About Shartsis Friese LLP

Shartsis Friese is a San Francisco boutique specializing in complex litigation, investment funds, real estate, corporate, venture capital, taxation, securities enforcement defense, intellectual property, and family wealth planning.   The firm attempts to distinguish itself from its big firm competitors by careful growth, low partner/non-partner ratio, lower billing rates, and minimal turnover, without a fall off in results.

An Independent Spirit

Shartsis Friese was founded in 1975 by Arthur J. Shartsis, his wife Mary Jo, and Robert Charles Friese. Shartsis was a third-year associate at Morrison & Foerster when he pitched to Friese, a Securities and Exchange Commission attorney, the possibility of starting their own firm. In the 40+ years since, the firm's collegial, efficient small firm platform has attracted a number of strong, independent-minded partners and associates from other firms who have established high-quality practice niches. The senior partners will tell you that the way the model has developed is no accident -this is the the founders had  had in mind when they started.

With no official titled managing partner (the firm is run by a five-person management committee, of which one member is an associate representative), Shartsis Friese has an undoubtedly unconventional management philosophy. Despite several offers, the firm has staunchly refused to merge with larger firms-and why bother? The firm out-earns many of the larger firms which want to acquire it and takes on no debt. Sound good? Better polish up that resume: Shartsis Friese follows a policy of controlled growth, selecting only two attorneys out of a resume pool of  hundreds each year. Only one partner has left to join another firm in more than 25 years.

For the Good of the Bay

Shartsis Friese regularly handles high profile cases and deals with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. Its coveted client list includes Oracle, Simpson Manufacturing, Netflix, Twitter, Munchery, Penumbra, Arista Networks, Sysmex, Waste Connections, and Partner Fund Management. 

But it's not all about the bottom line for Shartsis Friese: in 2004, the firm founded the Shartsis Friese LLP Public Interest Fellowship, which subsidizes a staff attorney position at a selected local organization providing legal services to indigents in the San Francisco Bay Area for a two-year period. The Fellowship has been awarded to Bay Area Legal Aid, , the East Bay Community Law Center, Centro Legal de la Raza, Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, and, most recently, the Family Violence Law Center, which seeks to end family violence in Alameda County by providing support and advocacy for survivors of domestic violence.  The firm also provides volunteer services and/or financial support to numerous other organizations.


December 2015
Lights Out in Times Square
David Edgal of Shartsis Friese LLP, represented Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. as seller's counsel in the sale of the DoubleTree Guests Suites Times Square in New York City to Maefield Development for $540 million in a deal announced on December 18, 2015.

September 2014
Sleep Train Coming
Shartsis Friese LLP represented Rocklin-based Sleep Train, Inc. in its sale to Mattress Firm Holding Corp. for $425 million in a deal announced on September 4, 2014. An important part of the deal was that Sleep Train retain its presence on the West Coast.  Derek Wilson of Shartsis Friese said that the deal brings together strong executive leadership from both companies and that the transaction made strategic sense for Mattress Firm to enter the West Coast market.

June 2015
Patent Defenders
Shartsis Friese LLP successfully defended a multi-million dollar patent infringement action on behalf of the defendant in Helios Software, et al. v. SpectorSoft Corp. Plaintiffs asserted claims of direct and indirect patent infringement against SpectorSoft related to three patents. On June 19, 2015, after a five-day jury trial, a jury returned a verdict of no direct or indirect infringement by SpectorSoft Corporation.

May 2015
Drug Dump

On May 26, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider the pharmaceutical industry's challenge to an Alameda County ordinance that requires pharma companies to cover the cost of the safe disposal of unwanted prescription drugs. Shartsis Friese represented Alameda County in this matter.  The County won resoundingly in the Northern District and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court's denial of certiorari ended the case. 

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Shartsis Friese LLP

One Maritime Plaza
18th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 421-6500


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Arthur J. Shartsis
  • Hiring Attorney: Lisa A. Jacobs
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 64

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $160,000
    2nd year: $165,000
    3rd year: $180,000
    4th year: $195,000
    5th year: $210,000
    6th year: $230,000
    7th year: $245,000
    8th year: $255,000
    Summer associate: $3,100/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    1 out of 1 (2Ls only) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Corporate • Family Wealth Planning • Intellectual Property • Investment Funds & Advisers • Litigation • Real Estate • Securities Enforcement Defense • Taxation • Venture Capital

Major Office Locations

  • San Francisco, CA