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Overview of Services

Corporate governance spans a wide range of legal issues, from securities to ethics, labor, benefits, criminal law and more. Further, in today's environment, when corporate governance issues are raised they must be dealt with rapidly. Otherwise, the risk is high that the organization can be tainted and suffer a substantial cost with respect to numerous aspects of its business including, e.g., its stock price, its ability to borrow, and its ability to attract and retain board members.

Because of the breadth of corporate governance issues, a variety of skills as well as experience, is necessary to effectively deal with these challenges. Experience in governance is as important as the law. This is an area where judgment is key, and judgment comes from working with these issues.

Hanson Bridgett's Corporate Governance Group meets these needs. We have experienced attorneys from the requisite legal disciplines within the firm to address your corporate governance needs.

Our Corporate Governance Group includes attorneys from the following legal disciplines: Corporate and Securities; General Business; Ethics; White Collar Crime; Professional Responsibility, including both law and accounting; Labor; Employee Benefits law; Charitable and Nonprofit Organizations; and Litigation. We work collectively to bring each of these disciplines together to strategize and create solutions for our clients.

We are fully prepared to address the issues that must be dealt with by publicly held, privately held and non-profit organizations such as:

  • financial disclosure
  • insider dealing and ethical standards
  • increased responsibilities of CEOs, CFOs and audit committees
  • increased responsibilities of attorneys and accountants
  • whistleblower rules and codes of conduct for employees
  • potential criminal liability
  • "who is your lawyer" – a serious issue with the new rules
  • limits on employee benefits
  • fiduciary responsibility

Hanson Bridgett provides emerging-growth companies with advice and counsel that allows entrepreneurs to devote their full attention to launching, running, and scaling their business. We act as strategic legal advisors to our clients from the earliest stages of forming their business, to negotiating venture capital financings and other strategic transactions, and everyday legal issues that arise in running a business.

In addition, our interdisciplinary and team-oriented approach provides our clients with expertise in areas such as:

  • Corporate Governance
  • Securities Regulation
  • Employee Benefits & Compensation
  • Labor & Employment
  • Real Estate & Leasing
  • Tax
  • Intellectual Property
  • Privacy & Data Security
  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution

This group uses its extensive experience in representing both funds and investors across a variety of areas within the firm to ensure clients receive the most qualified legal advice possible.

This is an area of law that requires a clear perspective of the big picture. Having represented clients on both sides of the table, we have a detailed understanding and keen appreciation of the attendant concerns. This enables us to counsel clients on the practical aspects of organizing and operating a fund while accounting for market conditions and the relative bargaining power of the parties involved. We readily share our insights and the contacts derived from constant interaction with industry players to achieve clients’ goals efficiently and pragmatically.


Working as a team, we bring experience that spans the entire lifecycle of fund operations and includes:

  • Fund organization, formation, and structuring
  • Fund investment transactions
  • Tax planning
  • Restructuring and recapitalizing of portfolio investments
  • Liquidation, restructuring, and winding-down of fund operations
  • Negotiation of terms and key issues
  • General corporate law
  • Finance
  • Securities
  • Corporate governance
  • Employment
  • Litigation
  • Intellectual property

Representative Clients

  • Private equity and venture capital funds
  • Leveraged buy-out funds
  • Hedge funds
  • Real estate funds
  • Fund principals and sponsors
  • Institutional investors
  • Pension funds
  • Qualified retirement and governmental plans
  • High-net-worth individual investors

Our expertise in representing nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations dates back to our origins. Since the early 1960s, when we planted the first seeds of our senior care and health care practices and helped form Aging Services of California and LeadingAge, we have been counseling nonprofit and tax-exempt clients regarding their rights and obligations. Today our nonprofit clients range from public charities, private foundations, trade associations, and self-insurance groups to title-holding companies, agricultural cooperatives, social welfare organizations, and social clubs.

