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Farella Braun + Martel Practices, Lawyers Receive Top Rankings in Chambers USA

June 18, 2010 Accolades

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (June 18, 2010):  Farella Braun + Martel received top rankings in the 2010 edition of Chambers USA.  The firm was recognized nationally in the Construction and Food & Beverages (Alcohol) practice areas. In California, the Construction practice received a number one tier ranking.  Also recognized among the best in the state were the firm's Environmental, Insurance Coverage, Commercial Litigation and White Collar Crime & Government Investigations practices.

Chambers USA ranks both law firms and attorneys. Qualities on which the rankings are assessed include technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial awareness/astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other qualities most valued by the client.  The rankings are derived from surveys and interviews with in-house counsel.

Farella Braun + Martel ranked practice areas and attorneys:

National

Construction: The construction practice is distinguished for being able to handle "construction projects and disputes throughout the USA and internationally. It offers expertise across a range of projects, including hospitals, bridges, dams, airports, jails, university housing and residential developments. It is particularly skilled in water and waste treatment facilities and power plant projects. In addition to handling the full array of construction matters it provides complementary advice on environmental, real estate and insurance coverage issues."  Clients noted that they are "A wonderful group of lawyers that is more than capable of handling sophisticated work."  Richard Van Duzer chairs the group and handles disputes relating to delays, over-running costs and defects across a range of project types.

Food & Beverages (Alcohol):  With offices in both San Francisco and St. Helena, the firm was noted for its "strong profile among clients in the California wine industry."  Chambers noted that "boosted by the corporate capabilities of the wider firm, the wine practice has expertise across acquisitions, regulatory compliance, litigation, licensing, real estate and environmental matters."  Sources said "The firm's breadth of expertise fits well with the wide range of issues that affect the vertically integrated wine industry - a client feels very supported."  Practice group chair Katherine Philippakis has "broad expertise includes advising on real estate and corporate transactional issues affecting wine industry clients."

California

Construction:  Chambers commented "This A-grade San Francisco-based group represents public and private owners, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and design professionals in a range of projects. It excels in litigation, mediation and arbitration."  Clients said "Farella Braun's lawyers are easy to work with, highly skilled and personable."  

Deborah Ballati was lauded as an "exemplary litigator" and noted for her "expertise in the insurance aspects of construction law." Clients said "she's approachable and client-oriented - just terrific."  Charles Sink was recognized for his wide range of experience across public and private infrastructure. "He can answer your questions easily, but also knows how to seek out answers when necessary," clients report.  Senior Statesman Alan Harris is a respected construction disputes mediator. Interviewees reported "He is not just an advocate, but a decision maker. He has great judgment."  Clients described Jeffrey Sykes as "a lethal litigator" with considerable experience representing public owners. Carl Switzer was recognized as a younger partner on the rise and praised for his "extraordinary talent for engaging with the client." 

Environmental:  According to Chambers, "This respected group has a diverse skill set. It undertakes environmental litigation, waste, water and air quality, climate change and due diligence problems." Clients reported "The lawyers work well with regulators and get good results."  Widely respected as a litigator, James Bruen was described as a "go-to guy in California for high-profile matters." 

Insurance (Policy Holder):  The insurance coverage group "represents policyholders in a wide variety of coverage disputes including corporate D&O and E&O claims, construction delay and defects claims, environmental and products liability litigation and securities fraud."  Sources said "The lawyers are very helpful and quickly get to grips with clients' needs."  William Friedrich was noted for having "made a name for himself in multi-party, complex civil litigation work."  Mary McCutcheon was described as "a very good counselor: thoughtful, balanced, and a strong advocate for her clients."

Intellectual Property (Patent):  Partner John Cooper, known for his work in intellectual property litigation and antitrust disputes, is respected for his "aggressive yet measured approach" in court.

Litigation (General Commercial): The business litigation practice was praised by interviewees for "its extensive trial expertise and its strength in construction, insurance and general business disputes."  Clients praised the group as "an excellent team that has established an impressive docket of work in recent years."  Prominent litigator Douglas Young undertakes high-profile matters and was lauded as "one of the best litigators around." 

Litigation (White Collar Crime & Government Investigations):  The practice handles "major antitrust price-fixing investigations and trials. Other areas of expertise include insider trading cases, FCPA issues, securities violations and Medicare fraud matters. The attorneys also conduct internal corporate investigations for audit committees and boards."  Clients praised the group as "an immensely strong white-collar practice backed up by leading environment, construction and civil litigation teams."  They noted Douglas Young's "wide-ranging white-collar defense expertise that spans civil, criminal and regulatory proceedings as well as IP, antitrust and securities matters." And said that he is "an extremely well-respected trial lawyer in the local legal community."

Farella Braun + Martel represents clients throughout the United States and abroad in sophisticated business transactions and high-stakes commercial, civil and criminal litigation. Founded in 1962, the firm is headquartered in San Francisco and maintains an office in the Napa Valley focused on the wine industry. Farella Braun + Martel lawyers are known for their imaginative legal solutions, dynamism and intellectual creativity. With an unwavering service ethic and interdisciplinary team approach, the firm is committed to advancing clients' objectives in the most effective, coordinated and efficient manner. Farella Braun + Martel is a green business.  www.fbm.com

Contact:
Cheryl Loof
Farella Braun + Martel LLP
415.954.4433

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