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Practice Overview

About Us

Robert F. Hill and David W. Robbins founded the law firm Hill & Robbins, P.C. in 1978. Currently, the Denver-based firm has two partners, two associates, two attorneys who are of counsel, and two staff members, and specializes in natural resources law. The firm has a long and very successful history of representing both plaintiffs and defendants on a wide variety of issues and is well known in Colorado for its expertise in water and natural resources law. Today, the firm focuses exclusively on the areas of natural resources, environmental, water rights, water administration and related areas.

Natural Resources Law

Hill & Robbins, P.C. has a longstanding tradition of representing the interests of state, local and private clients throughout Colorado in natural resources issues. Our legal team has extensive experience in working with ground- and surface-water rights, well administration, land use, conservation easements, state and federal regulations compliance, and other issues. In recent years, our clients have included states, individuals, municipalities, irrigation districts, and ditch companies.

Attorney Profiles

David Robbins


David Robbins is president and co-founder of Hill & Robbins, P.C., where his practice emphasizes the fields of water and natural-resources law, water quality, and environmental law. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Robbins served in the U.S. Army (Captain, 1969-1972) and with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region VIII (1973-1974). He then joined the Colorado Attorney General’s Office as a First Assistant Attorney General and head of the Natural Resources Section (1975-77), and was later appointed the Deputy Attorney General (1977-1978). Mr. Robbins represented the State of Colorado in a variety of interstate water matters, and served as counsel to the state engineer in adjudication proceedings and trials concerning basin-wide rules and regulations. He also represented the Colorado Water Conservation Board, and successfully defended the constitutionality of the state’s first instream flow protection law.

Since 1981, Mr. Robbins has served as general counsel to the Rio Grande Water Conservation District, where he has led the efforts to defeat speculative proposals to mine the ground water of Colorado’s San Luis Valley (see AWDI v. City of Alamosa), which ultimately resulted in Congressional action on a bill Mr. Robbins initially drafted to create the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. From 1985-2011, Mr. Robbins has served as counsel of record for the State of Colorado in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Kansas v. Colorado, No. 105 Original (October Term, 1985), involving the Arkansas River Compact, both before the special master and the Court. Mr. Robbins has served as general counsel to the Republican River Water Conservation District since its creation in 2004 and served as special counsel to the Southwestern Water Conservation District for over twenty years.

Mr. Robbins is a former member of the Colorado Water Conservation Board (1980-89) and served as its chairman in 1985-86. Mr. Robbins was a member of the Colorado River Salinity Control Forum and the Colorado River Salinity Control Advisory Council, representing Colorado from 1979 until 2003 and from 2008 up to the present. He served as the Forum’s vice chairman from 1981 to 1984 and from 2001 to 2003, and as its chairman from 1984 to 1990. He is a member of the Colorado Water Congress and has served on its board of directors for many years and as its President in 2005-06 and he was named the Colorado Water Leader of the Year in 2012. Mr. Robbins is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Bar Foundation and serves on the board of directors of the Colorado Water Trust, of which he is a founding board member. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the Colorado Bar Association, and is a past chairman of the Water Law Section of the CBA.

Admitted to Practice

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 9th and 10th Circuits
U.S. District Court for Colorado


B.A., Stanford University (1966)
J.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (1969)

Peter Ampe


Mr. Ampe is a partner with Hill & Robbins, P.C. His practice focuses on water and natural resources law. Mr. Ampe received a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1990 and his J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1993, where he received the Joel H. Greenstein/Colorado Trial Lawyers Award for Trial Advocacy.

Mr. Ampe began his career in private practice in Twin Falls, Idaho before joining the Idaho Attorney General’s office in 1997. In 2001 he returned to Colorado, joining the Federal and Interstate Water Unit of the Colorado Attorney General’s office. Mr. Ampe was named the First Assistant Attorney General of the Federal and Interstate Water Unit in 2008 and was lead counsel for the State of Colorado in United States Supreme Court case, Kansas v. Nebraska and Colorado, No. 126, Original. During his time with the Colorado Attorney General’s office he was named the Water Unit Attorney of the Year (2004) and received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Performance (2009). With Hill & Robbins, P.C. since 2012, Mr. Ampe continues to focus on water law, representing special districts and municipalities in all aspects of water rights planning and litigation. He has numerous reported cases and has made many public and educational presentations on water law, interstate litigation and other topics.

Admitted to Practice
United States Supreme Court
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 9th and 10th Circuits
U.S. District Courts for Colorado and Idaho

B.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1990)
J.D., University of Colorado (1993)

Robert Hill

Of Counsel

America’s Leading Business Lawyers has referred to Bob Hill as a “first-rate lawyer” who is “not only ‘extraordinary’ in the courtroom, but also able to diffuse a dispute before it goes to trial.”

Mr. Hill is a co-founder and shareholder of Hill & Robbins, P.C. His practice historically focused on complex commercial litigation, including antitrust, securities, and pension litigation and has been recognized by Chambers USA as “the preeminent class action lawyer in the Rocky Mountain area.”

Mr. Hill graduated first in his class from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1970, and was co-editor-in-chief of the Law Review. After graduating, he served as a law clerk to United States District Court Judge Warren J. Ferguson in the Central District of California, and worked as an associate with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling.

Upon returning to Colorado, Mr. Hill taught antitrust law and civil procedure as a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at the University of Colorado School of Law. He served as First Assistant Attorney General of the State of Colorado from 1975 to 1978 where he founded the Antitrust Section of the Colorado Attorney General’s office.

