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 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 and domestic and international commercial.

Planning and Meeting Goals

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.

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

  • Angel, venture capital, and subsequent investments in private companies 
  • Company formation and joint venture relationships 
  • Estate planning
  • Family business restructuring and succession planning 
  • Construction contracts and disputes for real estate projects and residences 
  • Land use, zoning, natural resources, and other environmental concerns related to real estate development 
  • Vineyard and winery specific matters including complex marketing and distribution agreements and grape contracts 
  • Fractional ownership programs for aircraft and luxury residences 
  • Duties and responsibility of service on boards of directors, both for-profit and nonprofit entities 
  • Trust administration
  • Trust and probate litigation, including heir disputes 
  • Employment counseling with respect to personal employees and issues relating to hiring and termination
  • Outside general counsel for family offices

Firm Highlights


Farella Braun + Martel Announces 2020 Partner Elevations

SAN FRANCISCO/ST. HELENA, Calif., January 21, 2020: Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce the election of senior associates Evan Abrams, Lauren Galbraith, and Alex Reese to the partnership...

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Wealth Transfer Strategies in Today’s Market

Current market conditions and the federal gift and estate tax laws present wealth transfer opportunities that high net worth individuals may wish to leverage over the near term. Federal Gift and Estate Tax Exemption...

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CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program Summary (Updated)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) aims to provide qualifying small businesses, nonprofit organizations, veterans organizations, tribal businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors forgivable loans of...

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Four Tips for High Net Worth Individuals Desiring to Utilize Record-High Lifetime Exemptions

The historically high lifetime exemption amount for gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes increased from $11,400,000 to $11,580,000 per person this year due to inflation indexing. Individuals who had used up their lifetime exemption...

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Dan Cohn Named to American Friends of Tel Aviv University Board of Directors

SAN FRANCISCO, May 26, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel Partner Daniel E. Cohn was elected to the American Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU) Board of Directors. AFTAU is a nonprofit organization that raises...

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Fed Announces New Main Street Lending Program

Loans Will Provide Additional Support for Small and Mid-sized Businesses On April 9, 2020, the Federal Reserve released the terms of its Main Street Lending Program , a $600 billion loan fund for U.S...

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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...

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