We guide clients through their entire life cycle, from corporate formation and choice of entity, through mergers and affiliations, and sometimes to dissolution.  We collaborate with our clients to help them achieve their goals efficiently and effectively. We remain on the cutting edge of our field by regularly speaking and writing on tax and corporate issues unique to nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations. Our attorneys are recognized for the depth and breadth of their expertise.  In an era of corporate scandals, we help clients develop best operating and governance practices. During times of fiscal austerity, we help them downsize, consolidate and, if appropriate, seek affiliation partners.  At all times, we help them access available legal protections and keep our eye on the practical. Our responsibility and our mission is to help keep the independent sector vibrant and viable.    

Representative Nonprofit Clients

  • American Cancer Society
  • LeadingAge California
  • Giants Community Fund
  • Oakland Museum of California
  • Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco
  • Tides Center
  • Hospice By The Bay
  • InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
  • Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of The State of California
  • On Lok
  • California Assisted Living Association
  • Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco


California has a long history of air quality regulation, and as a California law firm we have been litigating on the front lines of this area for decades. Our lawyers include former regulators and experienced environmental attorneys who have a wealth of knowledge about how air quality regulations apply and how enforcement works. This experience allows us to develop targeted, effective compliance solutions. In addition, we have long-standing relationships with seasoned technical experts who support our legal team in evaluating compliance concerns.

Air quality laws and regulations pose some of the most complex legal challenges that businesses face. The scope of the regulations range from traditional stationary sources like manufacturers and industrial processes, to truck and vehicle fleets, to indirect sources that attract vehicle traffic like shopping centers and warehouses. Deepening the complication is that these regulations are adopted by the federal government, the state, regional and local governments.  

Navigating air quality issues requires a deft touch, and we help clients advance their business interests by monitoring and attempting to improve air quality legislation, regulations, and guidance that impact their operations. We understand that regulatory violations can result in significant penalties, require expensive and disruptive retrofit requirements and, in extreme cases, shut down facilities altogether; as such, our expertise focuses on developing comprehensive and practical defensive strategies.  

When litigation is necessary, we defend clients in enforcement actions brought by local air districts, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the U.S. EPA. Alternatively, and when circumstances so warrant, we bring litigation against these agencies to advance our clients' interests. Importantly, while we vigorously litigate complex cases, we also focus on resolving matters through practical, cost-effective settlements.


  • Accidental releases (including the CAA General Duty Clause and CalARP enforcement)
  • AQMD/CARB/EPA Notices of Violation (NOVs)/Orders for Abatement/Variances
  • California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) and Prodigies 
  • Consumer Products
  • Construction Portable Equipment and Operations
  • Criminal defense and internal investigations 
  • Hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP/MACT standards)
  • Health Risk Assessments
  • Indirect Source Regulations/Trip Reduction Strategies
  • Stationary Source/Equipment Permitting
  • Title V Federal Operating Permits
  • Truck and Vehicle Fleet Regulations

Representative Clients

  • Agriculture
  • Aircraft maintenance and production
  • Asbestos abatement
  • Bulk storage facilities
  • Chemical manufacturing
  • Cogeneration
  • Construction
  • Food manufacturing
  • Industrial gas production
  • Mining 
  • Port operations
  • Power production
  • Rendering
  • Solid waste management
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Utilities

Representative Matters

  • Assisted clients with U.S. EPA and CARB audits of transportation fleet for evaluation of compliance with Truck and Bus Regulations
  • Represented a multinational chemical corporation in Clean Air Act NESHAP (Hazardous Air Pollutant) rulemaking and in judicial and administrative review of MACT standard
  • Represented a food growers’ cooperative in retrofit of cogeneration facility that generated $1 million in emission credits under California’s Cap-and-Trade Program for greenhouse gas emissions
  • Defended a company against alleged violations of Clean Air Act and other state and federal laws arising from the accidental release of anhydrous ammonia gas
  • Advised a ferry operator regarding compliance with CARB air toxics emissions regulations
  • Advised an industrial gas producer regarding the implementation of the Cap-and-Trade Program under California’s Global Warming Solutions Act
  • Represented a consumer products company in connection with alleged violations of CARB Consumer Products Regulation
  • Provided defense and compliance assistance for a food manufacturer accused of violations of CARB Refrigerant Management Program
  • Defended several coal-fired power plants against alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and AQMD rules
  • Represented a natural gas-fired peaking power plant in permit negotiations with an Air Quality Management District
  • Represented an aircraft operator against charges of testing aircraft engines as a stationary source without an air permit
  • Represented a solid waste management site against charges of emitting methane gas without an air permit
  • Represented an industrial cleanup site in connection with compliance for emissions from air stripping towers for trichloroethylene (TCE) treatment
  • Represented a rock quarry in connection with air emissions compliance issues
  • Represented an asbestos removal company in investigation by the district attorney of alleged illegal disposal of asbestos waste
  • Represented an asbestos removal company in obtaining numerous permits for the removal of asbestos

