Brian Donnelly Elected New Chair of Wine Industry Law Firm Farella Braun + Martel LLP
SAN FRANCISCO, September 22, 2016 – Farella Braun + Martel LLP announces the election of Partner Brian P. Donnelly as the firm's new chair effective January 3, 2017. He succeeds Steven Lowenthal, who has served in the role since 2005.
“I am excited to take on this new role and honored and humbled that my partners have entrusted me with this position,” said Donnelly. “Through Steve's steady and skillful leadership over the last 12 years, the firm has navigated tough economies and has experienced consistently and increasingly successful years. Like the clients we serve, going forward we have to stay focused and nimble and we have to continue to provide those clients with timely, creative and efficient legal services and solutions as a trusted business partner. We are certainly poised to continue to thrive as a midsize regional firm providing legal services to clients both locally and nationally!”
Donnelly will work closely with Lowenthal to transition the leadership role. Farella's Advisory Board has been working with Lowenthal to ensure an orderly transition of the chair's responsibilities since the partner retreat in October 2015, where Lowenthal announced his intention not to seek a fifth term and to return full time to his litigation practice.
“We’re pleased the partnership has affirmed our recommendation of Brian as the new firm chair,” said IP Litigation Partner Eugene Mar, speaking for the Advisory Board. “We’re grateful for Steve's outstanding service to the firm and believe in Brian's abilities to deftly guide us though the next chapter of our history. Farella has been a California institution for almost 55 years, and we believe with Brian's leadership, appreciation of Farella’s culture and identity and business acumen the firm will continue to evolve and thrive.”
A tax law partner, Donnelly has held a number of leadership positions in his 21-year tenure with Farella, including chair of the firm's Business Department and two terms on the strategic Advisory Board. In his practice, Donnelly counsels clients on technical and strategic issues involving corporate and partnership tax law, transactional matters and state and federal tax controversies. He has a special focus on tax issues affecting real estate development projects and start-up companies. His clients encompass the real estate, hospitality, technology, energy, wine and agribusiness industries. Donnelly received an LL.M. in Tax from New York University School of Law, a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and a B.S. in Business Administration from Boston University. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.
Donnelly will continue his practice, though on a reduced basis so he can devote the needed time to firm management responsibilities.
Farella Braun + Martel represents clients throughout the United States and abroad in sophisticated business transactions and complex commercial, civil and criminal litigation. Farella lawyers are known for their imaginative legal solutions, dynamism and intellectual creativity. With an unwavering service ethic and interdisciplinary team approach, the firm is committed to advancing clients' objectives in the most effective, coordinated and efficient manner. Founded in 1962, Farella is headquartered in San Francisco and maintains an office in the Napa Valley focused on the wine industry. www.fbm.com