Firm News

San Francisco Supervisor Katy Tang Joins Farella Braun + Martel LLP

January 3, 2019 Press Release

Longtime Board of Supervisors Member Supercharges Firm’s Land Use Team

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 3, 2019: Regional legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel announces that Katy Tang will join the firm’s Real Estate and Land Use Department as a Land Use Specialist. Tang will assume this new role following her transition from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, where for the past six years she has been the District Four Supervisor representing the Sunset and Parkside neighborhoods. The Board of Supervisors is the legislative body of San Francisco – California’s only consolidated city-county. Tang is a graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law.

Tang was first appointed to the Board of Supervisors in Feb. 2013 by then-Mayor Ed Lee. In a special election that November, Tang was elected in her own right and won re-election in 2014. During her tenure, she served as chair of the Land Use and Transportation Committee. Prior to serving on the Board of Supervisors, Tang was a legislative aide to former Supervisor Carmen Chu and, before that, a staffer in then-Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Public Policy and Finance. In 2018, Tang announced that she was not running for reelection, and her Board term concludes on Jan. 8.

“Katy has been a true steward of the City, helping steer it through an incredibly transformative time – especially with respect to land use and development,” said Steven L. Vettel, partner and head of Farella’s Land Use Practice. “It’s not hyperbole to say that she helped reshape San Francisco’s skyline and has led the push for innovative solutions to housing needs and commercial demand. She is a wonderful addition to our land use team and promises to be an incredible resource to our clients.”

A native of San Francisco’s Sunset District, Tang was instrumental in creating and launching the City’s local density bonus programs, including “HOME-SF,” which provides incentives to developers to build low- and middle-income housing. She spearheaded the “Home Match” program, matching homeowners with low-income renters to help alleviate the housing shortage. Throughout her time in office, Tang has also sponsored legislation to streamline the permitting process for Accessory Dwelling Units and to support new and existing businesses both in her district and in San Francisco broadly.

“Farella is one of San Francisco’s most-respected law firms and has been a pillar of the Greater Bay Area for more than 50 years,” said Tang. “This new opportunity provides a platform for me to continue my service to San Francisco and its residents and businesses. I look at this as an exciting next chapter and am eager to work more closely with Farella attorneys, including Steve [Vettel], whose work and integrity I have admired for more than a decade.”

Charles J. (C.J.) Higley, a partner in Farella’s Real Estate and Land Use Department, added, “Katy’s dedication to San Francisco and push for creative solutions to move the City and region forward are a great fit with our land use practice. Throughout the Bay Area, there is a real transformation happening. It requires balance to ensure that economic development opportunities can flourish, responsibly, in every area from housing to tech to cannabis. Katy is an invaluable resource for clients and Farella attorneys.”

During her tenure on the Board of Supervisors, Tang also worked with the San Francisco’s Shelter Monitoring Committee to prevent domestic violence victims from being denied shelter services. She authored the nation’s strongest lactation in the workplace policy to ensure that new mothers returning to work are supported and have the resources they need. As someone who supports environmentally sustainable policies, Tang led on legislation to encourage citywide adoption of zero emission vehicles.

Farella Braun + Martel LLP is a leading Northern California law firm representing corporate and private clients in sophisticated business transactions and complex commercial, civil and criminal litigation. Clients like our imaginative legal solutions and the dynamism and intellectual creativity of our lawyers. The attorneys in each practice group work cohesively in interdisciplinary teams to advance the clients’ objectives in the most effective, coordinated and efficient manner. Founded in 1962, we are headquartered in San Francisco and maintain an office in the Napa Valley that is focused on the wine industry.  

Cheryl Loof
Farella Braun + Martel LLP
415.954.4433 / [email protected]
Follow us on LinkedIn | Twitter

Firm Highlights


Attorney General Finds Impact Fees on Density Bonus Projects Invalid

In response to questions from a variety of cities across the state regarding the application of “public benefit fees” to density bonus projects, the State Attorney General’s Office published an opinion on April 9...

Read More

Treasury Department Guidance Will Stimulate Opportunity Fund Investments

The Opportunity Zones Program (OZ Program) aims to infuse capital into low-income communities known as qualified opportunity zones (QOZs) by offering tax-advantaged investments benefiting electing Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF) investors including: A temporary deferral...

Read More

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: Legal Strategies for Smoke-Exposed Grapes

Following on last year’s Northern California firestorm in Napa, Lake, Sonoma, Mendocino, Butte and Solano counties, various North Bay regions have also seen wildfires in 2018. A large wildfire in Mendocino and Lake counties...

Read More

California Legislators Tackle Affordable Housing with Flurry of Proposed Bills

The California legislative session is currently underway, and several bills related to housing creation are being considered through the committee hearing process. Legislators representing San Francisco and other Bay Area cities and counties have...

Read More

San Francisco’s HOME-SF Density Bonus Program: Three Key Changes Important to Developers

On July 31, 2018, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors approved changes to the City’s local density bonus program, known as HOME-SF. Introduced by Supervisors Katy Tang and Ahsha Safai, the new ordinance seeks to...

Read More

Opportunity Zone Program Drives Investments to Low-Income Communities

Read More

Farella Braun + Martel Announces 2019 New Partner Elevations

SAN FRANCISCO, January 22, 2019: Farella Braun + Martel LLP is pleased to announce the election of senior associates Quinn Arntsen and Daniel Callaway to the partnership effective January 1, 2019. “Quinn and Dan...

Read More