Mr. Ricotta practices in the areas of business law and commercial transactions.
Mr. Ricotta offers the firm’s clients 32 years of experience as senior counsel for private, public, and regulated entities, as partner of a Rocky Mountain law firm, and as the associate general counsel and an executive officer of a Fortune 500 company.
Mr. Ricotta’s law practice focuses on the negotiation of complex commercial contracts; the purchase and sale of businesses and assets; the purchase, sale, lease, development, and financing of commercial real estate and related projects; the establishment of new business entities and ventures; and contracts and leases in support of upstream oil and gas operations, including seismic, drilling, gas supply, and master service agreements. As part of his law practice, Mr. Ricotta assists clients in advancing environmental, social, and governance initiatives; assessing business risks, litigation reserves, and insurance coverages; conducting due diligence and investigations; reporting to governing boards; delivering training programs; drafting comprehensive corporate policies and governing documents; preparing responses to media inquiries; and authoring public filings, including business and regulatory filings, the legal matters section of annual and quarterly reports, and the compensation discussion and analysis (CD&A) portion of proxy statements.
Mr. Ricotta brings a unique perspective to his law practice, having been promoted equity partner of a big law firm early in his career and subsequently to roles of increasing responsibility at a large independent U.S. energy company, where he led the company’s worldwide litigation and human resources departments, served as day-to-day lead counsel for the company’s onshore U.S. region, which included the prolific Permian Basin, served as senior counsel in negotiating the purchase of assets from major international companies, and supervised the corporate compliance and community partner functions.
Mr. Ricotta draws upon his practical, real-world business experience to assist the firm’s clients with the development of effective strategies in their business, compliance, and employment disputes:
• Mr. Ricotta has directed case strategy in high profile and high stakes matters from case inception to final orders. A proponent of storyboard narratives, he has achieved successful outcomes directing trial strategy in three multibillion-dollar international matters, each involving litigation and evidence in multiple jurisdictions, groundbreaking court decisions, and significant media attention. One case concerned a gas pipeline explosion, another a long term gas supply contract, and the third protection of trade secrets. For 10 years he served as litigation department head of a corporate team that achieved an impressive 90% overall win rate in dispositive proceedings and protected more than 95 cents of every disputed dollar in a broad range of domestic and international cases spanning six continents.
• Mr. Ricotta has led the global human resources team of a publicly-traded corporation with thousands of employees. He strongly advocated for family-friendly benefits and oversaw their implementation, including elder care paid leave; significantly enhanced parental, adoptive, and surrogacy paid leave; telemedicine; evidence-based mental health services; a retirement matrix; and consumer-driven health programs. He conceived and oversaw the development of a proprietary virtual academy to deliver in time and on demand enterprise-wide learning resources and management training; drove the implementation of mobile capable tools and dashboards to facilitate planning compensation and succession, delivering real-time feedback, setting goals, recruiting, and onboarding; and strengthened compliance and reporting. His branded efforts achieved widespread adoption and transformed the HR team into a premier strategic business partner while contributing to substantially lower costs, elevated employee engagement, greater diversity among the officer team, the technical leadership, and the overall workforce, and the company being recognized as a “Top Workplace” based on an independent employee survey during each year that he led the HR function.
Mr. Ricotta obtained his B.S. degree with high honors (top 1%) in Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Refining from the Colorado School of Mines in 1987. A Boettcher Foundation Scholar, he received the William D. Waltman ’99 Award upon graduation, presented to “the student whose conduct and scholarship have been most nearly perfect and who has most nearly approached the recognized characteristics of an American gentleman.” Mr. Ricotta obtained his J.D. degree cum laude (top 25%) from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in 1990, where he served as Editor in Chief of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, earned a spot on the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Team and a top oralist award at regionals, received the Wigmore Prize for Excellence in Publication, and was selected by the Dean as an Edwin C. Austin Scholar based on scholarship and conduct in and out of class.
Mr. Ricotta co-founded and served as the inaugural chair of the Colorado Springs Teen Court, for which he received the El Paso County (Colorado) Auxiliary community service award. Mr. Ricotta is a member of the Colorado Bar Association, the El Paso County Bar Association, and the State Bar of Texas.