Hanson Bridgett attorneys have extensive experience advising companies and individuals regarding contaminated properties. We are adept at recovering costs from other responsible parties and insurance carriers. We offer practical solutions based on decades of experience with all types of properties—from gas stations to federal Superfund sites.

What Sets Us Apart?

Experience. Decades of experience with the most contaminated properties in California, including highly sophisticated transactions and redevelopment projects for some of the largest companies in the country.

Our clients include publicly traded companies, regional and national developers, property owners and small businesses, food companies, public agencies, and private investors.

Broad Expertise. We have wide-ranging expertise encompassing the major regulatory agencies in California, including Regional Water Quality Control Boards, the State Water Resources Control Board, DTSC, and local regulatory agencies, as well as experience with the cleanup of federal Superfund sites. Our expertise includes:

  • Superfund site remediation, cost recovery litigation, and cost allocation
  • Soil vapor intrusion
  • Cleanup of contaminated sediments impacted by hazardous substances such as PCBs, heavy metals, and PAHs
  • "Brownfields" redevelopment projects
  • Groundwater contamination and treatment, including related litigation
  • Site closure
  • Real estate and M&A transactions involving contaminated properties, including preparation and negotiation of environmental and indemnity agreements
  • Military base closure and redevelopment
  • PLL policies (both negotiation of terms and tender of claims)
  • Emerging contaminants: Per- and Polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS); 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP)
  • Lead-based paint and asbestos abatement
  • Response to Regional Board regulatory enforcement

Representative Matters

  • Represented publicly traded company in regulatory matters and private cleanup cost allocation arbitration related to investigation and remediation of major Superfund site in EPA Region 4
  • Advised aerospace manufacturing company regarding the investigation and remediation of groundwater contamination and potential vapor intrusion issues at its facility and represented company in regulatory matters with the Regional Water Quality Control Board
  • Represented public entity in large-scale remediation of lead contamination under DTSC supervision
  • Advised private investors regarding potential environmental liabilities associated with acquisition of assets of bankrupt San Francisco manufacturing company
  • Represented property owner in lease negotiations for commercial/industrial property subject to environmental investigation
  • Represented guarantor in loan negotiations for major development of property subject to environmental indemnity provisions
  • Represented water district affected by PFAS; successfully concluded four-year effort to resolve PFAS-impacted groundwater issues with amendment to Federal Facilities Agreement
  • Represented real estate developer in litigation against adjacent property owner and dry cleaner operators seeking damages stemming from long-term groundwater contamination

Hanson Bridgett has significant experience handling Proposition 65 matters. Our attorneys have represented clients in Proposition 65 cases since the Proposition’s inception in 1986. We assist clients with litigation, counseling, and settlement negotiations, and represent manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and trade associations in a wide range of industries both inside and outside California.

We have handled some of the most significant Proposition 65 cases in California and have been successful both at trial and on appeal. We bring experience and zealous advocacy to bear on our clients’ Proposition 65 litigation needs and develop defense strategies that achieve our clients’ business and litigation objectives. In addition, we pride ourselves on our ability to resolve cases without resorting to litigation.

California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65)

Proposition 65 requires manufacturers, processors, distributors, and retailers that do business in the State of California to comply with specific warning requirements and discharge prohibitions. The standards for establishing a violation are unique, and consequently, require legal advice from attorneys well-versed and experienced in the Proposition. Our attorneys have extensive experience defending Proposition 65 cases and keep up-to-date on the latest legal developments, including proposed regulatory charges with the potential to affect anyone who does business or sells products in California.

