At Farella, we recognize that financial services and their providers are at the heart of most commercial and regulatory relationships. Marshaling talent and experience from a variety of legal disciplines, we offer the financial services industry and their customers legal services designed to unlock transactional value and meet contractual expectations.

Deploying our wealth of understanding across the broad spectrum of financial services issues, and our sensitivity to and experience with the many contexts in which those issues arise, we deliver practical advice to ensure successful relationships and help businesses thrive.

Full-Service Counsel

In addition to advising on and documenting transactions, we guide financial services providers through choosing and securing insurance protections—and aggressively advocate for them in claim recoveries. We respond to operational and corporate matters, and facilitate beneficial employer-employee relationships. We collaborate with our white-collar lawyers to address issues that protect organizational or individual rights in criminal and regulatory investigations and procedures, work with our insolvency team to solve complex challenges in the labyrinth of bankruptcy and litigate disputes regarding loans and other extensions of credit, financial structures, derivatives and financial products

Overall, Farella attorneys bring on-the-ground experience, exceptional judgment, and unparalleled commitment to every client.

The Client Experience

As trusted advisors to managers and board rooms, we provide lean, core counsel—typically one partner and one associate—with the added capacity to address and support areas of critical importance, including access to a deep-bench of Farella trial lawyers and litigators when needed.

We commonly work with various types of financial services entities, including businesses that manage money, such as banks and payment systems; enterprises involved in technology, insurance, finance, and investment funds, including venture capital, private equity, and individual managers; and companies dealing in cryptocurrency. Our well-rounded experience and exposure to all types of financial services providers gives us a 360-degree view of client needs and positions us to meet them, efficiently.

Trusted Advisors to Banks and Investors

Banking and finance are key areas where our Financial Services Group has made a significant difference, helping closely-held companies or individuals who use private equity and venture capital to expand their business interests. From early-stage to pre-IPO, we advise on and structure investment capital deals that enhance companies’ values.

Likewise, we represent private equity, venture capital, and corporate investors in negotiating and documenting investments in companies at any stage of development. We work with investors and their portfolio companies on appropriate management structures and exit strategies, including sales to strategic buyers and public offerings.

With an emphasis on secured transactions, we advise borrowers and lenders in commercial and real estate single loan, portfolio, and other structured financing transactions and the sale or acquisition of financial assets.

Asset Protection Through Insurance Coverage

For financial institutions, venture capital and private equity funds, portfolio companies, crypto currencies, and more, we provide advice on insurance coverage issues, the placement of programs for these complicated entities, and methods for maximizing insurance recovery. For example, we recently helped a venture capital client navigate claims from various investors and regulators to maximize proceeds and assisted another client that specializes in incubation, early stage, and growth company investments in resolving various insurance problems related to the financial difficulties of their portfolio companies.

Expert Protection for Government Investigations and Actions

Our white-collar crime team has extensive experience conducting internal corporate investigations for audit committees and boards and advising on the myriad of complex and sometimes conflicting issues that arise for companies in the financial services industry. Often, we represent individuals—current or former officers, directors or employees of banks—who are subjects of such investigations.

In Securities and Exchange Commission fraud cases, we represent defendants in civil class actions, SEC investigations leading to civil enforcement cases, and grand jury investigations leading to criminal charges. We provide early assessment of civil, administrative, and criminal exposure to develop a coordinated defense and help clients navigate high-stakes decisions. Our early approach strategy frequently reduces the likelihood that one proceeding will have serious and unalterable repercussions on the direction and ultimate outcome of parallel investigations and filings.

In cases of financial fraud, international arbitration, antitrust, contract disputes, and consumer claims, often in class actions or agency litigation, our lawyers are known for developing novel theories. In a recent example, our team obtained the dismissal of a U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) $300 million fraud action against a former adversary in a “blockbuster” decision which, for the first time, found no Dodd Frank CFTC general fraud jurisdiction.

Addressing Unique Cryptocurrency Issues

As cryptocurrency evolves, challenging legal questions and high-risk issues in the regulatory and insurance areas increase. In recent cases, we defended a leading cryptocurrency and blockchain company against claims that its initial coin offering (ICO) was an unregistered security and as such the management liability carrier denied coverage based on the “securities offering” and “prior claim” exclusions. Our successful arguments reversed the claim and resulted in a significant recovery for our client.

