2020 Vault Rankings
About Farella Braun + Martel LLP
With headquarters 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, 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 individuals in business transactions and complex litigation. The firm has particular strengths in the technology, renewable energy, real estate, financial services, 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 $10 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.
The firm is also committed to its own community—Farella is an inaugural signatory of the ABA Well-Being Pledge Campaign.
News & Awards
Following a three-week trial in June 2019, a Texas federal jury ruled in favor of Farella Braun + Martel client CNEX Labs, Inc., clearing CNEX of all allegations of trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract, CFAA, and RICO claims made by Chinese smartphone maker behemoth Huawei Technologies. Instead, the jury found in favor of CNEX on its counterclaims for trade secret misappropriation, claims which CNEX uncovered during the discovery phase of the case. A startup based in San Jose, California, CNEX develops transformative architecture for solid state drive (SSD) controllers. In the lawsuit, Huawei sought at least $85.7 million in damages and rights to CNEX’s memory-control technology, including much of its patent portfolio.
Farella represented Blackbird Holdings Corp., a distribution company providing operations and software solutions that facilitate the movement of cannabis products at each touchpoint within the supply chain, in its sale to TILT Holdings Inc. (CSE:TILT), a vertically-integrated technology and infrastructure cannabis company serving more than a third of dispensaries across the US and Canada. The approximately US$50 million deal closed in January 2019.
Among the firm’s recent awards and recognitions are:
- Farella was named one of the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Timesand the Silicon Valley Business Journal for the 13th time in May 2019.
- Farella was named “San Francisco Firm of the Year” by Benchmark Litigation in March 2019.
- 46 Farella attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©.
- Farella attorneys won 2019 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award for assisting World Energy, LLC, one of the largest advanced biofuel suppliers in North America, in its acquisition of Delek US Holdings, Inc.’s interests in renewable jet fuel and diesel producer AltAir Paramount, LLC.
- Chambers USArecognized 11 lawyers and five practice areas in the legal directory’s 2019 edition including Construction, Environmental, General Commercial Litigation, Insurance Recovery, and Intellectual Property. Farella is also recognized in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide, where the firm is ranked among the leading law firms in the Northern California Private Wealth Law section.
- Farella was named a 2018 California Powerhouse by Law360.
Following legal efforts spanning 30 years, Farella’s Pro Bono Program won a significant victory in December 2018 for one of its clients, securing a writ of habeas corpus and dismissal of all remaining claims for Marvin Pete Walker Jr., one of the longest serving inmates on California’s death row.
235 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: (415) 954-4400
Firm Chair: Brian P. Donnelly
Recruiting Chair: Eugene Mar
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
100 - 150
1st year: $190,000
Summer associate: $3,654/week
Summer Associate Offers:
4 out of 4 (2Ls) (2019)
No. of Summer Associates:
4 total (All 2Ls) (2019)
San Francisco, CA (HQ)
St. Helena, CA
Intellectual Property Litigation
Privacy and Cybersecurity
Real Estate and Land Use
Renewable Energy and Clean Technologies
Restructuring & Insolvency
White Collar Crime and Internal Corporate Investigations