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 truly diverse work force.

Over his career, Phil has developed deep knowledge of the insurance industry and advised clients in variety of other industries. A partial industry list would include insurance, 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 identifying the differing interests and finding the common interests among owners. The depth and breadth of his experience makes him an exceptionally knowledgeable, effective advisor to his clients.

Of particular value is the focused manner in which he works, whether as a strategist, counselor, or negotiator. He identifies a limited number of 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, highly focused 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—typically, a merger involving hundreds of millions of dollars will require no more than two associates.

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

Publication

Ninth Circuit Asks the California Supreme Court to Interpret the Scope of Personal Injury Coverage

On January 15, 2019, the Ninth Circuit certified the following question to the California Supreme Court: Does a commercial liability policy that covers “personal injury,” defined as “injury… arising out of… [o]ral or written...

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Event

Advancing the Careers of Women in the Environmental Practice: Obstacles & Opportunities

Sandra Edwards, Speaker, Advancing the Careers of Women in the Environmental Practice: Obstacles & Opportunities Join ELI-WELL for an inclusive conversation with women leaders in the environmental practice, exploring the unique challenges and opportunities women...

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Publication

The Uncertain Future of California’s Vehicle Emission Standards

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Wins Benchmark Litigation 2019 San Francisco Firm of the Year Award

SAN FRANCISCO, March 15, 2019: Farella Braun + Martel announces it has been named “San Francisco Firm of the Year” by Benchmark Litigation . Farella Partner Douglas Young accepted the award on behalf of...

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Event

CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split

Sarah Bell will speak on the Strafford live webinar, "CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split." This CLE webinar will discuss the "indirect discharge" theory of Clean...

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Publication

Emerging Contaminants: Coming to an NRD Site Near You!

What Are Emerging Contaminants? Emerging contaminants are chemicals in the environment for which the health risks—both human and ecological—remain unknown. They are also sometimes called contaminants of emerging concern, since the chemicals, or products...

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Event

Identifying and Preparing Expert Witnesses for Trial

How do you identify the key experts you need for trial? Once you have them, what are the best practices for preparing them for trial? How do these practices vary depending on your venue, and...

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News

Prior Litigation Can Impact Coverage in Future Disputes

GlobeSt.com March 6, 2019 "Prior Litigation Can Impact Coverage in Future Disputes" Insurance Recovery Senior Associate Shanti Eagle discusses how positions taken by insureds in prior litigation can impact or foreclose coverage in subsequent disputes...

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Publication

CBD in Foods and Beverages? Not Quite Yet

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News

Erica Villanueva Named to 2019 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellows Program

SAN FRANCISCO, February 25, 2019: Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that partner Erica Villanueva has been named a member of the 2019 class of Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellows....

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