Michael Hazel handles a wide range of complex and high-profile investigations and litigation. His practice focuses on government inquiries, internal investigations, administrative challenges and strategic advice, particularly in the environmental, energy and natural resources sectors. He regularly counsels clients in connection with high-stakes regulatory, legislative and criminal matters, and has represented individuals and major corporations in federal and state court, before Congress, and before state and federal agencies.

Mr. Hazel also maintains an active pro bono practice, including state and federal criminal proceedings, representing individuals seeking asylum, and the successful representation of an American aid worker being detained in Haiti. From September 2013 to May 2014, Mr. Hazel worked for the Legal Assistance Centre in Namibia, providing legal advice and analysis on a range of natural resources, environmental and legislative issues.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Hazel clerked for the Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson, US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He also worked for a public interest law firm in Washington DC, focusing on environmental and natural resource issues. During law school, Mr. Hazel completed internships with the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Counterterrorism Division of Human Rights Watch. As part of a law school clinic, Mr. Hazel obtained a grant of asylum for a Burmese refugee fleeing ethnic and religious persecution.

Professional Activities

Mr. Hazel was selected to participate in Leadership Denver, a year-long program that immerses him in the challenges and opportunities facing Denver, including those related to education, transportation, poverty and healthcare, as member of the class of 2018.


  • Representing an oil and gas company in multiple investigations and lawsuits arising out of a natural gas explosion, including crisis management, settlement negotiations, witness interviews, motions practice, and responding to inquiries from multiple federal and state regulators
  • Conducting internal investigations for numerous multinational companies in response to allegations of fraud, environmental violations, financial crimes, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance and other issues
  • Representing a major wind-power company in a Department of Justice investigation into potential wildlife impacts from wind turbines, including possible liability under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act
  • Conducting independent assessments and advising global companies on enterprise risk management, crisis preparedness and response, operational excellence programs and capabilities, and ethics, compliance, and anti-corruption issues
  • Helping a major ski resort navigate the federal and state permitting process to secure approval for a new gondola, including defending against legal challenges under the National Environmental Policy Act, Administrative Procedure Act, Endangered Species Act and Wilderness Act
  • Negotiating an agreement with the Forest Service on behalf of a large utility to conduct wildfire-mitigation projects on National Forest System lands
  • Defending a telecommunications company in a multibillion-dollar False Claims Act suit
  • Representing a mining company in multifaceted litigation over hardrock mineral rights on public lands, including advising on public policy issues
  • Developing a comprehensive litigation strategy to challenge state ballot initiative impacting energy development
  • Counseling federally recognized Indian tribe on economic development opportunities 


  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2018–2023 editions of Best Lawyers in America for his work in government and regulatory litigation.
  • Recognized in Law Week Colorado’s “Barrister’s Best” awards for Best Renewable Energy Lawyer (2022).
  • Named an energy and resources "Rising Star" by Colorado Super Lawyers in 2018 and 2019.

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 2008

      magna cum laude Order of the Coif; Executive Notes Editor, The Georgetown Law Journal
    • AB, Public Policy, Duke University, 2004

      summa cum laude Phi Beta Kappa
  • Admissions

    • Colorado

    • California

    • District of Columbia

  • Clerkships

    • The Hon. Dorothy W. Nelson, US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2008 - 2009