Biography

Phil is a corporate attorney who specializes in complex mergers and acquisitions, and currently chairs the firm’s Commercial Department. In the latter role, Phil takes pride in assisting with the career development of junior attorneys and managing toward a more diverse work force.

Over his career, Phil has developed deep knowledge of the insurance industry and advised clients in variety of other industries. These industries include energy, construction and engineering, financial services, wine, technology, hospitality, newspaper, and gaming. His work has addressed every facet of business law, including acquisitions, financings, executive compensation, antitrust, governance, and nonprofit work. Phil regularly works on complex shareholder, partnership and operating agreements. He enjoys assessing the differing viewpoints among owners and structuring deals which meet their common interests. The depth and breadth of his experience makes him an exceptionally knowledgeable, effective advisor to his clients.

Of particular value is the manner in which he works, whether as a strategist, counselor, or negotiator. He identifies the key points that are critical to his clients, focuses on them, and avoids devoting time, effort, and client expense to secondary issues. He applies his expertise in a calm, clear, result-oriented manner, and avoids over-lawyering, negotiating boilerplate, and unproductive distractions. Phil has represented many of his clients for over 30 years and has been told he’s unlike any corporate attorney they’ve ever worked with. Upon completing his last major transaction, opposing counsel, a senior partner at an elite Wall Street firm, commented:

“It’s always a pleasure to work with lawyers who understand that a client is best served by a lawyer who doesn’t put his own interest in scoring meaningless points ahead of his client’s interest in effecting a commercial deal. I’ve done this for a lot of years and find it depressing how few lawyers understand this very basic point.”

Thanks to Phil’s unique approach, his clients achieve their business objectives with a minimum of contention, duplicative effort, or unnecessary expense. Additionally, he is able to staff his projects leanly for greater efficiency.

Distinctions

  • Northern California Super Lawyers

Memberships and Affiliations

  • California liaison to the Corporate Laws Committee of the American Bar Association
  • Former co-chair of the Corporations Committee of the Business Law Section of the California State Bar Association

Firm Highlights

Event

WSJ Pro Cybersecurity Symposium

Tyler Gerking will be speaking at the WSJ Pro Cybersecurity Symposium session, "The Role of Cyber-Insurance." Details: How much should you buy, what does it cover and how does it fit with an overall...

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Publication

Newly Adopted California Housing Laws – Assembly Bill 1485 Streamlining the Permit Process for Housing Developments

On January 1, 2020, several housing-related bills recently signed into law by the Governor take effect. We will explain the upcoming changes in housing law through a series of updates. Our first update...

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Publication

INSIGHT: California Ruling in Wage-Hour Coverage Suit Offers Employers a Defense Hook

Wage-and-hour exclusions are common in EPLI policies, frequently with defense-only sub-limits that are woefully inadequate. Farella Braun + Martel LLP’s Shanti Eagle looks at a recent decision adding an avenue to establish or expand...

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Publication

How Defense Strategies Can Go Awry When Pursuing Concurrent PTAB Relief in Financial Services Patent Litigation

United States Automobile Association (USAA), a financial services company that provides insurance, banking, investment, and retirement products and services for members of the military and their families, filed a surprising patent infringement complaint against Wells Fargo...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Ranked Among “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers

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Event

Litigating Civil and Criminal Trade Secret Cases: Trends, Best Practices, and Lessons Learned

Trade secret litigation is on the rise, both civil litigation and follow-on criminal prosecution for trade secret theft. Companies are grappling with how to protect their valuable information and minimize risk in their technological...

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News

Farella Assists Patagonia With Challenge to Federal Agencies’ Weakening of ESA Protections

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Event

PFAS Litigation Conference

Sarah Bell will be speaking at Law Seminars International's PFAS Litigation Conference program, "Lines of Defense" on December 10. Details: Assessing and choosing among the legal options for defending toxic tort, mass tort, and...

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Publication

Changing Climate, Changing Laws: Addressing New Wildfire Risk Requirements in Project Development

In this op-ed for pv magazine, David Lazerwitz and Linda Sobczynski of Farella Braun + Martel examine the levels of precaution necessary to ensure fire risk mitigation in project development. The increasingly common occurrence...

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News

Chris Locke Joins Marin County Bar Association Board of Directors

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