Skip to main content
Kristina Lawson

Kristina D. Lawson

Managing Partner
(925) 746-8474


Kristina Lawson is Hanson Bridgett’s Managing Partner and Chair of the firm's Management Committee. As the firm’s chief executive, Kristina is responsible for all aspects of the firm’s strategy and management. She is the first female Managing Partner in Hanson Bridgett’s 60+ year history.

Known in the legal industry and beyond as a progressive and collaborative leader, Kristina has been recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Bay Area’s Most Influential Women in Business. In 2021, Corporate Counsel recognized her with a Women, Influence, and Power in Law – Managing Partner of the Year honor. Kristina is a proud member of the Bay Area Council’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and currently serves as the co-chair of the Bay Area Council’s Government Relations Committee.

Over the course of her career, Kristina has been deeply committed to public service. She is a former Mayor of the City of Walnut Creek, a city of approximately 65,000 residents located east of San Francisco in the greater Bay Area region. In 2015, Kristina was appointed by California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. to serve on the Medical Board of California, where she currently serves as the Board’s President.

Prior to her election as Managing Partner, Kristina served as the leader of the firm’s Real Estate + Environment Section. She is an expert in complex California entitlement, land use, environmental/natural resources and municipal matters, and a respected statewide authority on California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance and strategy. She has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Superlawyers.


J.D. cum laude Santa Clara University School of Law ( 2002 )
B.A. University of Arizona ( 1998 )

Academic Distinction

Order of the Coif

Admissions and Courts



Managing Partner
Green Building Practice Leader
Management Committee, Chair

Medical Board of California, President

Federation of State Medical Boards, Member and Voting Delegate

Bay Area Council - Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Government Relations Committee Co-Chair

State Bar of California

Contra Costa County Bar Association

American Bar Association

"California Firm Leaders Say Growth Should Continue In 2023,'' Law360 (January 2023)

"Where Mid-Law Is Expecting Work In 2023," Law360 (January 2023)

"California Regional Firms Expect to Sell Talent on Stability and Flexibility in 2023​," The Recorder (December 2022)

"California Firm Leaders Eye Growth in Environmental, Health Care, and Real Estate Practices in 2023," The Recorder (December 2022)

"Will Musical Laterals Derail Mid-Law Succession Planning?," Law360 (August 2022) 

"Hanson Bridgett gets 6th B Corp certification," Daily Journal (April 2022)

"Mid-Law's Female Firm Leaders Reflect on Making History,"Law360 (March 2022)

"Midsize U.S. Law Firms Roll Out Raises, Perks to Recruit Attorneys in Talent War," Reuters (December 2021)

"BigLaw Pay Hikes Reach Mid-Law With $30k 1st-Year Bump," Law360 (October 2021)

"Hanson Bridgett Revamps Associate Compensation, Adding Productivity, Sabbatical Bonuses," The Recorder (October 2021)

"How 3 Mid-Size Firms Handled Succession Planning," Law360 (August 2021)

"At These Remote-Flexible Firms, Associate Development Takes a Front Seat," The Recorder (July 2021)

"California Firms Reassess Return to Work, Many With Vaccine, Mask Requirements," The Recorder (July 2021)

"The NLJ 500: With Exceptions, Big Firms Weathered the Pandemic Best," The National Law Journal (June 2021)

"Podcast: Kristina Lawson & Jennifer Martinez of Hanson Bridgett LLP," The Registry's Real Perspectives Podcast (May 2021)

"Leading Questions: Hanson Bridgett’s Kristina Lawson," Bloomberg Law (April 2021)

"In a Pandemic Year, Law Firms Gave Back Even More," Law Practice Today (March 2021)

"2020 Was A Big Year For 'First Female' BigLaw Leaders," Law360 (January 2021)

"In A First, Woman Takes Helm At Hanson Bridgett," Law360 (January 2021)

"Wave Of New Female Firm Leaders Continues Into 2021," Law360 (January 2021)

