2023 Vault Rankings
- Pro Bono#7
At a Glance
“The culture, which understands that associates are humans and not machines.”
“Lean teams, realistic partnership prospects, work/life balance.”
“For associates looking to make partner, the firm definitely expects you to take part in marketing efforts, firm committees, and to be involved in the community. All of those commitments take significant time and make it harder to achieve billable targets.”
“Fewer resources than a bigger law firm; compensation.”
About Farella Braun + Martel LLP
Headquartered in Northern California, Farella Braun + Martel specializes in sophisticated transactions and complex commercial, civil, and criminal litigation. The firm and its attorneys have been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, Benchmark Litigation, Chambers USA, U.S. News – Best Lawyers® and Law360.
From Trolleys to Vines
Founded in 1962 as a three-lawyer firm in San Francisco, Farella Braun & Martel now has a legal team of more than 120 attorneys and a Napa Valley presence in St. Helena. A regional firm with a national reach, Farella represents multinational corporations, privately owned entities, exempt organizations, and private clients in business transactions and complex litigation. The firm has particular strengths in the technology, renewable energy, real estate, financial services, consumer products, cannabis, and wine industries.
Farella promotes itself as a haven of experienced trial attorneys, capable of delivering results in legal areas involving commercial and consumer class actions, antitrust, securities, and intellectual property. The firm’s corporate practice combines a lean deal team staffing model with a focus on closing mid-market M&A transactions, ranging from ten million to several hundred million dollars. In the emerging cannabis industry, Farella represents a hedge fund focused solely on cannabis investments and serves as outside general counsel to a number of cannabis companies.
Farella has established itself as a leading renewable energy industry practice, especially well known for its abilities in utility scale solar farm development projects. The firm’s renewable energy team has been responsible for putting over 3.5 gigawatts (3,500 megawatts) of solar power in the ground. It also handled the development and permitting of the 550-MW Desert Sunlight project and 550-MW Topaz Solar Farms project, both in California. The firm also represented Calpine on land-use matters relating to the Geysers, the largest complex of geothermal power facilities in the world.
The firm takes advantage of its Napa Valley office with a wine industry team that brings to the table extensive experience. The firm represents wineries, grape growers, wine makers, distributors, and wine industry investors on transactional matters ranging from simple contracts or real estate leases to complex, tax-sensitive business transactions and investments. Farella also provides these clients environmental and land use advice; litigation and trial proficiency; employment counseling; insurance recovery; intellectual property protection; estate, business and organization succession planning; and counsel on tax issues.
Commitment to Community
Farella attorneys actively participate in pro bono work, charitable giving, and participation in charitable and civic organizations. The firm’s pro bono efforts focus on defending unlawful detainer, civil rights, and death penalty habeas corpus cases. The firm represented the City of Sunnyvale in its dispute with the NRA regarding a ban on possession of large capacity magazines. Farella also dedicated three decades of pro bono efforts toward, and ultimately won, a Ninth Circuit ruling granting a retrial to one of California’s longest-serving death row inmates.
The firm is also committed to its own community. Farella is an inaugural signatory of the ABA Well-Being Pledge Campaign and launched a Talent Initiative to ensure that high potential women and diverse associates are provided with sponsorship—not just mentorship—opportunities to advance in the legal profession.
News & Awards
- Obtained a $575 million settlement and historic injunctive relief in a landmark antitrust class action against Sutter Health.
- Served as environmental, real estate, and permitting counsel on the development and financing of First Solar's 500MW Desert Sunlight Solar Farm project and 500MW Topaz Solar Farm project.
- Defended start-up CNEX Labs in a bet-the-company jury trial against all claims of trade secret misappropriation, CFAA, RICO, and tortious interference brought by behemoth Huawei Technologies. Attained a finding of misappropriation of trade secrets against Huawei.
- Represented Treasury Wine Estates in its $600 million acquisition of most of Diageo’s U.S. and U.K. wine operations.
235 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: (415) 954-4400
Firm Chair: Brian P. Donnelly
Recruiting Chair: Alex Reese
Total No. Attorneys (2022):
100 - 150
No. of Partners Named 2022:
1st year: $205,000
General Recruiting Email: email@example.com
No. of U.S. Offices: 2
No. of International Offices: 0
San Francisco, CA (HQ)
St. Helena, CA
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.