Mark Nelson

P 303.839.3759 | F 303.839.3838


Mark Nelson directly works with business management leaders to provide innovative and effective strategies related to human resources counseling, employment litigation, and traditional labor law, helping identify risks and equip them with the tools necessary to minimize the time and resources spent on legal matters. He maintains an intentional focus on each client’s unique business goals and objectives.

Mark brings more than three decades of experience representing management and employers in complex labor relations and employment issues including:

  • Union avoidance
  • Union organizing campaigns
  • Contract negotiations
  • Labor disputes
  • M&A negotiations
  • Unfair labor practice and arbitration proceedings

In particular, Mark has built a proven track record of providing legal counsel to a significant number of health care providers and manufacturing, service, and government contracting companies and representing employers in matters before state and federal agencies and courts on virtually all types of discrimination claims, retaliatory discharge suits, breach of contract actions, and wage and hour cases. He also handles contract negotiations, administration, and interpretation for collective bargaining relationships, as well as helping clients avoid them.

Mark’s private practice also includes providing strategic advice regarding labor and employment matters on both the seller and acquirer side in mergers and acquisition activity.



  • University of Illinois College of Law, 1982 (J.D.)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1979 (B.A.)

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1982
  • Michigan, 2000
  • Colorado, 2020

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

  • Served as chief negotiator for a health care system in contract negotiations with two different unions regarding successor contracts in which the unions agreed to delete long-standing economic provisions, including wages, health insurance, and paid time off, and accept and abide by the economic benefits provided to the system’s non-union workforce.
  • Served as chief negotiator for a hospital in contract negotiations with a state nurses’ association / National Nurses United for successor contract covering more than 2,200 professional employees. Achieved significant favorable changes in the defined benefit plan as well as health insurance.
  • Served as chief negotiator for provider of residential care services in contract negotiations for a successor contract that conditioned future pay increases on increases in state funding and modified arbitration language to limit arbitrator’s authority in discharge cases.
  • Served as chief negotiator for a hospital in contract negotiations with a state nurses’ association / National Nurses United for a successor contract in which the hospital successfully negotiated to impasse and implemented key new provisions contained in its final offer.
  • Defended a hospital in an unfair labor practice charge alleging it failed to bargain in good faith when it declared impasse and implemented its final offer. Settled the matter on favorable terms including extending the new agreement for an additional year with no additional changes or pay increases.
  • Assisted a large health care system with more than 25 hospitals with union contracts, that desired to make substantial changes to its defined benefit plan, by assessing the different contract language and legal risk and developing a strategy to achieve the needed plan changes.
  • Successfully defended an employer alleged to have violated the National Labor Relations Act when it fired an employee for complaining to other employees about discipline she had received. Successfully defended an employer in multiple arbitration hearings challenging employees’ discharges for patient / resident abuse.
  • Settled 10-year-old unfair labor practice charges in order to hold a rerun election. Days before the rerun election the union filed more than 30 unfair labor practice charge allegations to block the election. After an unfair labor practice trial in which the client prevailed on all but three allegations, the election was rescheduled. One week before the election the union withdrew its election petition, knowing that it would have lost the election.

  • Best Lawyers in America, Labor Law – Management, 2023-2024

  • American Bar Association
  • Colorado Healthcare Association for Human Resources Management