Biography

Barbara Murphy chairs the Farella Exempt Organizations practice. She advises individuals and families on comprehensive tax planning – income, gift and estate – with a special emphasis on philanthropic planning. Barbara has extensive experience representing charitable organizations, including private foundations and public charities, with endowments ranging from several million to a billion dollars.

In her trusts and estates practice, Barbara counsels clients on estate planning, estate and gift taxation, income tax planning and income taxation, charitable gift planning, trust and estate administration, and compliance review of individual, trust, gift, and estate tax returns. She has successfully represented many individuals and families in audits before the IRS and the FTB, as well as numerous state taxing authorities across the country.

Her exempt organization practice focuses on all aspects of charitable organizations, including entity formation and exemptions, business planning, grant strategies and agreements, governance, regulatory compliance matters, and both mergers and dissolutions. In this role, Barbara’s work encompasses an exceptionally broad range of responsibilities, beginning at the very inception of the entity, where she counsels clients on the foundation of the organization, as well as developing internal procedures and processes, including governance, financial and operational structures, employment policies (including compensation issues), corporate restructuring, real estate transactions, negotiation of contracts, and more. In effect, she fills the same role as the general counsel of a corporation, but with the added complexity of the requirements for compliance with federal and state law applicable to nonprofits and their fundraising activities.

Barbara’s clients value her ability to evaluate their situations strategically, and to look at the facts and law from multiple sides. She excels at uncovering creative solutions to seemingly intractable challenges, as well as anticipating problems. Barbara’s true gift is her ability to  educate clients by making complex issues simple. Finally, in a field which is typically dry and highly technical, Barbara’s clients simply enjoy working with her. One high-profile Bay Area nonprofit demonstrated this by literally dubbing her the Queen of Tax Lawyers and presenting her with a crown.

Distinctions

  • The Legal 500 United States 2016 and 2017 Not-for Profit practice area.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member, President Emeritas,  San Francisco Estate Planning Council
  • Member, Board of Directors, Northern California Planned Giving Council
  • Vice Chair, California Pacific Medical Center Foundation Planned Giving Council
  • Member, American Cancer Society, Inc. San Francisco Advisory Board
  • Member, St. Raymond Catholic Church Pastoral Council
  • Member, Women's Impact Network Committee

Firm Highlights

Publication

Is your company covered by California's new privacy law?

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Publication

Are Losses Resulting from Phishing Incidents Covered by Crime Policies Insuring Against Computer Fraud?

It is an all-too-common dilemma. As phishing schemes have become more prevalent and more sophisticated, businesses of all sizes have fallen victim to these attacks where a fraudster will use a spoofed email or other...

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Event

WSJ Pro Cybersecurity Symposium

Tyler Gerking will be speaking at the WSJ Pro Cybersecurity Symposium session, "The Role of Cyber-Insurance." Details: How much should you buy, what does it cover and how does it fit with an overall...

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News

Ashley Breakfield Appointed to CREW Network Diversity & Inclusion Task Force

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Event

Litigating Civil and Criminal Trade Secret Cases: Trends, Best Practices, and Lessons Learned

Trade secret litigation is on the rise, both civil litigation and follow-on criminal prosecution for trade secret theft. Companies are grappling with how to protect their valuable information and minimize risk in their technological...

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News

Hemp Legal Limbo Challenges Sonoma County's Delta Separations, Other Equipment Makers

Ryan Lowther provided commentary in a North Bay Business Journal article discussing banking and regulatory challenges facing the hemp industry. Read the full article, here .

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News

Dan Cohn Named to Jewish Community Federation Board of Directors

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Publication

New California Housing Laws: AB 68 Accessory Dwelling Units

On January 1, 2020, several housing-related bills recently signed into law by the Governor take effect. We will explain the upcoming changes in housing law through a series of updates. Our first update...

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Publication

End of a Decade - Checklist for California Nonprofits

As 2019 comes to a close, we thought about our customary note to nonprofit officers and directors to take a few moments to confirm that important year-end responsibilities have not been overlooked. But since this...

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Event

PFAS Litigation Conference

Sarah Bell will be speaking at Law Seminars International's PFAS Litigation Conference program, "Lines of Defense" on December 10. Details: Assessing and choosing among the legal options for defending toxic tort, mass tort, and...

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