In other work, we have advised on reputable sources and transactions for funding with crypto; represented a client being investigated by the SEC for allegedly touching crypto assets as a third party; and won a major victory in a Commodities Futures Trading Commission claim in the 9th Circuit that, if upheld, would have a major impact on regulatory enforcement in the crypto area.

Talent Management in a Mobile Workforce

For companies with workforces both large or small, we offer world-class experience, personal attention, and pragmatic representation in contentious, sometimes high profile, employment matters, and provide day-to-day counseling and management training to avoid them. Our emphasis is always on finding expedient resolutions that strike a balance between business goals, costs, and reputational risks.

From the exceptional to the routine, our team can be trusted to guide financial services business’ decisions in addressing potential, pending, or in-progress litigation—when to fight or when to settle. Our experience in handling every type of employment law matter including those involving partnerships, joint ventures, and corporations allows us to offer clients the closest estimate of costs and outcomes. We always help employers carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of multiple options to achieve minimum disruption and maximum impact.

When Intellectual Property Is Your Crown Jewel

Farella's intellectual property lawyers in our Financial Services Group help providers secure, protect, and defend their intellectual property rights. With decades of success in the courtroom and boardroom, we rely on our technical knowledge, strategic creativity, and trial skills in trade secret, patent, copyright, trademark, and other technology-related disputes to assist our clients in identifying the most efficient resolution.  With high employee mobility, protecting trade secrets and institutional knowledge requires significant precaution and focus to ensure the success of business – private equity to portfolio companies and consumer to investment banks.

We seek quick results for our clients as early in a case as possible to save their businesses from years of time-consuming and expensive litigation.

Trial Lawyers First

Farella’s Business Litigation Group—a leading trial team for over 50 years—is committed to helping financial services providers anticipate and resolve legal threats to their business activities. Our Group’s long-standing success hinges on essential qualities, including appropriate staffing for size and scope of matter; judgment informed by experience to accurately assess opponents, outcomes, and costs; and the strategic use of the law and procedural rules in negotiations, mediations, and trials.

While much of our work is adversarial, we also look for bottom-line solutions to disputes, and strive to avoid costly bare-fisted litigation and preserve our clients’ resources and reputations.

Our practice maintains high standards and, as such, enjoys an excellent reputation in Northern California courts—among the bar and the bench—and litigates cases in many other U.S. jurisdictions.

Firm Highlights


Paycheck Protection Program Eligibility for Private Equity and Venture Capital-Backed Entities

Congress’ recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) created a new small business lending program to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on their payroll...

Read More

Force Majeure and Contractual Non-Performance During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Never in the experience of most of us has an event so thoroughly interrupted business as usual as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Everywhere, contract parties facing severe stress in their businesses are reassessing their contractual...

Read More

CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program Summary (Updated)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) aims to provide qualifying small businesses, nonprofit organizations, veterans organizations, tribal businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors forgivable loans of...

Read More

COVID Relief Granted to Opportunity Zone Investors

Opportunity Zones are economically-distressed communities designated under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to provide private investors that deploy capital there with certain tax advantages, provided those investors, and funds, comply with a vast...

Read More

San Francisco Bay Area Counties Issue Stricter Limits on Commercial Activities in Updated COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place Orders

To combat the growing number of coronavirus cases in the Bay Area, six local counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara) have issued updated Shelter-In-Place orders that extend the...

Read More

Is Your Business an “Essential Business”? Navigating California State and County COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place Orders

In light of the recent “Shelter-In-Place” orders issued by all nine Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Solano, and Napa) and the subsequent “Stay-At-Home” order issued...

Read More

Business Interruption Coverage for the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has already caused severe disruption to the economy. In the U.S., governmental entities as well as the private sector are implementing more and more drastic measures to respond to the coronavirus...

Read More

Fed Announces New Main Street Lending Program

Loans Will Provide Additional Support for Small and Mid-sized Businesses On April 9, 2020, the Federal Reserve released the terms of its Main Street Lending Program , a $600 billion loan fund for U.S...

Read More

Alexis Sinclair Joins Farella Braun + Martel’s Financial Services Industry Group

SAN FRANCISCO, October 14, 2020: Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce that business transactions lawyer Alexis Sinclair has joined the firm as special counsel in its Financial Services...

Read More

Farella Names New White Collar Defense & Internal Corporate Investigations Practice Co-Chairs

SAN FRANCISCO, June 29, 2020: Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel announces that Senior Associates Aviva J. Gilbert and Janice W. Reicher have been appointed co-chairs of its White Collar Defense and...

Read More