Since starting Hill & Robbins in 1978, his work has been responsible for many of the largest civil-damage recoveries in the state. He served as co-lead counsel for a consumer class in the New Mexico Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation which recovered a settlement of approximately $75 million. He also served as court-appointed liaison counsel in the Alert Income Partners Securities Litigation, garnering a $64 million settlement, and as class co-counsel in The Kidder Peabody Cases, recovering $50 million for the class. He has been involved in multiple class actions on behalf of pension beneficiaries, including the IBM Pension Litigation which resulted in a recovery in excess of $300 million for the class members. More recently he was class co-counsel in a suit brought by retailers against EchoStar Corporation (DISH) that recovered more than $70 million and a consumer class action brought against American Family Insurance Company that recovered $31.5 million.

Mr. Hill has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for “Business Litigation” since 1991, and has been named to every one of their listings of “Bet-the-Company” litigators, one of the publication’s most prestigious lists.

America’s Leading Business Lawyers named Mr. Hill one of the three best lawyers in Colorado for General Commercial Litigation, and he received the Award for Best of the Bar for Antitrust Law. In 2005, the University of Colorado School of Law awarded him the Knous Award, the highest award given by the Law School.

Mr. Hill has also received many awards for community service over the years, including the National Philanthropy Day Award as the Outstanding Volunteer in Colorado (2003) and the Colorado Bar Association’s Hoagland Award for Public Service. Mr. Hill was the co-founder of Invest in Kids and served as a board member for more than a decade. He was the founding board member and has been the board chair of the Nurse-Family Partnership, a nationally recognized evidence based nurse home visitation program for at-risk families and their children, since the organization’s formation in 2003. Mr. Hill also chairs the board of International Development Enterprises (iDE), a non-profit using a market based approach to help the rural poor in Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America.

Admitted to Practice

B.A., University of Nebraska at Lincoln (1967)
J.D., University of Colorado, first in class (1970)

Dennis Montgomery

Of Counsel

Dennis Montgomery is ‘of counsel’ at Hill & Robbins, P.C., specializing in water and natural resources law. He has been a member of the law firm since 1982.

Before joining Hill & Robbins, Mr. Montgomery spent four years as an assistant attorney general in the Natural Resources Section of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. During this time, he distinguished himself in the field of natural resources law, eventually becoming head of the Water Unit.

In 1985, Mr. Montgomery was appointed as a special assistant attorney general and worked with David Robbins on the representation of the State of Colorado in the U.S. Supreme Court case Kansas v. Colorado, an original action involving alleged violation of the Arkansas River Compact. As part of his work on this Supreme Court case, Mr. Montgomery assisted the Colorado state engineer in drafting amended rules and regulations for administering ground water diversions in the Arkansas River Basin.

Mr. Montgomery represents municipalities, water districts, ditch companies, and individuals in water and natural resources law disputes. He was a member of the Colorado Ground Water Commission from 1987 to 1994, serving as its chairman in 1994. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America.

Admitted to Practice

B.A., University of Michigan (1967)
J.D., University of Colorado Law School, Order of the Coif (1974)

Matthew Montgomery


Matt Montgomery is an associate at Hill & Robbins, P.C. His practice emphasizes water and natural resource law. Mr. Montgomery received a B.S. in chemistry from Haverford College in Pennsylvania in 2002 and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Colorado in 2008. Matt received his J.D. from the University of Colorado in 2011, graduating Order of the Coif.

Mr. Montgomery is a native of Denver, Colorado. Prior to joining Hill and Robbins, Mr. Montgomery worked as a litigator in Grand Junction, Colorado, where his practice focused on property and natural resource disputes. During law school, Mr. Montgomery worked for Hon. Neil M. Gorsuch at the Tenth Circuit and Hon. Norman D. Haglund (ret.) at the Denver District Court. Mr. Montgomery represents municipalities, special districts, homeowner’s associations and private landowners in matters related to water rights and water quality. Outside of work, Mr. Montgomery enjoys jogging and traveling the western United States.

Admitted to Practice

B.S., Haverford College (2002)
Ph.D. University of Colorado (2008)
J.D., University of Colorado Law School, Order of the Coif (2011)

Our clients

“Hill & Robbins brings big firm talent, commitment and thoroughness to its practice, combined with a nimble cost-effective ethos calculated to obtain the best possible results for its clients.”

David Robbins

Notable Cases

Lowry Landfill

Represented municipal waste generators as members of a steering committee that conducted a remedial investigation of one of Colorado’s largest Superfund hazardous waste sites. Negotiated and reached a global settlement among owners, operators and other generators that included a remedial plan accepted by the EPA.

American Water Development Inc. v. City of Alamosa

Represented Rio Grande Water Conservation District in defeating American Water Development’s application for a water right to develop ground water under the northern end of the San Luis Valley, Colorado, which they intended to export for use outside of the San Luis Valley.

Kansas v. Colorado

Representation of the State of Colorado since 1985 as special counsel in litigation in the United States Supreme Court with the State of Kansas over allocation of the Arkansas River under the Arkansas River Compact.

Thiebaut and Sierra Club v. Colorado Springs

Represented municipal-owned utility company in citizens’ suit brought under the Clean Water Act in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, including two-week trial.

In re: Confined Aquifer New Use Rules

Represented the Rio Grande Water Conservation District and supported the Colorado Division of Water Resource’s successful defense of Rules protecting the sustainability of the confined aquifer in the San Luis Valley, including a six-week trial and appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court.

In re: State Engineer’s Approval of Plan of Water Management

Represented Subdistrict No. 1 of the Rio Grande Water Conservation District and successfully upheld the creation and governing plan of Subdistrict No. 1 in two trials totaling over two-weeks and appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court

Wolfe v. Hutton Foundation

Represented the Republican River Water Conservation District at trial and appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court, reversing the Trial Court’s ruling of a finding that water rights had not been abandoned.

St. Jude v. Roaring Fork Club

Represented a private water user in the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that Colorado law does not allow an in-ditch recreation and fishery use.


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