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

Publication

Are Losses Resulting from Phishing Incidents Covered by Crime Policies Insuring Against Computer Fraud?

It is an all-too-common dilemma. As phishing schemes have become more prevalent and more sophisticated, businesses of all sizes have fallen victim to these attacks where a fraudster will use a spoofed email or other...

Read More
News

California Targets Pot Smoke Anew Under State Chemical Safety Law

Sarah Bell was quoted in the article "California Targets Pot Smoke Anew Under State Chemical Safety Law," looking at whether both pot smoke and the active ingredient in cannabis should be classified as reproductive toxics...

Read More
News

Hemp Legal Limbo Challenges Sonoma County's Delta Separations, Other Equipment Makers

Ryan Lowther provided commentary in a North Bay Business Journal article discussing banking and regulatory challenges facing the hemp industry. Read the full article, here .

Read More
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...

Read More
Publication

Is your company covered by California's new privacy law?

Read More
Publication

New California Housing Laws: AB 68 Accessory Dwelling Units

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...

Read More
Publication

End of a Decade - Checklist for California Nonprofits

As 2019 comes to a close, we thought about our customary note to nonprofit officers and directors to take a few moments to confirm that important year-end responsibilities have not been overlooked. But since this...

Read More
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...

Read More
News

Ashley Breakfield Appointed to CREW Network Diversity & Inclusion Task Force

Read More
News

Dan Cohn Named to Jewish Community Federation Board of Directors

Read More