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.

Firm Highlights

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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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 .

Read More
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...

Read More
Publication

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

Read More
News

Dan Cohn Named to Jewish Community Federation Board of Directors

Read More
News

Ashley Breakfield Appointed to CREW Network Diversity & Inclusion Task Force

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More