed-use infill project resulting in an arbitration claim dismissal. Brownstein continues to handle ongoing business litigation involving the development.

Insights & Publications




  • J.D., 2005, University of Colorado Law School, Order of the Coif
  • B.A., 2000, University of Colorado, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Boettcher Foundation Scholar


  • Colorado, 2005
  • Supreme Court of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado


Colorado Bar Association

Denver Bar Association



"Jonathan is incredibly thorough, very detail-oriented and does an excellent job really knowing the facts and showing up." "Jonathan is a very skilled attorney who is pragmatic and has a calm and calculated demeanor." - Chambers USA, 2024

"He's very methodical, calculated and gives you really good business advice." "He is experienced and always accessible as if we are a priority." - Chambers USA, 2021

5280 Top Lawyers, 2018-2024

Best Lawyers in America, 2021-2024

Chambers USA, 2021-2024

Thomson Reuters, Stand-out Lawyer

Law Week Colorado, Barrister’s Best “Best Construction Defects Lawyer – Defense,” 2020, 2023

Colorado Super Lawyers, 2019-2024; Rising Stars, 2009-2010, 2013-2018

University of Colorado Law Review