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

What California Wineries Need to Know Now to Prepare for Fire Season

California is at the start of another dry year, with increased likelihood that the North Bay will experience another active fire season. Fires are always a risk and they are always unpredictable — preparing...

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News

California Won’t Budge on OZ Conformity but Gets Bulk of Investments

Julie Treppa spoke at Bisnow's California Opportunity Zone Summit on April 15.   In the article, "California Won’t Budge on OZ Conformity but Gets Bulk of Investments, "  Julie said one of the reasons opportunity zone investments...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Ranked in Legal 500 United States 2021

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Publication

Returning to the Office: Legal and Practical Considerations for Keeping Your Team Safe

Farella's Ashley Breakfield (moderator) and Holly Sutton, along with guest speaker Tom Cashin from Shorenstein, discuss “Returning to the Office: Legal and Practical Considerations for Keeping Your Team Safe.” COVID-19 shelter-in-place mandates caused employers to close their...

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News

Monticello - Member Profile: Richard "Dick" Shapiro

Dick Shapiro was profiled in the April 2021 issue of Monticello , the quarterly journal of the Jefferson Society. Read the profile, here on pages 18-19.

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News

Farella Advises MedMen to Win San Francisco Cannabis Retail Store Approval

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel provided national premium cannabis retailer MedMen Enterprises Inc.  with land use and permitting advice to win approval to open a new retail store on Union Street...

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Publication

Eviction Moratorium Updates for Nonprofits

Tony Schoenberg discussing "Eviction Moratorium Updates for Nonprofits" at the March Nonprofit Education Series. As an owner or tenant, dealing with real estate has been one of the most significant challenges facing nonprofits during...

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Publication

California Court of Appeal Upholds Validity of SB 35 to Streamline Approval of Affordable Housing Projects

The California Court of Appeal issued a unanimous decision that will have lasting, positive implications for developers utilizing SB 35. SB 35 (Cal. Gov't Code Sec. 65913.4) requires cities and counties to quickly and ministerially...

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Event

Fire Season Preparedness: What Wineries Should Do Now

Join Quinn Arntsen and MaryJo Lopez with guest speaker Christopher Thompson of Napa Communities Firewise Foundation in the discussion on "Fire Season Preparedness: What Wineries Should Do Now." California is at the start of...

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Publication

Eviction Moratoriums and Commercial Leasing: Current Issues

Farella's Tony Schoenberg and Jonah Trotz with guest speakers Marsha Ramsey and Margaret Duskin of Cushman & Wakefield discuss "Eviction Moratoriums and Commercial Leasing: Current Issues." The pandemic has had wide ranging impacts on...

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