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 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 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 + 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 any ethnicity or sexual orientation. 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 early 2015.

Firm Highlights

News

Farella Braun + Martel Named Among the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area 2019

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Publication

Attorney General Finds Impact Fees on Density Bonus Projects Invalid

In response to questions from a variety of cities across the state regarding the application of “public benefit fees” to density bonus projects, the State Attorney General’s Office published an opinion on April 9...

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Event

Non-Profits, #MeToo and Talent Management in 2019

Barbara Murphy, Chandra Andrade and Rebecca Stephens, speakers, Non-Profits, #MeToo and Talent Management in 2019

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News

Daily Journal Names Jeff Fisher Among Top IP Lawyers in California

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Publication

The 10th Circuit Correctly Construes “That Particular Part” Narrowly

We do not often write about coverage opinions from jurisdictions as far away as Oklahoma; however, a recent case from the Federal Tenth Circuit looked at one of our favorite topics and came out...

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Publication

Individual Accountability in the Huawei Trade Secrets Prosecution

In the ongoing legal battle over the alleged theft of American trade secrets by Chinese telecom giant Huawei, one curious aspect is the lack of charges filed against any individual Huawei employees. On February...

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Event

CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split

Sarah Bell will speak on the Strafford live webinar, "CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split." This CLE webinar will discuss the "indirect discharge" theory of Clean...

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Event

North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to underwrite the North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference featuring keynote speaker Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. The event will also feature...

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Publication

Who 'Owns' a Secret? Whether Trade Secret Licensees Have Standing to Sue in California

If the eye-popping damages awards in several recent lawsuits are any indication, companies are increasingly coming to see their private information as one of their most valuable assets—and California juries apparently agree. For example,...

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News

How to Plan for a Smooth Transition of Your Family Business

Family Wealth Senior Associate Lauren Galbraith discusses how family internal dynamics play a role in transferring significant assets, especially a business, between generations. Link to read the full article.

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