Proposition 65 also contains an unusual provision that allows private citizen groups to collect a portion of the fines levied in each case, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs. Our attorneys have defended businesses against dozens of cases brought by these private “bounty hunters,” as well as cases brought by the California Attorney General.

Our firm has provided Proposition 65 representation to companies in a wide range of industries, including:

  • Apparel
  • Auto parts and supplies
  • Consumer products
  • Cosmetics and personal care products
  • Electronics
  • Food manufacturing and distribution
  • Jewelry and watches
  • Outdoor power equipment
  • Plumbing products
  • Property management
  • Sporting goods

Highlights of Prop 65 Experience

  • Acted as coordinating counsel in the first Proposition 65 case decided by the California Supreme Court, People v. American Standard, Inc., for a Joint Defense Group of 23 faucet manufacturers and importers. Our attorneys represented the joint defense group, as well as six separate plumbing manufacturers and importers in the defense of claims that their brass or bronze plumbing products leached lead into sources of drinking water. The case proceeded to the California Supreme Court with Hanson Bridgett attorneys representing a national trade association, the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute, as amicus curiae. We successfully resolved the case on behalf of our clients prior to appeal. In two additional rounds of litigation, we successfully negotiated settlements for our clients. These cases were brought by the Natural Resource Defense Council.
  • Successfully defended seven plumbing fixture manufacturers and importers in the first case under Proposition 65 that addressed the testing protocols used to carry the plaintiff’s burden. The case was tried on the issue of whether the plaintiff’s methodology to test for lead leachate from valves was an appropriate test under Proposition 65. The trial court ruled that the test was not appropriate and dismissed the case with prejudice, a ruling that was upheld on appeal (As You Sow v. Industries, Inc., 135 Cal. App. 4th 431 (2005)).
  • Successfully forged the legal strategy that was used to bring the American sportfishing industry into compliance with Proposition 65. We represented the American Sportfishing Association defending allegations of lead exposure from fishing tackle. We obtained the dismissal of four companies and negotiated favorable settlements for seven additional companies, establishing a consumer warning program that is fully compliant with Proposition 65.
  • Defended a fishing tackle manufacturer in an action brought by a private plaintiff. The case involved allegations that the manufacturer was in violation of a consent judgment that had been entered into with the California Attorney General. After we enlisted the assistance of the California Attorney General in support of the client’s position, the plaintiff filed a dismissal of the action with prejudice.
  • Participated as amici curiae counsel on behalf of several plumbing manufacturers in Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation v. Edmund A. Gray Co. This case involved appropriate test methodology under Proposition 65 and the admissibility of the California Lead and Copper Rule.
  • Negotiated a settlement with Citizens for a Better Environment in a matter involving coating material that contained hazardous chemicals used on outdoor furniture. The manufacturer agreed to replace its coating materials and to use wood that was certified as environmentally safe.
  • Counseled trade associations and numerous individual companies setting up worker safety programs, developing consumer warning programs, and assisting in reformulation of products to eliminate or reduce the amount of Proposition 65 listed chemicals in the products.
  • Represented cosmetics company in settlement of private litigation involving shampoo and liquid soap products. The settlement allowed the company to resolve the litigation without the expenditure of significant resources based on the company’s commitment to reformulate its products in a manner consistent with its sustainable business practices.
  • Represented a number of major ceramic ware manufacturers in People v. Josiah Wedgwood & Sons. The case involved allegations of lead leaching from the manufacturer’s products.
  • Represented electronics manufacturer in settlement of private party litigation. The settlement allowed the company to resolve the Proposition 65 litigation based on compliance with the EU’S RoHS directive, allowing the company to implement uniform global lead-free product standards.

Our lawyers have decades of experience representing individuals, private companies, and governmental agencies in water rights and water resource issues. Our clients include ranchers, farmers, developers, urban water suppliers, and irrigation and reclamation districts in California, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, and Nevada. We have also participated in the adjudication of water rights before administrative agencies and in state and federal courts in several western states. We have worked with federal water masters under existing federal river decrees, and litigated these issues in federal and state courts in several western states.

