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 for over 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,” and in 2023 relocated one block away to One Bush Street. 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 + Belonging

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. We were honored to achieve Midsize Mansfield Certification Plus in 2023.

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

Hsu Untied Interview With Dan Callaway

Dan Callaway, a partner specializing in intellectual property litigation, was a guest on Hsu Untied , an award-winning podcast hosted and produced by Richard Hsu featuring entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, best-selling authors, and more.  During...

Read More
Publication

California Appeals Court Empowers Privacy Agency to Immediately Enforce CCPA Regulations

In  California Privacy Protection Agency et al. v. The Superior Court of Sacramento County  (case number C099130), the Third Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal returned authority to the California Privacy Protection...

Read More
News

Winston Liaw Named a Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that Winston Liaw has been named a Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellow for 2024. Winston joins a select group of...

Read More
Event

CEQA Decoded: Practical Insights for Bay Area Professionals

Join Farella’s CJ Higley and Don Sobelman and guest speakers Eryn Brennan with Environmental Science Associates and Tania Sheyner with the City and County of San Francisco Planning Department for a discussion on successfully...

Read More
News

Lawdragon Names 7 Farella Lawyers Among “Leaders in Environmental Law”

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce that seven lawyers were selected to The Lawdragon Green 500: 2024 Leaders in Environmental Law . Farella lawyers selected for inclusion: Sarah...

Read More
Publication

Hsu Untied Interview With Carly Alameda

Litigation partner Carly Alameda was a guest on Hsu Untied , an award-winning podcast hosted and produced by Richard Hsu featuring entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, best-selling authors, TED speakers, lawyers, Emmy Award winners, professional athletes...

Read More
Publication

Nonprofit Quick Tip: State Filings in Rhode Island and New Hampshire

Welcome to  EO Radio Show - Your Nonprofit Legal Resource . This is the eighth in a series of “Quick Tip” episodes focusing on the details of state registration of nonprofit corporations. With the help...

Read More
News

Farella 2024 Partner Elevations: Cynthia Castillo and Greg LeSaint

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce the election of two lawyers to partnership effective Jan. 1: Cynthia Castillo and Greg LeSaint. “We are thrilled to elevate Cynthia and...

Read More
Publication

Nonprofit Basics: Scholarship Grant Program IRS Approval Requirements

Welcome to  EO Radio Show - Your Nonprofit Legal Resource . Today’s episode focuses on IRC Section 4945(g), which provides an exception for grants to individuals so that the penalty taxes for such grants...

Read More
News

Brookfield Forecloses on 2,150-Unit Veritas Portfolio With Uncontested $464M Bid

Restructuring, insolvency, and creditors rights partner Gary Kaplan provided expert commentary in The Real Deal  article, "Brookfield forecloses on 2,150-unit Veritas portfolio with uncontested $464M bid." Read the full article  here  (subscription may be...

Read More