Insights
Firm News

Farella Braun + Martel Announces 2023 New Partner Class

January 17, 2023 Announcement

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce the elevation of three lawyers to the partnership effective January 1, 2023: Ashley Breakfield, Sushila Chanana, and Rebecca Stephens.

“We are thrilled to congratulate and welcome these talented lawyers to our partnership,” said Farella Managing Partner Brian Donnelly. “Each have distinguished themselves in their areas of expertise and in their contributions to Farella and the legal community. They have gone above and beyond to become trusted business partners to their clients, and we are confident they will continue to make us proud and build on the firm’s success.” 

Ashley Breakfield, a real estate transactional lawyer and former environmental litigator, represents large-scale urban developers, real estate investors, renewable energy companies, and private property owners in sophisticated land use and real estate matters. She is skilled at advising clients on project development strategies beginning at the project’s inception through the entitlement process and beyond. She counsels developers and real estate investors on acquisitions, dispositions, and leasing of office, industrial, retail, mixed-use, and agricultural real estate, and particularly enjoys working on projects from concept to shovel to operation to sale. Ashley is the president-elect of Commercial Real Estate Women of San Francisco (CREW SF) and served as a member of the board of directors for the Bar Association of San Francisco. Dedicated to promoting increased diversity in the legal profession and real estate industry, she served on CREW Network’s Diversity & Inclusion Task Force and as a co-chair of the Minority Bar Coalition of the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a member of the 2022 class of Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinders. She is recognized by Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch in Land Use and Zoning Law (2023). Ashley earned her J.D. from the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco (2011) and her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz (2008).

Sushila Chanana, a high-stakes technology litigator, co-leads Farella’s Platforms Initiative and Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice. She represents companies in general business litigation and IP matters, including trademark, copyright, trade secrets, patent, and privacy disputes. She also advises companies with respect to rapidly evolving areas of law, including data scraping, brand protection, data monetization, and anti-hacking. Her clients, which range from startups to Fortune 100 companies, rely on her advocacy at both the trial and appellate levels. Sushila counsels companies on compliance with data privacy laws, including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and is a frequent speaker on these topics. Sushila serves on the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Section Executive Committee. She was a member of the 2020 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellow class. Sushila received her J.D. from the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco and her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Rebecca Stephens, an employment advisor and litigator, co-leads Farella’s Consumer Products Initiative. Rebecca counsels employers ranging from small businesses to global corporations on developing and implementing sound workplace policies, conducting investigations, managing accommodations and leaves of absence, and administering separations from employment. She also defends employers in single-plaintiff, class, and representative litigation matters in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies such as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the California Civil Rights Department. Rebecca serves on the Barristers Board of Directors and the Barristers Labor & Employment Executive Committee for the Bar Association of San Francisco. She was a member of the 2021 class of Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinders and a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law’s 2021 Leadership Development Program. She is recognized by Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch in Litigation–Labor and Employment (2023). Rebecca earned her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law (2013) and her B.A. from the University of Maryland (2007).

Farella Braun + Martel is a leading Northern California law firm representing corporate and private clients in sophisticated business and real estate transactions and complex commercial, civil, and criminal litigation. Clients seek our imaginative legal solutions and the dynamism and intellectual creativity of our lawyers. We are headquartered in San Francisco and maintain an office in the Napa Valley that is focused on the wine industry.

Contact:
Cheryl Loof
Farella Braun + Martel LLP
415.954.4433 / [email protected]

Firm Highlights

Publication

A New Overtime Threshold Takes Effect in Mere Weeks: HR Should Assess Its Impact Now

On April 23, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rule increasing the minimum pay requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for various exempt “white-collar” employee categories beginning on...

Read More
Publication

A Simpler Approach To Expanding Banking Access

While the cannabis community anxiously awaits what feels like Congress’ hundredth attempt to pass the SAFE Banking Act, there is one simple step that can be taken today to improve access to banking services...

Read More
Publication

Navigating California Wage Statement Penalties After Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc.

On May 6, 2024, the California Supreme Court, in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc. , clarified that an employer is not liable for statutory penalties for inaccurate wage statements when it had a...

Read More
News

Farella Represents Château Montrose Owners in Acquisition of Virginia’s RdV Vineyards

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel represented the Bouygues family’s winery enterprise, SCDM Domaines, in its purchase of RdV Vineyards in Virginia. SCDM Domaines owns a number of winery holdings in France, including...

Read More
Publication

A Summary of New Laws Coming for California Employers in 2024

In 2023, California has adopted several new employment laws either introducing new employee protections or codifying existing practices into state law. With these changes, employers will need to examine and adjust some of their...

Read More
Publication

The Components of Effective and Defensible Workplace Investigations

Harassment, discrimination and retaliation are serious workplace threats that demand vigilant attention from employers under state and federal laws. This article explores some high-level yet essential components of effective workplace investigations. By understanding the...

Read More
News

Farella 2024 Partner Elevations: Cynthia Castillo and Greg LeSaint

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce the election of two lawyers to partnership effective Jan. 1: Cynthia Castillo and Greg LeSaint. “We are thrilled to elevate Cynthia and...

Read More
News

On Managing Leave and Accommodation Requests

Holly Sutton was interviewed by Matt Crossman of the  AccelPro Employment Law podcast for the episode "On Managing Leave and Accommodation Requests" where they talked about the do’s and don’ts of effectively managing leave rules and regulations. Click  here  to...

Read More
Publication

How to Navigate California Wage Statement Penalties After Naranjo v. Spectrum

On May 6, 2024, the California Supreme Court, in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services Inc. , clarified that an employer is not liable for statutory penalties for inaccurate wage statements when it had a...

Read More
News

Ex-DraftKings Exec Seeks Fast Trial To Test Noncompete Law

Holly Sutton, chair of Farella's Employment Law Group, provided expert commentary to Law360 for the article "Ex-DraftKings Exec Seeks Fast Trial To Test Noncompete Law." Read the article here (subscription required).

Read More