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 fourth Green Business certification in 2020.

Firm Highlights

Publication

How Changes to California’s Fire Regulations Could Affect North Coast Housing Projects

Both the Board of Forestry and the State Senate are considering changes to state fire regulations that would affect real estate development in California. The first set of changes can be found in the...

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Publication

How to Guard Against 3 Cannabis Cyber Attack Risks

Cyber attacks are now commonplace. Ransomware attacks, in particular, have skyrocketed in frequency and size. High-profile data breaches have cost businesses in the United States millions of dollars in losses and incalculable reputational harm...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Announces Final Court Approval of $575 Million Settlement With Sutter Health in Landmark Antitrust Class Action

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that San Francisco Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo has granted final approval of the landmark $575 million antitrust class action settlement with Sutter Health, the largest...

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Event

The Gorilla in the CERCLA Closet: Natural Resources Damages (Webcast)

Sarah Bell will present "The Gorilla in the CERCLA Closet: Natural Resources Damages" session at the ALI-CLE Environmental Litigation webcast.  She will cover: Creative applications of NRD claims Marshalling the NRD trustee’s case NRD...

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Event

Pushing for Diversity in Philanthropy

Join Farella's Wendy Hernandez and guest speaker, Afshan Paarlberg, assistant visiting professor at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, for the nonprofit industry program "Pushing for Diversity in Philanthropy." A pressing question for many philanthropists...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Recognized in 2021 Chambers High Net Worth Guide

Farella Braun + Martel’s Private Client Industry Group earned recognition in the 2021 Chambers High Net Worth (HNW) guide as a leading firm in the Private Wealth Law category for Northern California. A publication...

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Publication

10 Tips for Mandatory Covid-19 Vaccination Policies

The Biden administration recently announced that it will be mandating Covid-19 vaccine policies for federal contractors and federal employees, as well as for employers with over 100 employees. This announcement, along with surging Delta...

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Event

Legal Trends in the Wine Industry

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Publication

No Quarter: What Claims Doesn’t Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act Protect Platform Companies Against?

Depending on what you read or who you talk to, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (47 U.S.C. § 230) (CDA) is either a tool of censorship, a shield of Big Tech that...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Pursues Midsize Mansfield Rule Certification

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that it is participating in the second iteration of the Midsize Mansfield Rule certification process, which aims to increase the representation of diverse lawyers in leadership...

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