Pray, Jonathan G.

Legislative Aide to a former member of Colorado’s U.S. Congressional delegation

 

Jonathan Pray is both an experienced litigator specializing in real estate and construction disputes and a shrewd transactional attorney who demonstrates a skillful hand at risk mitigation. He has represented clients in all aspects of the development and construction industries, including commercial and residential developers and landlords, public agencies, design and engineering firms, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, lenders, sureties and municipalities. 

One of the firm’s lead litigators, Jonathan has had a hand in the resolution of disputes on Denver’s largest developments, and he skillfully handles a wide variety of disputes involving commercial real property, including lease disputes and litigation between buyers and sellers.

He’s litigated construction and real estate disputes in both state and federal courts, as well as in private arbitrations. Recent engagements include: litigating a complex design error and delay dispute between a design-builder and its designer of record on a federal project; litigating a delay and termination dispute between the owner of a large mixed-use development in Vail, Colorado and a key project subcontractor; litigating a delay and cost overrun dispute between a project owner and its construction manager; providing ongoing construction contract formation and administration advice to a public agency in Nevada; defending the lender to the construction of a casino project in a complex mechanics’ lien dispute; litigating a design defect claim against the architect of a regional outdoor shopping center; and providing dispute resolution advice to a Colorado municipality involved in a public improvements project.

In addition to client work, Jonathan is General Counsel of the firm.

Previous Experience

Legislative Aide to a former member of Colorado’s U.S. Congressional delegation

 

Practices & Industries
Development

Jonathan regularly advises clients on the drafting and negotiation of construction contracts for public and private projects, and provides advice to project participants over the course of construction—all with the goal of helping his clients resolve disputes and avoid litigation altogether.

Condominiums

Jonathan’s practice encompasses the entire lifecycle of condominium and planned community development, including contract negotiation, defect mitigation support, dispute de-escalation and litigation. His recent work includes representing a large luxury condominium project in the Vail Valley, a cutting-edge, sustainable condominium complex in northwest Denver and upscale condominium residences in downtown Denver.  

Representative Matters
  • 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.

  • Representing 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.

  • 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 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.

News & Events
Publications & Presentations
Education
  • J.D., 2005, University of Colorado Law School, Order of the Coif
  • B.A., 2000, magna cum laude, University of Colorado, Phi Beta Kappa, Boettcher Foundation Scholar
Admissions
  • Colorado, 2005
  • Supreme Court of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
Recognition

Colorado Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2009-2010, 2013-2018

5280 Top Lawyers, Construction Law, 2018-2019

University of Colorado Law Review

Membership

Colorado Bar Association

Denver Bar Association

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