For private clients, Farella deploys multi-disciplinary resources, working closely with our family wealth, corporate, intellectual property, tax, real estate, finance, construction, employment, and litigation lawyers. Our dynamic, integrated approach ensures that private clients have access to full representation for all their family, corporate, and philanthropic needs.

For over five decades, our lawyers have worked with ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families, trusts, closely held businesses, and tax-exempt organizations. Our accrued knowledge and experience translates to prudent guidance in the accumulation, management, transfer, and protection of wealth domestically and internationally.

Examples of the type of private client matters we address include:

Generational Wealth Transfer

  • Dynamic estate plan development
  • Wealth preservation and related tax minimization planning
  • Trust and estate administration
  • Privacy planning
  • Trust and estate litigation

    Family Office

    • Entity formation and governance
    • Insurance program review
    • Employment advice and litigation
    • SEC compliance and counseling
    • Philanthropic planning
    • Succession planning
    • Real estate leasing, purchase, and sale
    • Business advice for family and closely-held businesses

    Charitable Planning

    • Private foundation formation, governance, operation, regulatory compliance, succession planning, and wind up
    • Family office and charitable coordination (DAFs, charity grants, endowments, charitable LLCs)
    • Tax and estate planning for charitable gifts of complex assets
    • Qualified conservation easements
    • Charitable lead and remainder trusts
    • Operating foundations, museums, and funder collaborative

      Closely-held Businesses

      • Formation of new business entities and holding companies
      • Compensation and incentive arrangements for non-family member key executives
      • Optimization of exit opportunities
      • Insurance coverage placement and claims
      • Corporate investigation services
      • Transition of ownership and executive responsibilities to successors to maximize tax savings and minimize the likelihood of disputes

        International Tax Planning

        • U.S. and non-U.S. property structuring advice for tax, estate planning, privacy, and asset protection
        • Foreign assets and income compliance and advice for U.S. persons, as well as U.S. assets and income for non-U.S. persons
        • U.S. residency advice for non U.S. persons to avoid unwanted U.S. residency status
        • U.S. income, gift, and estate tax issues
        • Pre-immigration tax and estate planning for non-U.S. persons inbound to the U.S.
        • Pre-emigration tax and estate planning for persons outbound from the U.S., including advice regarding relinquishment of a green card or U.S. citizenship
        • Establishing foreign and domestic trusts, companies and multi-tiered structures for the benefit of U.S. and non-U.S. beneficiaries in a tax efficient manner

          Real Estate

          • Ownership structuring
          • Purchase and sale of luxury residences and business properties
          • Land use
          • 1031/like-kind exchanges
          • Leasing (business, residential, and agricultural)
          • Privacy planning
          • Property tax planning
          • Property and business interruption claims
          • Financings

          Private Investments

          • Due diligence of investment opportunities
          • Board membership, fiduciary obligations, indemnity and insurance, and governance rights in portfolio companies
          • Document private investments, including fund investments and direct investments in portfolio companies
          • Liquidity events, such as IPOs and M&A transactions, and secondary sales of securities, including SEC reporting compliance
          • Formation and operation of pooled investment vehicles

          Personal and Strategic

          Our approach is personal and strategic. Each client has different goals, concerns, and tolerance for risk that may change over time and generations. Private clients appreciate our high-level, direct advice and responsive communication that is customized to achieve personal, corporate, investment, and philanthropic objectives in a tax efficient and predictable manner. Our counsel is designed with sufficient flexibility and foresight to marshal opportunities, address unanticipated change, and survive leadership shifts and transitions.

          While working one-on-one with our clients, we gain an in-depth knowledge, which allows us to provide coordinated legal counsel with personal, partner-level attention that results in long-term relationships with our clients and multiple generations of their family.

          Our clients and their family offices have diverse sources of wealth. Our in-depth industry knowledge in areas including real estate, financial services, private equity, asset management, retail, manufacturing, hospitality, wine, cannabis, energy, sports, entertainment, music, technology, and inherited wealth means that in most cases, clients avoid paying for any learning curve on our part.

          Firm Highlights


          Regulatory Changes Underway To Address Dwindling California Property Insurance Market

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          Farella Announces 2024 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Pathfinders: Taylor Rottjakob and John Ugai

          Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that senior associates  Taylor E. Rottjakob and John M. Ugai have been named 2024 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinders. Pathfinders have been identified as...

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          A Summary of New Laws Coming for California Employers in 2024

          In 2023, California has adopted several new employment laws either introducing new employee protections or codifying existing practices into state law. With these changes, employers will need to examine and adjust some of their...

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          Farella 2024 Partner Elevations: Cynthia Castillo and Greg LeSaint

          Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce the election of two lawyers to partnership effective Jan. 1: Cynthia Castillo and Greg LeSaint. “We are thrilled to elevate Cynthia and...

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          Navigating Charitable Bequests: Risks and Rewards for Early Planning

          Charitable bequests are an essential aspect of philanthropic planning for high-net-worth individuals. When engaging in conversations with philanthropic clients, it is crucial to assist them in determining suitable assets for charitable giving. Not all...

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          Navigating Charitable Bequests: Risks and Rewards for Early Planning

          Charitable bequests are an essential aspect of philanthropic planning for high net worth individuals. When engaging in conversations with philanthropic clients, it is crucial to help them determine suitable assets for charitable giving. Not...

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          Corporate Transparency Act: A Guide on Beneficial Ownership for Nonprofit Executives

          The Corporate Transparency Act, enacted as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, represents a significant shift in regulatory requirements for entities across the United States. This act, set to...

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          IRS Moves to Target Wealthy Taxpayers in Historic Compliance Drive

          This month, the IRS announced that it is using the long-term funding approved by Congress through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 to shift its attention to wealthy taxpayers in an effort to “identify sophisticated...

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