"Hanson Bridgett's New Leader On Her Plans At The Helm," Law360 (January 2021)

"Hanson Bridgett Names First Woman to Lead the Bay Area Law Firm," San Francisco Business Times (January 2021)

"What Pandemic? San Francisco Legal Market Stays Strong, Despite COVID," Of Counsel (October 2020)

"'Don’t Get Mad, Get Elected' – Lessons from Local Lawyers’ Campaigns for Office," Contra Costa County Bar Association’s October Magazine (October 2020)

"Leadership, Careers, and Women in Law Roundtable," Law Practice Today (June 2020)

"The NLJ 500: Where Are Women Winning?," The National Law Journal (June 2020)

"Short-Term Work Around or the New Normal? Firms Cope with Covid-19 Reality," The Recorder (March 2020)

"Hanson Bridgett Names First-Ever Female Managing Partner," Daily Journal (January 2020)

"Hanson Bridgett, a Likely Am Law 200 Addition, Appoints First Female MP," The American Lawyer (January 2020)"

"Prominent SF Law Firm Names New Leader," San Francisco Business Journal (January 2020)

"California Firm Noted for Diversity Record Hires First Female Managing Partner," The Global Legal Post (January 2020)

"Battleground: LA Development," Commercial Observer (December 2019)

"California Desperately Needs More Affordable Housing. Is More Coming in 2020?," HousingWire (December 2019)

"Women Who Lead in Real Estate: Attorney Kristina Lawson Downs Bay Area NIMBYism," San Francisco Business Times (July 2019)

"Calif. Housing Industry Watching Gov.'s $750M Incentive Plan," Law360 (March 2019)

"The State’s Suit Against Huntington Beach Is Just the Start ," GlobeSt. (February 2019)

"Officials overturn landmark designation for UC Berkeley’s Campanile Way," Berkeleyside (October 2018)

"Ex-Mayor Leaves Manatt For New Home at Hanson Bridgett," The Recorder (April 2017)

"Former Walnut Creek mayor joins Hanson Bridgett," Daily Journal (April 2017)

"Legal Challenge to Downtown Berkeley Mixed-Use High-Rise Struck Down," The Registry (2016)

"Judge Rules in CEQA Infill Case," GlobeSt (2016)

"CA Supreme Court Reverses Decision To Broaden CEQA," Bisnow (2016)

"Calif. Real Estate Legislation & Regulation To Watch In 2016," Law360 (2016)

"Court puts kibosh on CEQA expansion," San Diego Union Tribune (2015)

"State high court rules on scope of principle enviro law," Greenwire (2015)

"State Supreme Court sets limits on the reach of CEQA in unanimous ruling," Daily Journal (2015)

"State high court backs developers in environmental case," Sacramento Business Journal (2015)

"Airbnb Initiative Could Spur More Suits In San Francisco," Law360 (2015)

San Francisco Business Times' Power 100 (2023)

Managing Partner of the Year—Law Firm, Corporate Counsel (2021)

Federation of State Medical Boards, Award of Merit (2022)

Best Lawyers in Northern California - Land Use & Zoning Law, Best Lawyers® (2019-2022)

Inspirator Award, The Bay Area CREW Chapters and The Registry's ELEVATE Awards (2020)

Most Influential Women in the Bay Area, San Francisco Business Journal (2019-2020)

The Best Lawyers in America©, Land Use & Zoning Law (2019, 2023)

Northern California Super Lawyers, Land Use/Zoning (2016-2019)

Bay Area Power Women, Bisnow (2016)

Top 50 Development, Land Use and Municipal Infrastructure Lawyers, Daily Journal (2014)

Top 20 Under 40, Daily Journal (2014)

50 Lawyers on the Fast Track,The Recorder (2012)

40 Under 40, San Francisco Business Times (2012)

Rising Star, Northern California Real Estate Women of Influence (2011)

20 Under 40, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network (2010)

Rising Star, Northern California SuperLawyers magazine (2010–2012)