Jennifer A. Cranston


Jennifer A. Cranston

Jennifer Cranston (formerly Ratcliff) focuses her practice in three primary areas: real estate disputes involving condemnation and valuation issues; insurance coverage analysis and bad faith litigation; and public utility regulation. Jennifer’s objective is to provide sound legal advice, exceptional service, and cost-effective resolution for all her clients. She has successfully negotiated favorable settlements, as well as prevailed for clients at hearings, in arbitrations, at trial, and on appeal. Notably, Jennifer’s trial experience has resulted in two of the largest condemnation verdicts in the history of Arizona.

Condemnation / Eminent Domain

Jennifer advises and represents clients in connection with condemnation (aka eminent domain) actions involving government acquisitions of private property for public purposes, such as parks, roads, and power lines.  She has ably guided large land developers and private property owners in accurately assessing and realizing the fair market value of their property.  Jennifer also assists condemning entities acquire property rights in a fair, timely, and cost-effective manner.

Given her experience on both sides of this nuanced area of law, Jennifer also provides alternative dispute resolution services to parties involved in eminent domain and other valuation-related disputes.


In her insurance practice, Jennifer works diligently with clients to analyze whether their insurance policies provide coverage for a given event or loss.  She also evaluates whether the insurance company has complied with the law or acted in bad faith.  Jennifer offers these services to clients both on the insurance company side and for individuals and businesses seeking coverage.  Moreover, Jennifer consults with individuals and businesses to determine whether their current insurance policies provide adequate protection.

Public Utility

Jennifer’s regulatory practice involves the “fourth branch” of the Arizona government – the Arizona Corporation Commission.  She assists public utilities (such as power companies and telecommunications providers) in maintaining compliance with Commission rules, as well as in obtaining the approvals and waivers necessary for their business operations.  In addition, she represents utilities in rate cases in which her clients seek to increase or decrease the rates they are allowed to charge their Arizona customers.  Adding additional value to her utility clients, Jennifer participates in Commission rulemaking and policymaking proceedings to advocate for sensible, streamlined policies and procedures.


Jennifer joined Gallagher & Kennedy’s board of directors in 2018 as its first female member.  Additionally, she serves in leadership positions for and is active in both professional associations and community/charitable organizations.  She has been honored by a variety of publications and professional associations for her subject matter expertise.  A prolific writer, Jennifer’s articles have been included in major local, regional and national publications.  A dedicated educator, Jennifer has been invited to speak before legal and industry organizations on the topics of litigation, appraisal, and insurance. Furthermore, Jennifer is the co-host and organizer of the biannual Condemnation Summit in Arizona.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully defended a putative class action lawsuit alleging breach of subdivision restrictive covenants.
  • Representation of landowners in condemnation lawsuits to determine the fair market value of their property.
  • Representation of utilities in condemnation lawsuits to acquire property rights for public purposes.
  • Analysis of insurance policies to determine coverage.
  • Analysis and advice regarding insurance bad faith.
  • Review of insurance policies to determine adequacy of coverage.
  • Representation of public utilities in obtaining approvals, waivers and rate authorizations as well as policy and rulemaking proceedings before the Arizona Corporation Commission.
  • Prosecution and defense of civil cases on appeal before the Arizona Court of Appeals and Arizona Supreme Court.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Arizona, 2000
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 2000

Associations & Memberships

  • State Bar of Arizona, Member
  • State Bar of Arizona, Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Section, Member
  • State Bar of Arizona, Property Law Section, Member
  • Arizona Commercial Real Estate Women (AZCREW), Member; 2020 Past President/Legacy Chair; Past Sponsorship Committee Co-Chair; Past Board Secretary & Governance
  • Maricopa County Bar Association, Member and Past President
  • Maricopa County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, Past President

Honors & Awards

  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Energy, Insurance, and Utility Law, 2021-2024; Energy Regulatory Law, 2022-2024; Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, 2023-2024
  • Arizona Business Leaders Magazine, AzBusiness Leaders - Management, 2020; Real Estate, 2021-2023
  • AZRE Magazine, AZ Big 100: Women Leaders, 2023
  • Phoenix Magazine, Top Lawyer, Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith, 2022
  • The Phoenix Business Journal, Outstanding Woman in Business, 2019
  • ALM Media Legal Leaders, Top Rated Litigator, 2019
  • ALM Media Legal Leaders, Woman Leader in The Law, 2019
  • Arizona Business Magazine, Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona, 2017-2021
  • Arizona Business Magazine, Most Influential Women in Arizona Commercial Real Estate, 2018
  • Az Big Media, People & Projects to Know (PTK) in Commercial Real Estate, 2017, 2022
  • Southwest Super Lawyers® - Rising Stars Edition, Eminent Domain, 2012-2015
  • Maricopa County Bar Association Robert R. Mills Member of the Year, 2013
  • "Forty Under 40," The Business Journal, 2010

Community & Philanthropy

  • Valley of the Sun United Way Women’s Leadership Council, Past Chair
  • Valley of the Sun United Way Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, Member
  • Maricopa County Justice Museum & Learning Center Foundation, Vice-President
  • Gallagher & Kennedy’s Professional Women’s Group, Past Chair
  • American Heart Association, Phoenix Metro Division, Past Director

Published Works Source

Press Releases

Related News

Speaking Engagements

Jennifer has presented to a variety of law-related and industry organizations on topics including litigation, appraisal and insurance matters.  Appearances include presentations at the Maricopa County Bar Association, Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Arizona, and the Phoenix Chapter of the Appraisal Institute.  Jennifer is also the co-host and organizer of the biannual Condemnation Summit in Arizona.