AttorneyCole A Derks

Our philosophy is simple - to assure client satisfaction by providing the highest level of legal representation and service.

Cole’s practice is primarily focused on banking law, business formation and planning, commercial transactions, construction law, estate planning, insurance and captive matters, land use law, and natural resource law.

Drawing upon his diverse backgrounds, Cole can provide a unique prospective that accounts for a wide field of variables. As a transactional attorney, Cole enjoys working closely with clients to help provide clarity, identify risk, and offer insight to often complex and difficult matters. Most importantly, Cole enjoys assisting clients accomplish their immediate goals while contemporaneously identifying long term objectives. Cultivating long term relationships based upon a foundation of quality advice, earned trust, and mutual respect is at the core of Cole’s practice. With access to a dedicated team of seasoned experts, Cole can tailor a solution while striking the appropriate balance between transactional requirements and risk mitigation.

Cole is a fifth generation Montanan and grew up in Denton, Montana. His great great grandfather homesteaded in the early 1900s south west of the Judith River Landing and his family has been engaged in agriculture throughout the Judith Basin ever sense. Involved in the family’s dry-land grain, irrigated cropland, and black angus cow-calf operation from a young age, Cole developed a strong work ethic, learned the value of a handshake, came to understand the meaning of prudent resource stewardship, and grew to love Montana’s vast expanses.

Cole attended Montana State University in Bozeman where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Finance. During his undergraduate education, Cole worked for Northwestern Mutual as a Financial Representative Intern, an affiliate of Farm Bureau Financial Services as a Customer Service Representative, and at Bos Hay & Grain located in Gallatin Gateway. In pursuit of his Minor in Political Science, Cole studied abroad for half a year at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Upon the completion of his undergraduate degree, Cole worked for Stockman Bank of Montana as part of a small team as a Credit Review Officer. Cole travelled extensively throughout the state working with local management to review and assess agriculture and commercial loan portfolios for credit quality, credit administration, risk rating accuracy, collateral documentation, and regulatory compliance. Cole helped prepare and present reports for executive management that provided conclusions and recommendations for each portfolio reviewed.

Cole enrolled at the University of North Dakota School of Law in Grand Forks in the Fall of 2012. While attending law school Cole worked as a Law Clerk for General Counsel at Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services (commonly known as AE2S), an innovative engineering consulting firm. During Cole’s time with the firm he worked closely with General Counsel on various project delivery agreements, business acquisition agreements, risk mitigation, and various legal issues affecting the firm, its holding company, and various sister entities.

Cole’s final semester of law school was spent in Bismarck at North Dakota’s 2015 Legislative Assembly. Cole served as a Legislative Intern for the Senate Finance & Taxation and Transportation Committees. As a Legislative Intern, Cole worked closely with committees, Legislative members, concerned interests, and Legislative Council to provide legal support, analysis, and drafting services on a non-partisan basis.

Cole graduated cum laude from the University of North Dakota School of Law in May of 2015 and quickly returned to Montana with his young family. Cole is married to Michelle Derks, who is a registered nurse with St. Vincent Healthcare. Cole and Michelle have two beautiful daughters and a devoted vizsla. In the little free time available, Cole and Michelle enjoy spending time with their little girls at local parks and exploring and sharing the greatness the “Last Best Place” has to offer.

Practice Areas


Bar Admissions

  • State of Montana
  • United States District Court, District of Montana

Education

  • J.D., University of North Dakota School of Law, cum laude, 2015
  • B.S., Business with concentration in Finance, Montana State University - Bozeman, 2009

Awards And Honors

  • Phi Delta Phi - International Legal Honor Society
  • Eagle Scout

With broad industry knowledge and experience in a variety of practice areas, we offer solutions that address each client's particular needs and objectives.

about the firm