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


California Extends COVID-19 Leave Through December 31, 2022

Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 152 into law, extending Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“SPSL”) through December 31, 2022. SPSL, which requires California employers with over 26 employees to provide up to 80 hours paid...

Read More

California Extends Presumption of COVID-19 as Workers’ Compensation Injury and Modifies Notice Requirements for Potential Exposure

In addition to AB 152 extending COVID-19 leave through December 31, 2022 , Governor Gavin Newsom has also signed into law two other COVID-related bills—AB 1751 and AB 2693—affecting employers’ policies regarding employees who...

Read More

New Laws and Compliance Updates for California Employers in 2023

California has passed several new or amended employment laws covering topics ranging from off-duty marijuana use, reproductive rights, California Family Rights Act, COVID-19, criminal law and the workplace, new avenues of enforcement against employers...

Read More

What You Need To Know About Representation and Warranty Insurance

The allocation of post-transaction risk is a key area where bids for assets can differentiate themselves. And representation and warranty insurance is a great arrow to have in your quiver, whether you are a seasoned...

Read More

Under FTC’s New Proposed Rule, Employers Will No Longer Be Able to Rely on Noncompete Agreements

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed a rule that would prohibit the use of noncompete agreements in employment contracts. Noncompete agreements prevent employees and independent contractors from pursuing certain forms of employment &ndash...

Read More

New California Bill Requires Employers to Offer Bereavement Leave

AB 1949 , a bill passed by the California legislature and awaiting Governor Newsom’s signature, would require California employers to offer five days of bereavement leave to employees each time they lose a spouse...

Read More

7 Tips to Help Financial Advisor Firms Protect Their Customer Lists

Customer relationships are a key asset for companies in the financial advising and wealth management industry. In California, however, the law is making it increasingly difficult to stop departing employees from soliciting customers after...

Read More

Importance of Monetizing Intellectual Property Assets of a Portfolio Company

In this Upside episode, we explore developing and monetizing intellectual property assets of a portfolio company. How does a new company go about developing a patent portfolio? And why spend the time and effort...

Read More

California’s Pay Transparency Act (SB 1162) – Are You Prepared?

This week the California legislature passed a pay transparency act that – pending Governor Newsom’s signature – will require significant changes in how employers draft job postings and how they report pay data to...

Read More

Survey of Pay Disclosure Laws Across the Country

There has been a wave of new state and local legislation focused on pay transparency for job applicants. Right now, Colorado State and Jersey City are the only jurisdictions that require employers to provide...

Read More