Jennifer A. Cranston


Jennifer A. Cranston (formerly Ratcliff) is a shareholder and member of the Gallagher & Kennedy board of directors.  She has three primary practice areas: real estate disputes involving condemnation and valuation issues; insurance coverage analysis and bad faith litigation; and public utility issues.

Jennifer’s goal in representing her clients is to provide valuable services and reach cost-effective resolutions. She has successfully negotiated favorable settlements for many, and also has experience representing clients at hearings, in arbitrations, at trial, and on appeal. Her trial experience includes representation of landowners who obtained two of the largest condemnation verdicts in the history of Arizona.

Real Estate Disputes

Jennifer advises clients in connection with a broad range of real estate disputes. Much of her experience has been in the area of condemnation – which is when the government acquires private property for public purposes, such as parks, roads and power lines. She helps her clients (who over the years have included large land developers, private property owners and utilities) determine how much the land is worth.


In her insurance practice, Jennifer helps clients analyze insurance policies to determine whether the policies provide coverage for a given event or loss. She also analyzes whether the insurance company has complied with the law or acted in bad faith. She provides these services to clients both on the insurance company side and for individuals and businesses seeking coverage. Additionally, 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 telecommunications providers and power companies) in maintaining compliance with Commission rules as well as obtaining approvals and waivers necessary to their business operations. She also represents utilities in rate cases in which the companies seek to increase or decrease the rates they are allowed to charge their Arizona customers.

Representative Experience

  • 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 from 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
  • Arizona Business Leaders Magazine, AzBusiness Leaders - Management, 2020
  • 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 - Condemnation and Valuation (2017-2019); Insurance (2017-2019); Administrative Law (2017); Real Estate (2017); Public Utilities (2017-2019); Litigation (2017)
  • Arizona Business Magazine, Most Influential Women in In Arizona Commercial Real Estate, 2018
  • Az Big Media, People & Projects to Know in Commercial Real Estate (PTK), 2017
  • 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

  • American Heart Association, Phoenix Metro Division, Past Director
  • Valley of the Sun United Way Women’s Leadership Council, Steering Committee and 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

Published Works

Speaking Engagements

Jennifer has presented to a variety of law-related and industry organizations on various topics including litigation, appraisal and insurance matters.  Recent 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.