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

News

Farella Braun + Martel Earns 2022 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" Rankings

SAN FRANCISCO, November 5, 2021: Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel earned national and regional rankings across several practice areas in the 2022 edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers ® "Best...

Read More
News

Farella Welcomes Christopher Rendall-Jackson to Energy + Infrastructure and Real Estate Industry Groups

Headshot of Chris Rendall-Jackson
Read More
Publication

Investigations, Audits, Subpoenas, Oh My!

Our Nonprofit Education Series speakers Cynthia Rowland, Aviva Gilbert and guest speaker, Stephanie Fauerbach from FTI Consulting, discuss "Investigations, Audits, Subpoenas, Oh My!" Nonprofit entities can be just as prone to misconduct (theft, embezzlement, accounting snafus...

Read More
Publication

Mitigating the Uncertainty of Smoke Taint in Wine Grapes

Smoke taint has dominated the worries of the California wine industry recent years. With unsettled climate conditions and continued droughts, there is no reason to think that smoke taint will not continue to be...

Read More
News

Rebecca Stephens Appointed to BASF Barristers Club Board of Directors

Read More
Publication

Disaster Matters: Property Insurance and the Wine Industry

Farella's Alexis Sinclair with guest speakers: Marc Levine from California's 10th Assembly District, Michael Miiller from California Association of Winegrape Growers, Mike Ryan from InterWest, and Jed Taborski from Silicon Valley Bank, discuss "Disaster Matters...

Read More
News

Farella Braun + Martel Represents ACE Cider in its Sale to Vintage Wine Estates

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel represented ACE Cider , The California Cider Company, the top independently owned hard cider brand in the U.S., in its sale to Vintage Wine Estates, Inc...

Read More
News

Farella Represents Far Niente Winery in its Acquisition of Provenance Vineyards

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel represented Napa Valley luxury wine producer Far Niente Family of Wineries & Vineyards in its acquisition of the Provenance Vineyards real estate in Rutherford, Calif. from Treasury...

Read More
Publication

Cannabis Farms in the Neighborhood: Water, Contaminants and Other Proximate Matters

Farella's Buzz Hines, and guest speakers Kari Campbell-Bohard from EpicVeg and Lompoc Valley Cooling and Robert Schultz from Geo Blue Consulting, for a discussion on "Cannabis Farms in the Neighborhood: Water, Contaminants and Other...

Read More
Publication

Pushing for Diversity in Philanthropy

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...

Read More