Skip to Main Content
Shartsis Friese LLP logo

Shartsis Friese LLP

At a Glance


“The best thing about working at my firm is that I get to develop relationships directly with clients and get a solid level of responsibility for my class level.”

“Skill building.”



“Too many hours.”

About Shartsis Friese LLP

Shartsis Friese is a mid-size San Francisco firm specializing in complex litigation, investment funds, real estate, corporate, venture capital, taxation, securities enforcement defense, intellectual property, and family wealth planning. The firm distinguishes itself from its big firm competitors with 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, about the possibility of starting their own firm. For nearly 45 years, 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, sophisticated practice niches. The senior partners will tell you that the way the model has developed is no accident—this is what the founders had in mind when they started.

With no official managing partner (the firm is run by a six-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 that want to acquire it and takes on no debt. Sound good? Better polish up that resumé: Shartsis Friese follows a policy of controlled growth, selecting only a few attorneys out of a resumé pool of hundreds each year.

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, 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 indigent people 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, the Family Violence Law Center, Open Door Legal, and Swords Into Plowshares. The firm also provides significant volunteer services and financial support to numerous other organizations.

News & Awards


August 2019

Twelve Shartsis Friese lawyers are included in the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America, which was released in August 2019.  They are: Peter Aitelli (real estate), Derek Boswell (real estate), John Broadhurst (private funds/hedge funds), Craig Etlin (real estate), Jonathan Kennedy (real estate), Richard Kinyon (trusts and estates), David Kremer (real estate), Patrick McCabe (trusts and estates), Alan Robin (Real Estate), April Hopkins Rox (trusts and estates), Arthur Shartsis (litigation), and Joel Zeldin (litigation). Jonathan Kennedy, a senior partner in the firm’s Real Estate Group, was named “Lawyer of the Year” for Real Estate in San Francisco for 2020. Best Lawyers is widely regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. The firm itself was recognized in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings. Firms acclaimed as“Best Law Firms” are recognized for professional excellence based on feedback from clients and peers.

July 2019

In July 2019, 12 Shartsis Friese lawyers were named Super Lawyers for Northern California in 2019, as chosen by their professional peers through independent research. The Shartsis Super Lawyers are: Peter Aitelli (real estate), Derek Boswell (real estate), Frank Cialone (litigation), Craig Etlin (real estate), Dana Fox (real estate), Debra Kasper (family wealth planning), Richard Kinyon (family wealth planning), Anthony Leuin (insurance coverage), Alan Robin (real estate), Arthur Shartsis (litigation), Robert Charles Ward (litigation), and Joel Zeldin (litigation)  In addition, the following five firm lawyers were chosen as Northern California Rising Stars for 2019: Brad Curtis (real estate), Michael Dell (business), Kajsa Minor (litigation), Suzy Orza (litigation), Roey Rahmil (litigation).

July 2019

In July 2019, Shartsis Friese welcomed to its Family Wealth Planning group highly regarded estate planning lawyers Debra Kasper, Sarah King, and Charles Stephenson, along with the team from their former firm of Stephenson, Kasper & King LLP in San Francisco. The Family Wealth Planning Group at Shartsis now includes nine attorneys who represent a wide range of high-net-worth individuals and families, including among others: executives of public corporations, owners of closely held businesses, and entrepreneurs involved in start-up businesses. 

Shartsis Friese LLP

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

Firm Stats

Managing Partner: Arthur J. Shartsis
Recruiting Chair: Kajsa Minor
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
50 - 100

Base Salary

1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $210,000
4th year: $230,000
5th year: $250,000
6th year: $270,000
7th year: $285,000
8th year: $295,000

Employment Contact

Jason White
Recruiting Coordinator
(415) 421-6500

No. of U.S. Offices: 1

No. of International Offices: 0

Major Office Locations

San Francisco, CA

Major Departments

Family Wealth Planning
Intellectual Property
Investment Funds & Advisors
Real Estate
Securities Enforcement Defense
Venture Capital