Ashley Breakfield represents large-scale urban developers, real estate investors, renewable energy companies, and private property owners in sophisticated land use and real estate matters.

In the land use realm, Ashley specializes in advising clients on Bay Area mid-scale project development strategies, beginning at the project’s inception with evaluating a site for possible uses and strategizing on development plans. She then works to shepherd the project through the administrative process, including evaluating, negotiating and obtaining permits and other entitlements and administrative approvals, and counseling clients on environmental review under both CEQA and NEPA.

In the commercial real estate aspect of her practice, Ashley’s transactional background is equally extensive. Her experience includes counseling developers and real estate investors with acquisitions, dispositions, and leasing of office, industrial, retail, and agricultural real estate.

Prior to joining Farella’s Real Estate and Land Use practice group, Ashley was an associate in our Environmental Law practice group. In that role, she counseled clients on regulatory and compliance matters involving state and federal environmental, land use, and natural resources laws and statutes, and represented clients in state and federal court, as well as before various administrative agencies and boards. This experience is frequently an integral part of her real estate work.

Ashley’s approach to her practice is forthright, practical, and results-oriented. Personable and straightforward, she is skilled at negotiating and communicating, emphasizing that both parties would like to get a deal done, and striving, whenever possible, to collaborate in the interest of getting to “yes” a little faster. Combined with her deep, firsthand knowledge of the ins and outs of the Bay Area real estate market, she’s an effective and persuasive advocate for her client’s interests.

Ashley served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Edward M. Chen of the United States District Court, Northern District of California, and as a legal intern for the California Attorney General’s Office – Natural Resources Section and the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment. 


  • Super Lawyers’ Northern California Rising Stars (2015-2021).

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Board of Directors and Minority Bar Coalition Liaison, Bar Association of San Francisco (2021-2023)
  • Member, Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, CREW Network
  • Co-Chair, Minority Bar Coalition
  • Member, BALIF
  • Volunteer, Californians Advancing Civic Education
  • Member, Commercial Real Estate Women of San Francisco (CREW)
  • Member, San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR)

Firm Highlights


Farella Assists Developers Win San Francisco Transbay Parcel F Tower Approval

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel represented the joint venture of Hines, Urban Pacific Development, and Goldman Sachs to secure approval for the construction of a 61-story, 800-foot tall mixed-use tower adjacent...

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Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys Named to 2021 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Thirty-seven Farella Braun + Martel lawyers were named to the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists of top attorneys in Northern California for 2021. 2021 Farella Northern California Super Lawyers: George Argyris – Estate...

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Farella Partners in Development of La Cocina Municipal Marketplace

Farella Braun + Martel served as the pro bono legal partner to La Cocina in the development of La Cocina Municipal Marketplace in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. The nation’s first women-led food hall will...

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Ashley Breakfield CREW SF Interview on Diversity

Farella's Ashley Breakfield is a member of CREW Network's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. She spoke about diversity efforts with Commercial Real Estate Women of San Francisco (CREW SF) President Samantha S. Low, LEED AP.

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California Court of Appeal Upholds Validity of SB 35 to Streamline Approval of Affordable Housing Projects

The California Court of Appeal issued a unanimous decision that will have lasting, positive implications for developers utilizing SB 35. SB 35 (Cal. Gov't Code Sec. 65913.4) requires cities and counties to quickly and ministerially...

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Returning to the Office: Legal and Practical Considerations for Keeping Your Team Safe

Farella's Ashley Breakfield (moderator) and Holly Sutton, along with guest speaker Tom Cashin from Shorenstein, discuss “Returning to the Office: Legal and Practical Considerations for Keeping Your Team Safe.” COVID-19 shelter-in-place mandates caused employers to close their...

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