Biography

Brian Donnelly is Farella’s Managing Partner and a partner in the Tax practice group. Brian advises clients on issues involving partnership and corporate tax law for transactional matters and federal and state tax controversies. He has a special focus on tax issues affecting real estate development projects and startups. His clients encompass the real estate, technology, energy, wine, and professional services industries.

The majority of his work involves real estate, typically in the role of counseling clients on transaction structure and strategy. He represents, among other clientele, large commercial and residential developers and homebuilders, and assists them in negotiating and documenting the various agreements with capital investors in these projects. In this context, he helps fund projects, formulates tax-advantaged deal structures, negotiates and structures incentive compensation, and is involved in various other related tasks for these real estate projects.

In addition to real estate, Brian’s experience includes mergers and acquisitions, equity compensation, and various general corporate matters. He works extensively with partnerships, S corporations, joint ventures, and limited liability companies and with other members of the firm on federal and state tax controversies and property tax matters. He works with many entrepreneurs when they are ready to sell their business or transition ownership to the next generation or key employees.

He also does a significant amount of work advising clients on the use of historic tax credits, which provide a financial incentive for owners and developers rehabilitating historic properties, while preserving the historic character of these properties. As part of utilizing these credits, Brian typically begins by exploring the availability of these tax credits with owners, and then works to shape the project in order to utilize them in the most efficient manner.

As a practitioner, Brian provides his clients with a unique combination of highly sophisticated technical guidance and a collaborate approach. In addition to being an attorney, he is a CPA and has an LL.M in taxation. He uses his technical qualifications to work collaboratively with his clients’ advisers, particularly other CPAs and wealth advisers.

In addition, when beginning to structure a transaction, he strives to factor other, related topics into his thinking, including broader business and economic issues, as well as the personal and emotional priorities of his clients. Simply engineering a tax-efficient transaction is less significant than using creativity, responsiveness, and emotional intelligence to understand what the client is seeking to accomplish. Technical ability is assumed, but when a client has built up and is now selling a business, the most important service Brian renders his clients is asking “What do you want?” and listening carefully and deeply to the answer, then putting a comprehensive plan into effect.

Distinctions

  • Distinguished Leader Award finalist, The Recorder California Legal Awards (2023)
  • The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Tax Law (2021-2024)

Firm Highlights

Publication

PAGA Amendments: A Reprieve for Employers Proactively Addressing Labor Code Violations, but Ambiguities Remain

On July 1, 2024, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a package of reforms to the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”), a statute that has created headaches for employers and driven up wage...

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Publication

REFRESH: Nonprofit Basics: Overview of Nonprofit Charitable Organization Types: Corporation, LLC, Trust, Association and Fiscal Sponsorship

Welcome to  EO Radio Show - Your Nonprofit Legal Resource . For the next few weeks, we refresh several of the show's earliest episodes. During these dog days of summer, it’s a good time...

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News

Farella Lawyers Recognized as 2024 IP STARS by Managing Intellectual Property

Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce that  Managing Intellectual Property has recognized partners Daniel Callaway , James Day , Jeffrey Fisher , Winston Liaw , and Eugene Mar in the 2024 edition of...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Ranked in Chambers High Net Worth 2024

Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce that our Private Client Industry Group and Family Wealth Partner Mark Weaver were recognized in Chambers High Net Worth  2024 in the Private Wealth Law in...

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Publication

Nonprofit Quick Tip: State Filings in New Mexico and Utah

Welcome to  EO Radio Show - Your Nonprofit Legal Resource . This is the 13th in a series of “Quick Tip” episodes focusing on the details of state registration of nonprofit corporations. In an earlier...

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Publication

Expedited Review of IRS Applications for Recognition of Exempt Status

Welcome to  EO Radio Show - Your Nonprofit Legal Resource .  In Episode 87, Cynthia Rowland covers the rules that apply to a new charitable organization that wants expedited review of its application for...

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Event

CEQA Decoded: Air Quality Analysis for Bay Area Projects

CJ Higley and Don Sobelman with guest speakers Sarah Manzano with Ramboll and Josh Pollak with City and County of San Francisco Planning Department discuss "CEQA Decoded: Air Quality Analysis for Bay Area Projects."  Join...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys Named to 2024 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Thirty-four Farella Braun + Martel lawyers were named to the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists of top attorneys in Northern California for 2024. 2024 Farella Northern California  Super Lawyers: Amy Briggs – Business...

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Event

17th Annual Santa Fe Advanced Conference: Natural Resource Damages

Farella Braun + Martel is a sponsor of the Law Seminars and Internationals' 17th Annual "Santa Fe" Advanced Conference on Natural Resource Damages.  Sarah Bell, a program co-chair, will participate on two panels: "Best...

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Event

17th Annual Santa Fe Advanced Conference on Natural Resource Damages

Farella Braun + Martel is a sponsor of the Law Seminars and Internationals' 17th Annual "Santa Fe" Advanced Conference on Natural Resource Damages.  Christopher Rendall-Jackson will participate on a panel titled "The Latest on the...

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