Stephen Bain

Stephen Bain

Of Counsel
Main: 303-830-2500
Licensed in: Colorado

OverviewExperience & ResultsPractice AreasHonors & InsightsEducation & Admissions

Steve brings a broad perspective to his work in environmental and natural resources law.

Because of his deep understanding of the subject matter, he also has litigation experience involving environmental matters, oil and gas, real estate, and commercial contracts. Prior to joining the firm, Steve worked for two years in the Czech Republic as an advisor to the Czech Ministry of the Environment.

Experience & Results
  • Represented oil and gas, trucking and other companies in connection with claims under Clean Water Act
  • Represented mining and oil and gas companies in litigation and compliance with the Clean Air Act
  • Represented potentially responsible parties (PRPs) in negotiations over allocation of liability and remediation at contaminated sites
  • Conducted environmental audits to ensure compliance with air and water quality requirements
  • Represented companies in environmental penalty negotiations with EPA and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)
  • Responded to EPA information requests on behalf of PRPs
  • Drafted joint operating agreements for exploration projects in Indonesia, Belize, Hungary, Germany, Kazakhstan and U.S.
  • Drafted oil and gas leases, surface use, master service and other agreements for oil and gas companies
  • Represented mining companies in litigation and in connection with advice on staking and permitting mining claims
  • Represented mining companies in connection with purchases and sales of gold, uranium and other mineral properties
  • Represented applicants before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and local governments on permitting, transportation, and land use
  • Represented solar panel owner in connection with Solar Power Services Agreement with Denver Museum of Nature and Science
  • Drafted operating agreements for limited liability companies
  • Litigated disputes related to commercial contracts, environmental contamination, oil and gas, insurance bad faith, quieting title, access, land use, construction, title insurance and other real property issues
  • Represented gas companies in U.S. federal qui tam litigation
  • Represented Government of Kazakhstan in U.S. federal court in dispute over payment for oil
  • Chevron USA Inc. v. Berry Petroleum Company, United States District Court, District of Colorado, Case No. 10-CV-02227 RPM (August, 2012). Judgment on Jury Verdict in favor of plaintiff client in the amount of $6.4 Million for unauthorized deductions taken from payments due under oil and gas leases.
  • Earhart v. Von Metzger, Case No. 2009CV1142. Represented Defendant Goodrich Petroleum Corporation in environmental lawsuit that was favorably settled in 2012
Practice Areas
  • Environmental Law
  • Oil & Gas Transactions
  • Oil & Gas Litigation
  • Renewable Energy
  • Business Litigation
  • Mining
  • International Law
  • Mediation & Arbitration
  • Acquisitions & Divestitures
  • Real Estate
  • Trial
  • Appeals
  • Public Lands
  • Selected as a 5280 “Top Lawyer” for International Law (2023)
  • Ranked as a leading environmental lawyer by Chambers USA (2021-2022)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Environmental Law (2019-2024)
  • Distinguished Natural Resources Practitioner-in-Residence at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (2007)
  • Adjunct Professor of International Petroleum Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (2005-2011)
  • Best of the Bar Finalist, International Trade & Finance, Denver Business Journal (2005)
Publications & Presentations
  • Managing editor and contributing author of Environmental Regulation of Colorado Real Property (Bradford Publishing Company 2007 & Supplements 2009 & 2011; Colorado Bar Association, 2nd Edition 2016, 3rd Edition 2021)
  • “Stay On Top Of Environmental Considerations” (NBI Seminar 2015)
  • “Frac Law: Industry Trends and the Role of State and Local Government” (NBI Seminar 2014)
  • “Stormwater Legal Framework” (Colorado Environmental Partnership 2014)
  • “Use of Easements in Oil and Gas Law (HalfMoon Seminar 2014)
  • “Advanced Issues in Real Estate Law: Environmental Issues – Contaminated Property Transactions” (NBI Seminar 2013)
  • “Overview of International Oil and Gas: Contracts, Customs, and Corruption” (Denver Association of Petroleum Landmen 2011)
  • “Wyoming Land Laws: Environmental Regulation of Land” (HalfMoon Seminar 2012)
  • “Case Studies on Pooling and Unitization” (HalfMoon Seminar 2010)
  • “Land Use Law: Environmental Considerations” (NBI Seminars 2007 and 2008)
  • “Sakhalin and Kashagan: Environmental Excuses for Taking Control of Petroleum Joint Ventures” (DU Law School 2007)
  • “Current Issues in Stormwater Regulation in Colorado” (Lorman Seminars 2005 and 2006)
  • “Legal Aspects of Exporting” (Rocky Mountain World Trade Center Institute 2005)
  • “Environmental Issues in Property Development” (NBI Seminars 2002-2004)
  • Co-author, Playing at Your Own Risk: Recreational Waivers in Colorado, Reproduced by permission of the Colorado Bar Association. The Colorado Lawyer, Vol. 32, No. 8. August 2003, page 77. All Rights Reserved
  • Instructor, Business Law for International Trade (World Trade Center Denver 2002-2003)
Professional & Community Activities
  • Advisory Council of Environmental Law Section, Colorado Bar Association (2015-2021)
  • Fellows of the American Bar Foundation (Colorado Co-Chair 2019-present)
  • Western Energy Alliance (past Board Member)
  • Reach Out and Read Colorado, Board Member (2018-present)
  • Human Services Inc. (Florence Crittenton Services) (past Board Director)
  • Colorado Mountain Club Foundation (past President 2014-2018)
  • Colorado Mountain Club (past Board Director and Member of Executive Committee)
  • International Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association (Chair 2001-2002)
  • Cornell International Law Journal (Editor)
  • American Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association
  • J.D., Cornell Law School, 1988
  • B.A., Yale University, cum laude, 1984
Bar Admissions / Qualifications
  • Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims