Mike Hegarty


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Education and Clerkships

LL.M., Natural Resources and Environmental Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 2001, with honors

J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law, 2000, Member and Managing Editor, Texas Environmental Law Review (1998-2000)

B.A., Colorado College, 1996, cum laude



Court Admissions

Supreme Court of Colorado


Michael Hegarty is a natural resources lawyer focusing on complex commercial transactions, project development and regulatory compliance in the mining, oil and gas and energy industries.

Mike works with clients in the United States and internationally on a variety of issues, including:

  • Mineral rights, leases and royalties
  • Surface rights, access and use
  • Land use and development
  • Federal lands
  • Asset acquisition and divestiture
  • Project development, construction, operation and maintenance
  • Environmental review, permitting and compliance
  • Project due diligence
  • Risk avoidance and mitigation
  • Project financing
  • Equipment/goods and services procurement

Clients and colleagues alike value Mike’s experience in these areas and rely on his skill as a contract draftsman. With particular attention to detail and an emphasis on practicality, Mike helps clients develop and structure nascent transactions, evaluate and resolve difficult legal questions, negotiate contentious deal points and ultimately transform basic terms and conditions into clear, complete and effective contracts. The types of contracts vary, but typically include purchase and sale agreements, mineral leases, capital equipment purchase orders, professional services contracts, construction equipment leases, engineering, procurement and construction management contracts, project management contracts, employment contracts, commercial real estate leases, option agreements, joint venture agreements, exploration and development agreements, surface use agreements and royalty agreements.

Mike also helps clients with matters involving contract management and oversight. For example, during the development and construction of an expansive copper-gold mine and concentrator complex in the Gobi Desert region of Mongolia, Mike was responsible not only for preparing a number of contracts and purchase orders for individual vendors, but also for developing, implementing and maintaining a comprehensive contract template program for construction procurement (including both on-site and remote training and support services). The result of Mike’s efforts was a reliable, user-friendly set of contract forms tailored to the particular category, location and price of the goods or services being purchased. With this tool, the procurement process became significantly more efficient, less prone to risk and easier to manage.

In conjunction with the predominantly transactional elements of Mike’s practice, Mike regularly provides due diligence support on environmental and land title issues to help clients control, reduce or eliminate costs and liabilities associated with their transactions. Mike also advises and assists clients on environmental permitting and compliance matters involving statutes such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Atomic Energy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), among others (along with associated regulatory programs administered by agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (USFS)), and various other state and foreign jurisdiction analogues to the foregoing federal statutes.

In recent years, Mike’s focus has included a number of complicated land use matters requiring frequent engagement with state and local officials and advocacy before a number of hearing officers, boards, commissions and courts. Notable matters have included applications (and related administrative and judicial proceedings) for development rights, land use approvals, zoning code variances and building permits in one of the most highly regulated counties in the United States. Mike has also been instrumental in helping to address certain easement, restrictive covenant, surface use and split estate matters arising in connection with real estate purchase and sale agreements, mineral leases, surface use agreements, mortgages, deeds and sundry other instruments.

Mike appreciates the opportunities he has had to work on a remarkable range of transactions, development and construction projects and environmental and land use matters. He looks forward to future opportunities to apply his knowledge and experience to help our clients overcome their legal challenges and achieve their business objectives.

Selected Publications and Speeches

  • "Getting the Deal Through: Mining 2016 (United States)," co-author, Getting the Deal Through, July 6, 2016.

Professional and Community Activities

  • Denver Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Colorado Mining Association
  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
  • Member, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Membership Committee
  • Volunteer, Project Angel Heart

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