Our attorneys are knowledgeable, creative and hardworking. Whenever possible, we seek solutions to problems that will avoid disputes and litigation. When necessary, we are prepared to be tenacious advocates for our clients, bringing to bear our extensive experience in trial and appellate courts.

Project Experience

  • Surface water diversions, including fish screens
  • Surface water reservoirs, including fish passage facilities
  • Hydroelectric power generation
  • Groundwater extraction
  • Large scale groundwater appropriation and interbasin transfer projects
  • Conjunctive use programs, including groundwater recharge with both native and imported water
  • Banking arrangements in off-site groundwater storage
  • Recycled water acquisition, transmission and distribution
  • Desalination of brackish groundwater
  • Water treatment plants
  • Water transfers

Agency Interactions

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • NOAA Fisheries
  • National Park Service
  • California State Water Resources Control Board
  • California Department of Water Resources
  • California Coastal Commission
  • Regional Water Quality Control Boards
  • Counties and Cities

Water Supply Agency Services

  • Safe Drinking Water Act compliance
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Wetlands delineation and protection
  • Dredge and fill Permits under the federal Clean Water Act
  • Urban water management plans preparation
  • Groundwater management plans
  • Water Supply Assessments (under SB 610).
  • Water conservation measures and rationing ordinances
  • Rate structure design
  • Wholesale-retail water supply contracts

Hanson Bridgett offers comprehensive legal services to family offices, wealthy families, and multigenerational businesses using a multidisciplinary approach that includes attorneys from a broad range of practice areas. We provide counsel and guidance to clients looking to set up and manage family offices, pooled investment structures, private trust structures, and foundations to accomplish their family business, investment, and philanthropic objectives.

Family offices have the same complexity and regulatory requirements as other small investment companies. As such, the firm provides services on matters ranging from asset protection, business formation, and tax to intellectual property protection.

Our attorneys provide a broad range of skills and experience in the following areas:

  • Asset Protection Advice and Planning
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Corporate and Business Law
  • Employment
  • Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation
  • Intellectual Property Protection
  • Real Estate
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Succession Planning
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Tax

Hanson Bridgett has more than 50 years of experience serving as city attorney, general counsel, or special counsel to public agencies throughout California. We pride ourselves on long-term relationships with our clients, serving as trusted advisors and effective advocates for public entities serving their communities.

As city attorney or general counsel, we advise elected officials and professional staff in guiding the agencies' day-to-day operations. We counsel them on open meeting and public records laws, conflict of interest regulations, procurement and contracting, real estate matters, and land use and environmental regulations.

We are also called upon to assist with specialized legal issues facing public agencies, and support county counsels, city attorneys, and special district general counsels in a wide range of matters, including ethics investigations, major infrastructure project procurements, litigation, municipal finance, condemnation, and LAFCO matters.  

We have particularly rich experience in the public transit, water, wastewater, fire, and health care sectors. For more information on our sector-specific expertise, follow the links the below:

•    Public Transit &Transportation
•    Infrastructure
•    Land Use & Environmental
•    Labor & Employment
•    Water Law

Public confidence is essential for a government agency’s operations. With scrutiny heightened by social media, officials must maintain the highest level of professional standards. Hanson Bridgett assists institutions in developing guidelines, recognizing potential hazards, and defending themselves when charged with ethical wrongdoing.

Training and Prevention

With our years of experience, we know how government entities operate and how easily they can slip into ethical and legal pitfalls. As part of our responsibilities – as advisors, general counsel, or city attorneys – we help clients develop a culture of professionalism and integrity through education and awareness.

We have the greatest impact in our day-to-day service to our clients, which includes prevention. To this end, we provide training programs and help set up internal controls to identify problems before they become front-page headlines. We are always on the lookout for potential misconduct or other lapses in judgment, whether a conflict of interest or a misuse of public resources. In working with public officials, we try to instill in them a moral compass and steer them away from potentially problematic conduct.

