Andrew M. Unthank
Partner & Recruiting Chair
Bar and Court Admissions
Drew Unthank represents major companies in consumer class action, complex commercial, and product liability litigation. He regularly leads teams in novel and complex matters, including the recent successful defense of a unique mass arbitration involving creative strategies and defense tactics.
Drew’s passion for helping his clients tell their stories in court is the fuel that drives his practice, leading to lasting, collaborative client relationships. He has represented several long-time clients, including Fortune 100 and 500 companies, and served as lead defense counsel in over 10 consumer class actions across the country by the age of 40.
Alongside his legal practice, Drew serves as Chair of the firm’s Recruiting Committee and is heavily involved in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Drew helped introduce new behavior-based recruiting and interviewing methods to help the firm identify and hire exceptional attorneys poised to grow with WTO.
Colorado Super Lawyers has named Drew to its list for Class Actions/Mass Trots Defense. He is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions. Drew is Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated, and Benchmark Litigation named him a 40 & Under National Star in 2019.
- Represented 100-year-old precious metals refiner against a Newmont Corporation subsidiary's allegations of civil theft, claiming our client stole millions in gold and other precious metals. Resolved matter for a significant monetary recovery to our client and secured the Newmont subsidiary's public withdrawal of all civil theft allegations and dismissal of all claims with prejudice.
- Won a favorable jury verdict in a $350 million personal injury trial for a motorcyclist accused of negligence causing his passenger's catastrophic injuries. WTO's defense compelled the jury to find our client just 5% liable and assign 95% of liability to another party.
- Representing a major North American resort owner and operator in multiple consumer class actions seeking refunds following the company's closure of its ski resorts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Successfully represented a major telecommunications company in an MDL involving 18 underlying consumer, securities, and derivative class actions that challenged the company's marketing and sales practices.
- Achieved favorable resolution after winning dismissal of 19 of 25 claims in a proposed class action alleging false advertising of the horsepower output of Whirlpool's KitchenAid blenders.
- Represented medical device manufacturer in wrongful death and personal injury claims brought by the survivors and estates of a triple-fatality apartment fire, and negotiated nuisance-value settlement following deposition of Plaintiffs' fire cause and origin expert.
- Retained by a Fortune 100 petroleum refiner and marketer to join the trial team defending a commercial dispute involving $75 million in alleged damages for breach of a transportation and fractionation contract. Negotiated favorable resolution on eve of trial.
- Kljajic et al. v. Whirlpool (N.D. Ill. 2017) - Defeated class certification amid allegations that 2,000,000 Whirlpool-made ovens were prone to overheat. WTO attorneys disqualified the plaintiffs' expert witness and successfully argued that the claims were overly broad and the plaintiffs' purported theories for failure were too many to achieve certification.
- Served as the first-chair litigator for a Fortune 100 company against a former dealer and obtained an arbitration award including the full principal amount claimed plus attorneys' fees and costs.
- Hise, et al. v. SSC Submaster Holdings (D. Colo. 2012) - Developed a successful legal challenge to class action claims brought under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act against a national nursing home chain and its affiliated companies and obtained a complete dismissal of all consumer protection claims brought by the proposed class.
- Colorado Coffee Bean v. Peaberry Coffee - Defended a franchisor against fraud claims made by franchisees, who sought tens of millions of dollars in actual and punitive damages. After a five-week trial, WTO won judgment for our client. The Court awarded $2 million in attorneys' fees against the franchisees.
Publications & Speaking Engagements
"Make it Your Exhibit A, not Theirs: Documentation Strategies for Success at Trial," moderator at the 2020 DRI Products Liability Conference, (February 2020).
"All About Inclusion: A Conversation With Hiring Managers in Private Practice and Corporate In-House Departments," panelist at the 2019 CLI Legal Inclusiveness & Diversity Summit, (August 2019).
"Lessons Learned on the Road From Small Claim to Product Recall," presented to in-house and outside counsel at Whirlpool's 2015 National Counsel Summit, (October 2015).
"2013-2014 E-Discovery Case Law Update," presented at the COALSP 8th Annual E-Discovery Summit, (October 2014).
"Marketing Class Action Update," presented to in-house counsel and business stakeholders at Whirlpool's Global Headquarters, (August 2014).
"2012-2013 E-Discovery Case Law Update," presented at the COALSP 7th Annual E-Discovery Summit, (October 2013).
- "Green Building in Colorado: Know the Risks!," presented at Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell, (November 2009).
"An Architect's Guide to Understanding Modern Copyright Protection for Architectural Works," Preventive Law Reporter, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Vol. 22, No. 3,(2004).
- Vault: WTO #11 Nationwide Best Midsize Law Firm to Work For
- "Casting a Wider Net: WTO's Summer Program is Part of a Plan to Hire More Fresh Grads," Law Week Colorado, September 2, 2019.
- Colorado Consumer Protection Act: WTO Helps Scuttle Effort to Allow Private Class Actions
- WTO Leads Top 100 in Colorado Super Lawyers
- Law360, "Whirlpool Customers Lose Cert. Bid Over Oven Overheating," May 9, 2017.
- 42 WTO Lawyers Named to the 2017 Colorado Super Lawyers List
- Law360, "Lawyers Weigh In on High Court's Class Action Ruling," January 20, 2016.
- Law360, "Sears, Whirlpool Settle Dishwasher Row With Repairs, Rebates," September 14, 2015.
- Law Week Colorado, "Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell Names Two New Partners," December 10, 2012.
- WTO Elects New Partners Andrew Unthank and Tamera Westerberg
- Denver Business Journal, "Colorado Business Worries Proposal Would Expose Trade Secrets," March 16, 2012.
- WTO Defends Colorado Coffee Franchisor Against Breach-of-Contract and Fraud Claims
Legal Memberships, Activities, and Honors
Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated
The Best Lawyers in America
Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants, 2021-2023
Local Litigation Star, 2023
40 & Under National Star, 2019
40 & Under Hotlist, 2018
Colorado Super Lawyers
Class Actions/Mass Torts Defense, 2021-2023
Colorado Rising Stars
Class Actions/Mass Torts, 2014-2019
Business Litigation, 2011-2013
Law Week Colorado's Up-and-Coming Lawyers
Colorado Civil Justice League
Member of the Legal Advisory Board
Legal Aid Foundation
Associates' Campaign Fundraising Chair 2011-2012 (set fundraising record both years)
Denver Bar Association
Colorado Bar Association
American Bar Association
Community Memberships, Activities, and Honors
Open Media Foundation
Board of Directors
Mountain biking, backpacking, travel, live music