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 offices in the Napa Valley that are 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

Event

7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop

Brian Donnelly is presenting the case study session, "Managing Partner Performance" at Fairfax Associates' 7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop. Click here for more information.

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Publication

Treasury Grants Relief to Opportunity Zone Investors in Light of Coronavirus Pandemic

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created opportunity zones as an economic development tool to stimulate investments in distressed communities. This tool extends tax advantages to investors in qualified opportunity funds, provided compliance with...

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Publication

Breaking up the Patent Monopoly for the Benefit of Batteries

The patent monopoly is at odds with the global need for battery storage technology. As the world mobilizes towards climate change solutions, companies with battery patents will face increasing pressure to share this critical...

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Event

LSI's PFAS Contamination and Regulation in California Virtual Conference

Sarah Bell will be speaking at LSI's virtual conference on PFAS Contamination and Regulation in California live webinar, "PFAS and Hazardous Materials Cleanup Laws." Details: CWA violations, CERCLA designations, and NRD claims as potential game...

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Publication

How Grape Growers Can Protect Their Interests When a Winery Approaches Insolvency

A lot goes into the making of great wine, and when a winery becomes financially unstable, there are multiple competing interests that need to be satisfied, including the banks that provide the winery with...

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News

City of Morgan Hill Defeats NRA Challenge, Secures Victory for Local Gun Safety Law

SAN FRANCISCO, August 5, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel, as co-counsel with Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, successfully defended the City of Morgan Hill in a lawsuit challenging its local ordinance requiring...

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Publication

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Insights and Resources

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing disruption throughout the US that we have not seen in generations. Governmental entities, academia, and the private sector are working diligently to contain COVID-19 while it...

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Event

LSI’s 13th Annual Santa Fe Conference on Litigating Natural Resource Damages

Don Sobelman will be speaking at LSI’s 13th Annual Santa Fe Conference on Litigating Natural Resource Damages live webinar, "Common Law Claims for Natural Resource Damages." Details: Marching into the void resulting from lack...

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News

Farella’s Raymond Sheen Elected Fellow of American College of Coverage Counsel

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News

Farella Defeats Builder's Risk Insurer's Defense in Lawsuit Brought on Behalf of Webcor-Obayashi Joint Venture

SAN FRANCISCO, August 5, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel has obtained a favorable ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granting partial summary motion and clarifying a legal doctrine...

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