Crisis Management

Few, if any, law firms share our background in helping public agencies manage crisis situations. When a public figure is charged with ethical wrongdoing, we help devise a strategy for the best course of action in addressing the problem, as well as restoring public confidence. We have been called upon when a public employee has embezzled funds, or an official is accused of serious misconduct.

These situations often draw media attention, which can hamper an investigation. Working quickly and efficiently, we advise officials on what their authority is in the situation, what measures they can take, and how they can continue to operate. Our ultimate goal, however, is to keep our clients out of trouble.

Our attorneys have experience in the numerous areas of law in which ethical issues can arise, including the following:

  • Procurement and contracting
  • Financial policies such as reserve requirements and rate-setting
  • Conflict of interest
  • Election law and campaign contributions
  • Brown Act and open meeting requirements
  • Labor and employment issues – whistle-blower protection, confidentiality
  • Accessibility and non-discrimination requirements
  • Advocacy and government relations

Hanson Bridgett is actively engaged in the prosecution and defense of the most challenging and complex cases involving governmental agencies and the public sector. Led by a team of seasoned trial and appellate attorneys, our firm has and is ready to face cases that threaten the very existence and reputation of local and state governments. To say that cases prosecuted and defended by our attorneys are high stakes and high profile is an understatement, particularly because the outcome of these actions can threaten the continued existence of government and the confidence constituents have in their elected officials.

Public sector clients rely on our specialized expertise and expansive knowledge to advise them on the unique challenges they face. Representing public agencies requires experience, savvy, and keen instinct. We are trusted by our clients to deliver not only proven litigation skill, but also a depth of understanding of the unique issues facing the public sector as a whole and public agencies in particular, who are often accountable to multiple boards, the public and community at large, the media, elected officials, and other constituents. We consistently deliver the insight and requisite acute subject-matter expertise to assist public entities in evaluating and resolving disputes, while considering the unique legal, political, and policy issues that are often involved in public sector litigation. 

Our litigation team draws upon years of collective experience to guide clients through the travails of crises that can interfere with and disrupt the governing process. When an emergency arises, our clients depend upon us to be there to advise on practical solutions no matter how devastating or difficult the storm of events. We achieve this end by providing cool-headed advice, legal know-how and tough investigating. We work to resolve problems and disputes using negotiation, mediation or litigation, if necessary. Whether we are defending a class action claim based on civil liberties or personal injuries, a suit arising from First Amendment rights, or an action challenging the ability of an agency to levy taxes or assessments, our attorneys have experienced it all and have protected the life, continuity and reputation of public agency clients over decades of practice.

Our team is involved in every type of public sector litigation, and is particularly skilled in thwarting and aggressively defending class action litigation. The stability and reputation of public sector agencies can be undermined by challenges from individuals, classes of individuals, groups, and regulators. Class actions, in particular, can be a "bet-the-agency" proposition ranging from challenges to local laws and policies, to efforts to undermine the tax base, to actions to prevent proper governing. 

Our experience includes individual, multi-plaintiff, and class action claims involving a broad spectrum of issues ranging from business and commercial disputes; to labor and employment actions, particularly wage and hour claims; to employee benefits matters, including pension and retiree benefits; to Constitutional and administrative claims, including class actions involving California Government Code §11135 and Title VI (42 U.S.C. § 2000d), 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments (including civil rights challenges pertaining to the delivery of medical and mental health care in correctional settings), as well as the right to privacy under the U.S. and California Constitutions. We also handle personal injury and catastrophic loss suits; real estate, construction, energy, and water resource matters; civil rights claims; and, criminal-related actions and proceedings.  Our firm has represented the State of California, the Regents of the University of California, state and local leaders, and state and local agencies and municipalities in pre-litigation disputes, at trial, during the remedial phase, and throughout the appellate process in the Ninth Circuit and before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The infrastructure practice group assists clients with all manner of legal issues arising in the context of public works construction projects. Our attorneys have broad experience in advising both public and private clients undertaking major works of public improvement, including the following: 

