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

Plan for Off-Shore Turbines Likely To Generate Many Billable Hours

David Lazerwitz provided commentary in the Daily Journal article "Plan for Off-Shore Turbines Likely To Generate Many Billable Hours."  In the article, David noted that we are still a long way from actually developing...

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Publication

What to Know About Taking a Data Center Company Public Through a SPAC

A recent IPO by InterPrivate IV Infratech Partners, a digital infrastructure-focused special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, raised $250 million. Its impressive fundraising and management team, led by former CyrusOne CTO Kevin Timmons, may cause privately...

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News

Farella Managing Partner Statement in Support of the Jewish Community

Farella Braun + Martel Managing Partner Brian Donnelly’s message to the firm honoring Memorial Day and statement in support of our Jewish colleagues, clients, and communities. Memorial Day is a time to pay tribute to the fallen...

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Event

Fire Season Preparedness: What Wineries Should Do Now

Join Quinn Arntsen and MaryJo Lopez with guest speaker Christopher Thompson of Napa Communities Firewise Foundation in the discussion on "Fire Season Preparedness: What Wineries Should Do Now." California is at the start of...

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News

Key Cyber Insurance Issues Hitting the Cannabis Industry

Tyler Gerking was quoted in the article "Key Cyber Insurance Issues Hitting the Cannabis Industry." Read the full article here . View full webinar below.

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Event

Eviction Moratoriums and Commercial Leasing: Current Issues

Join Tony Schoenberg and Jonah Trotz with guest speakers Marsha Ramsey and Margaret Duskin of Cushman & Wakefield in the discussion on "Eviction Moratoriums and Commercial Leasing: Current Issues." The pandemic has had wide ranging...

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Publication

New Statewide Winery Order: What Wineries Need to Know

Buzz Hines and John Ugai, along with guest speakers, Timothy Simpson and Mehran Ebrahimi from GSI Environmental Inc, discuss "New Statewide Winery Order: What Wineries Need to Know." The new statewide General Waste Discharge...

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Publication

Cyber Insurance for the Cannabis Industry

Farella's Shanti Eagle (moderator), Nate Garhart and Tyler Gerking, along with guest speakers Javier Gonzalez and Michael Peters from PL Risk Advisors, discuss "Cyber Insurance for the Cannabis Industry." Cannabis businesses have cyber security...

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Publication

In Verizon Decision Careful Review of Insurance Policies Expands Coverage

In Verizon Communications Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa ., the Delaware Superior Court ruled that Verizon was entitled to a defense under its D&O policy for fraudulent transfer claims. Although...

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Event

Natural Resource Damages Conference

Sarah Bell is a program co-chair of Law Seminars International's 14th Annual Advanced Conference on Litigating Natural Resource Damages Santa Fe.   Sarah and James Colopy are speakers at the August 12 session "Sources of...

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