Rachel Burkhart

Rachel Burkhart



Rachel has substantial experience litigating complex construction, real estate, and financial disputes. She also regularly provides advice on construction contract drafting and negotiations, as well as land use matters. Rachel has been involved in a wide range of public and private projects, including conventional and alternative energy generation, electrical transmission and distribution, water and wastewater infrastructure, civil works, deep tunnels, sports facilities, hospitals, hotels and mixed-use resorts, and commercial buildings. She has worked with private and public owners, developers, designers, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers, affording her with unique insights into the objectives of all parties involved in a project. 

Education & Admissions

Columbia Law School (J.D., 2014), Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar; Parker School Recognition of Achievement in International and Comparative Law; Columbia Human Rights Law Review, A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual, Articles Editor

University of Texas at Austin (B.A., History, 2010), cum laude; Departmental Honors; Dean’s Honor List; Bridging Disciplines Program Certificate in International Studies


  • Colorado
  • Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas


  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Honorable David C. Godbey, 2015-2016


  • Represented national health system in favorable settlement of labor productivity, disruption, and delay claims asserted by construction manager at risk and subcontractors on hospital construction project in North Dakota.
  • Advised utility company in management and resolution of disputes with EPC contractor on 175 MW natural gas generating station in Montana.
  • Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of EPC contractor for black start addition to an existing generating station in California in a dispute with its battery energy storage system supplier over design defects and delays.
  • Secured favorable arbitration award after three-week hearing on behalf of EPC contractor against owner of 136 MW wind project in Washington.
  • Won five-day bench trial on behalf of homeowners’ association securing access for a group of multi-million dollar properties on the Colorado Western Slope.
  • Obtained complete dismissal of claims against special district bond underwriter involved in development of Colorado ski resort community.
  • Represented general contractor in negotiation of favorable settlement of warranty claims against Asian supplier of equipment installed on 600 MW wind project in Colorado.
  • Successfully settled trade secret dispute between developers of potential cogeneration power plant in Pennsylvania.
  • Won arbitration award after five-day hearing on behalf of master association against claims by condominium homeowners’ association concerning mixed use development in Colorado ski resort community.
  • Secured favorable settlement for general contractor against subcontractors involved in construction of college football stadium in Colorado.
  • Regularly represent commercial landlords and tenants in negotiation of lease workouts and related disputes.
  • Routinely advocate for developer and owner land use rights before governmental units.

*Some representations occurred prior to joining Dorsey.

Pro Bono Experience:

  • Successfully obtained asylum for family of four Afghan refugees who escaped to the United States during Operation Allies Refuge.
  • Assisted Venezuelan migrants with applications for temporary protected status and employment authorization through legal aid clinics with Colorado Lawyers Committee.
  • Volunteered with community legal aid clinics for preparation of end of life documents through Metro Volunteer Lawyers.
  • Advocated for improved conditions in New Mexico prisons on behalf of a 6,000-member class of incarcerated persons at risk of COVID-19 infection, resulting in new rule-making initiative to address class actions in the context of habeas corpus claims.
  • Co-authored human rights report regarding migrant workers’ rights in Nepal, leading to expansion of rights in decision by Supreme Court of Nepal.
  • Represented disabled minor from non-English-speaking family in successful administrative appeal regarding alleged overpayment of Social Security benefits.
  • Obtained correction of military records through successful appeal on behalf of veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other service-connected disabilities.
  • Secured a writ of habeas corpus from the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on behalf of a federal prisoner whose right to self-representation had been violated in state court.

Industries & Practices

Cybersecurity, Privacy & Social Media
Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
International Arbitration & Litigation
  • Appellate
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction & Design
  • Construction Litigation
  • Cybersecurity, Privacy & Social Media
  • Development & Infrastructure
  • Electric Power
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
  • International Arbitration & Litigation
  • Mining
  • Oil & Gas
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Real Estate & Land Use
  • Real Estate Litigation

Professional & Civic

Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association, Forum on Construction Law, Division 10 (Energy & Environment), Steering Committee and Diversity Liaison (2022-2024)
  • Colorado Women’s Bar Association, Co-Chair of Judicial Committee (2023-2024)
  • Associated General Contractors of Colorado, Future Leaders Forum (2021-2023), Subcontractor Relations Committee (2024)
  • Colorado Lawyer, Coordinating Editor for Business Law


  • Listed in Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch” in Land Use and Zoning Law (2022-2024); Real Estate Law (2023 and 2024); Litigation - Real Estate (2024)

Diversity Inclusion Recognition 2023

  • Contributed more than 50 Diversity hours, 2023
Rachel Burkhart