Real Estate


Contractors and owners involved in multi-million-dollar construction projects require skilled legal advice across a variety of disciplines. They need lawyers who understand the construction process from start to finish and who can mitigate risks and maximize opportunities, draft and manage rock-solid legal agreements, and settle disputes or take claims to trial, if needed.

Throughout all stages of the real estate development process, Farella guides complex projects to the finish line. Our decades of experience cover everything from entity structure, project management, and financing to delivery method selection, permits, entitlements, environmental regulatory compliance, and construction litigation, ensuring seamless access to comprehensive counsel.

In all regards, we seek to understand your commercial objectives and identify areas of concern at each juncture without over-lawyering minor details that will hold up progress. We take pride in delivering practical, effective representation to arrive at the ultimate goal—bringing in developments on-time and on-budget without needless and costly acrimony.


Public and private owners, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and design professionals involved in complex construction projects ranging from power plants, renewable energy projects, hospitals, water and waste treatment facilities, dams, airports, roadways, rail systems, prisons, hotels, mixed-use developments, subway stations, and more rely on us for both legal and business advice. We leverage the knowledge and expertise of Farella’s real estate, land use, insurance recovery, environmental, and energy lawyers to offer a comprehensive package of legal services to the construction industry. By providing a one-stop shop, we help our clients overcome the challenges that confront them at each step in their project.

Claims Counseling

Construction projects can be dogged with any number of types of disputes. With over 30-years’ experience in claims counseling, we can adeptly work behind the scenes to identify and mitigate issues, help clients respond to inquiries, assess which claims to pursue, and guide businesses in documenting activities along the way.

Always mindful of the project budget, we guide clients along the path towards resolving potential conflicts before an enormous amount of money is spent on depositions and other wasteful discovery. We often work with in-house litigation support staff to control and customize the technological support required to review and manage documents effectively.

Construction Litigation

Our multi-disciplinary construction practice provides valuable insight when addressing potentially costly claims in litigation. Although the goal is always to avoid disruptive litigation, when disputes do arise, our deep understanding of the construction process allows us to reliably assess the outcome of potential litigation and position a case so it can be resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Although we are first and foremost trial lawyers, we are industry leaders in the use of alternative dispute resolution procedures, including in the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration, and have traveled extensively throughout the United States and resolved hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of construction-related claims and disputes over the years.


In all stages of the construction process, our expertise includes:

  • Identifying and defining appropriate delivery systems, including traditional and alternative
  • Negotiating and drafting design documents, construction contracts, and financing agreements
  • Identifying alternative funding approaches, such as joint ventures or public-private partnerships
  • Responding to RFQ/RFP, responsive/non-responsive bids, bid protests, and all related work events along the project management continuum
  • Identifying, assessing, and allocating risk, and initiating risk management and control programs
  • Defining, negotiating and structuring insurance programs and surety bonds
  • Developing and implementing contract administration claims avoidance and resolution procedures
  • Prosecuting, defending and resolving claims of all types, including defective design, delays, disruption, financial impacts and damages, and state and federal Civil False Claims Act violations.

Professional Involvement

The Farella construction law team is committed to our clients’ success. We extend that commitment through our participation and contributions to thought leadership in top industry groups, including the American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law, the American General Contractors Association’s Legal Advisory Committee, and PLI’s Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute.

Our lawyers regularly appear in national and California-based rankings from Best Lawyers in America, Legal 500 USA, and Super Lawyers’ annual list of top lawyers in Northern California.

Firm Highlights


Housing Fee Reform Legislation

San Francisco officials have introduced a number of new policies they hope will jump start the construction of new housing in San Francisco, which has largely stalled due to high construction costs, rising interest...

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San Francisco Board of Supervisors Passes Housing Fee Reform Legislation

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors took the first of two votes to approve housing fee reform legislation last week. The legislation reduces by as much as a third the affordable housing fees and...

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AB 1633: The Housing Accountability Act

The Housing Accountability Act (HAA) requires local agencies to approve housing projects that meet objective zoning, general plan, subdivision, and design standards unless there is a specific, adverse impact upon public health and safety...

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California Court Issues First Decision Addressing Builder’s Remedy; Decision on Related Lawsuit Pending

The first California court decision to issue declaratory relief to a developer under the “builder’s remedy” appears to be on the horizon. The builder’s remedy has garnered significant attention over the past two years...

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Downtown San Francisco Adaptive Reuse Legislation Slated To Go Into Effect

As we alerted you on May 9 , legislation to incentivize office and commercial building conversions to housing had begun working its way through the Board of Supervisors after approval by the San Francisco...

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Chambers USA 2024 Recognizes Farella Braun + Martel Lawyers, Practices

Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce that Chambers USA has recognized 16 lawyers and six practice areas in the legal directory’s 2024 edition. Individual California and Western U.S. Rankings: Sarah Bell &ndash...

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