Farella real estate and land use lawyers provide comprehensive coverage for real estate owners, investors, developers, landlords, and tenants who require attentive, high value representation in transactions and land use matters throughout California and beyond. We offer clients a sophisticated, full-service, legal practice and the competitive advantage gained from the firm’s longstanding presence in Northern California, including the Napa Valley. Our clients benefit directly from our first-hand knowledge of the players, deals, and political landscape affecting today’s real estate markets.

Clients

For a range of savvy real estate clients, we are engaged to handle myriad legal matters that can range from deal structuring to entitling, purchasing, building, leasing, and disposition. Because we understand the importance of active listening and know how to achieve our clients’ commercial goals—whether they are looking to grow a local platform, expedite entitlements and manage exactions, or expand or reduce a property portfolio—we effectively deliver desired outcomes.

We staff nimble teams—led by one or more Farella partners who remain actively engaged in every facet of a matter. We become valued members of our clients’ deal teams, work hard to understand each client’s business, and in many cases, develop ongoing trusted advisor relationships, working beyond immediate deal issues to address corporate, finance, tax, environmental, regulatory, insurance, construction, and litigation.

Land Use and Zoning

Both local and national real estate developers depend on our extensive understanding of the political nuances affecting the land use and entitlement landscape in Northern California, with a particular focus on San Francisco and the Wine Country. Our team is adept at solving zoning issues that are critical to client success. We frequently work closely with city councils, boards of supervisors, and planning commissions, interacting with decision makers and departmental staff to streamline processes in pursuing client objectives.

To maximize our clients’ opportunities, our specialized knowledge in evolving land use regulations and valuable industry contacts to move matters forward with greater efficiency. 

Scope and Depth

We offer exceptional experience and know-how in addressing deal specific needs, such as architectural and construction agreements and Historic and New Markets Tax Credits.

Also, to accommodate smaller, privately-held family businesses, our transactional, estate planning, and business succession planning teams are deeply involved in the real estate practice. When disputes arise, our litigation teams appear in courtrooms throughout the region and across the U.S. to protect and defend our clients’ interests. 

Professional Involvement

Our industry commitment goes beyond solving legal puzzles for our clients. We are active in major trade groups, including the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), CREW San Francisco, and Lambda Alpha International (LAI). Our wine industry focus is augmented by our involvement in the California Association of Winegrape Growers, the Napa County Farm Bureau, and the International Wine Lawyers Association.

Noting our decades-long presence in Napa Valley and our St. Helena office serving the needs of our wine industry clients, the widely-read legal news source Law360 recognized our firm as a “California Powerhouse” in 2018. Our lawyers also regularly appear in national and California-based rankings from U.S. News - Best Lawyers, the Daily Journal, and The Legal 500 United States.

Firm Highlights

Publication

San Francisco Bay Area Counties Issue Stricter Limits on Commercial Activities in Updated COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place Orders

To combat the growing number of coronavirus cases in the Bay Area, six local counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara) have issued updated Shelter-In-Place orders that extend the...

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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...

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Publication

Business Interruption Coverage for the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has already caused severe disruption to the economy. In the U.S., governmental entities as well as the private sector are implementing more and more drastic measures to respond to the coronavirus...

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Publication

Coronavirus and Construction Contracts: Who Bears The Risk?

In view of the current coronavirus epidemic, what are the implications of material supply chain disruptions and labor unavailability resulting from the epidemic under typical building construction contracts?  Although the answer will always depend...

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Publication

Is Your Business an “Essential Business”? Navigating California State and County COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place Orders

In light of the recent “Shelter-In-Place” orders issued by all nine Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Solano, and Napa) and the subsequent “Stay-At-Home” order issued...

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News

Plans for SF’s 4th-tallest building win key OK as developer resolves opposition

C.J. Higley was mentioned in the article, "Plans for SF’s 4th-tallest building win key OK as developer resolves opposition."  According to the article, the Transbay district Parcel F tower would include 165 condos, 189...

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News

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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Publication

San Francisco Mayor Breed Issues Proclamation Providing Protection to Some Commercial Tenants

On March 17, 2020, San Francisco Mayor London Breed issued a proclamation providing eviction protection to certain small and medium sized businesses in San Francisco who are unable to pay rent due to the...

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News

Farella Assists San Francisco Flower Mart With Development Project

Farella Braun + Martel represented the master tenant of the San Francisco Flower Mart in renegotiating its agreements with Kilroy Realty Corp., including a long-term master lease to permanently relocate the Flower Mart to...

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Publication

Force Majeure and Contractual Non-Performance During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Never in the experience of most of us has an event so thoroughly interrupted business as usual as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Everywhere, contract parties facing severe stress in their businesses are reassessing their contractual...

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