Firm

About Farella Braun + Martel

Overview

Farella Braun + Martel is a leading Northern California law firm representing corporate and private clients in sophisticated business transactions and complex commercial, civil and criminal litigation. Clients seek our imaginative legal solutions and the dynamism and intellectual creativity of our lawyers. We are headquartered in San Francisco and maintain an office in the Napa Valley that is focused on the wine industry.

Farella’s commitment to supporting the industries of Northern California and our entrepreneurial responsiveness to the regional demands, have driven our growth and evolution. Nimbleness and opportunistic management have propelled our success through almost 60 years. From trial prowess in high-stakes litigation to utility-scale renewable energy project development and complex transactional expertise, Farella’s clients rely on and appreciate our fierce focus on client service and high quality work.

Client Centric Approach to Business

Farella connects on a personal level with all of our clients, big and small. We have successfully fused the quality, experience and resources of large firms with the relationship, flexibility and personal attention associated with a mid-sized firm. Our low leverage and low attrition means clients build deep relationships with a stable team of lawyers with whom they work as long-term partners, helping them to pursue and realize their strategic business goals.

Partnering with our clients is imbedded in our ethos and sometimes includes literally becoming part of their in-house team, a win-win situation in that we provide our client with a temporarily needed resource and our lawyers and paralegals gain an insider’s view of a client’s business. Throughout our history, we have partnered with clients to develop fee models that meet their specific needs for entire relationships, specific matters or when change affects their business model. 

Within the industries that we focus, our attorneys work cohesively in interdisciplinary teams to advance each client’s objectives in the most effective, coordinated and efficient manner.

It Was a Good Idea Then: It’s Still a Good Idea (Thomas Elke)

The firm was founded in 1962 by Frank Farella, Jerome Braun and Thomas Elke. Their initial clients included American Push Broom, Jumbo Orange Drive-In, Home Insurance Company, Transamerica and Tyger Oil. Two years later, John Martel joined the firm, where his first desk was an orange crate in a small room at 333 Pine St. in San Francisco. In 1970, the firm moved to the Russ Building in San Francisco, the “Wall Street of the West,” where it remains today. The Wine Country office was opened in St. Helena in 1995 to serve the firm’s substantial wine, agribusiness and private clients.

Commitment to Diversity, Equality + Inclusion

We strive to ensure that everyone working at Farella feels like they belong. To that end, our recruiting, retention and practice development programs welcome, support and promote the interests of women, families and people of all ethnicities and sexual orientations. At Farella, we are committed to diversity, both as an ethical ideal and as a business imperative.

Recognition

Farella has received industry and peer recognition equal to any firm in the country. Our attorneys include fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers, American College of Appellate Lawyers, American College of Environmental Lawyers, American College of Coverage Counsel, College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, and American College of Investment Counsel. Farella has been named among Law360’s California Powerhouses, featured on the National Law Journal’s Midsize Hot List and is named one of the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times / Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Green Business

In 2006, Farella was the first major law firm in San Francisco to obtain certification as a green business by the San Francisco Green Business Program, recognizing the firm for meeting the program’s stringent environmental standards. We received our third Green Business certification in 2015.

Firm Highlights

News

Employers Deal With Workers’ Lost Vaccination Cards

Holly Sutton was interviewed by SHRM for the article, "Employers Deal With Workers’ Lost Vaccination Cards." Read the article here .

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Publication

PSDcast – Is Energy Companies' Customer Data a Trade Secret?

We often focus on the privacy issues involved in data collection – and they are critically important – while neglecting the idea of data as a tangible and valuable resource (and how to protect...

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Publication

New Proposition 65 Warning Requirements for Cannabis and Hemp-Derived Products

Donald Sobelman and Wendy Hernandez discuss "New Proposition 65 Warning Requirements for Cannabis and Hemp-Derived Products." Proposition 65 requires “clear and reasonable” warnings in California for products containing chemicals on the State’s list of...

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News

Monticello - Member Profile: Richard "Dick" Shapiro

Dick Shapiro was profiled in the April 2021 issue of Monticello , the quarterly journal of the Jefferson Society. Read the profile, here on pages 18-19.

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Event

BASF Political Speech in the Workplace

Holly Sutton is a featured panelist at the BASF Labor and Employment Section of the Barristers Club live webinar, "Political Speech in the Workplace." Details: Although the 2020 election cycle has ended, employees and...

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Publication

Law Updates for California Employers: COVID Sick Leave Obligations, Meal-Period Rules, COBRA Benefits

New legislation and a recent court decision have significant implications for California employers. Certain California employers must now provide supplemental paid sick leave to employees who miss work for specified reasons related to the...

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Event

The Advocates’ Society Spring Symposium: The Advocate Making a Difference

Douglas Young is the keynote speaker at The Advocates’ Society Spring Symposium: The Advocate Making a Difference on April 28. The Advocates' Society and the American College of Trial Lawyers invite you to attend the...

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News

Farella Advises MedMen to Win San Francisco Cannabis Retail Store Approval

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel provided national premium cannabis retailer MedMen Enterprises Inc.  with land use and permitting advice to win approval to open a new retail store on Union Street...

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Event

North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference 2021

Join us for the 2021 North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference featuring leading cannabis industry experts. This live webinar will explore new opportunities and challenges to the medical, recreational, and related cannabis businesses North of the...

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Publication

New Restrictions on Sales and Delivery of E-Cigarettes and Vaping Products

The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act substantially and materially alters how companies sell and ship e-cigarettes and tobacco and cannabis vaping products and components.  The act was signed into law on...

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