  • Evaluating alternative project delivery methods
  • Complying with Labor Code requirements
  • Low-bid contract award procedures
  • Prevailing wage laws
  • Design-build contracts
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Stop notice procedures
  • Pre-qualification of bidders
  • Surety issues
  • Bid protest procedures and strategy
  • Warranty issues
  • Federal and state contract requirements
  • Claims resolution for public works projects
  • Litigation

Our attorneys have assisted clients with a wide variety of public works, from office buildings and maintenance facilities to specialized projects involving seismic retrofit, rail transportation, bus and ferry transit facilities, tunnels and pipelines, universities, hospitals, clean water storage and transmission facilities, and waste water treatment facilities. We also have the flexibility to staff large-scale construction projects costing hundreds of millions of dollars, or efficiently handle the smallest of projects.

The infrastructure practice group blends expertise from two of the firm’s prominent practice groups: the public agency section and the construction practice group. The public agency section has served as general counsel to a variety of transportation districts, water districts, sanitation districts, community service districts, fire districts, hospital districts, cities, joint powers authorities and associations of local governmental agencies for more than 40 years. The firm takes pride in its long standing role in the public sector of the Bay Area. The construction practice group has a national level construction practice focusing on complex infrastructure projects, and attorneys that are recognized as being among the best in their field.

In today’s complex business environment, conflict often is unavoidable. Companies and entrepreneurs need an experienced hand to help them avoid disputes before they arise, and to vigorously represent their interests when they do. While every enterprise has its risks, the selection of legal counsel should not be one of them.

For over a half century, our clients — ranging from Fortune 100 multinational corporations to mid- and small-cap companies, partnerships, and entrepreneurs — have turned to Hanson Bridgett’s Business Litigation practice group to resolve their most pressing commercial challenges. They rely on us because we offer things most other law firms do not:

Trial Lawyers, First and Foremost. Our Business Litigation team is comprised of seasoned trial lawyers who maintain an active and respected presence in courts and arbitral forums throughout California. Our trial experience frees clients from the pressure to settle, and allows them to make considered strategic decisions, including whether to take their cases to trial.

Unparalleled Results. We represent both sides, plaintiffs and defendants, in nearly every kind of dispute a company is likely to encounter. This breadth of perspective makes us uncommonly effective — a fact proven by our unparalleled track record of success at the negotiation table and in the courtroom.

Practical Advice. Because of the long-standing relationships we build with our clients, we understand their businesses and provide them with practical, real-world advice. 

Efficient Solutions. Our competitive rate structure, efficient staffing, and advanced technology allow commercial and strategic considerations, not costs, to drive the litigation process. 

On-Call Resources. Whether we are handling a contract dispute or complex consumer class action, we provide our clients with the help they need, when they need it. From proactive counseling to comprehensive litigation and appellate services, we are there at every stage.

Our clients are leaders in a broad range of industries, including technology, financial services, manufacturing, real estate, securities, food and beverage, consumer, retail, hospitality, health care, and life sciences. Our experience in those industries includes the following:

  • Antitrust and trade practices
  • Business torts
  • Business “divorces”
  • Consumer class actions
  • Contract enforcement
  • Corporate governance
  • Data privacy and internet security
  • Defamation
  • Environmental law
  • False or misleading advertising
  • Fiduciary duty
  • Financial fraud
  • Insurance coverage and recovery
  • Lender liability
  • Product and premises liability
  • Professional liability
  • Office and Director liability
  • Real estate and land use
  • Receiverships
  • Securities
  • Shareholder/member disputes
  • Tax litigation and dispute resolution


Hanson Bridgett brings experience, knowledge, and passion to class action defense.

Our firm defends major class actions, multi-plaintiff claims based on associational standing, representative actions, mass torts, and other types of impact litigation involving the private and public sector. We defend clients in every facet of a class action proceeding, navigating them beyond class action proceedings in state and federal courts throughout California. We serve as lead counsel, local counsel, outside class oversight counsel, and special settlement counsel in matters valued into the hundreds of millions of dollars in dispute.

Our team is proactive, competent, and offers clients industry-specific expertise.

We have favorably resolved high-stakes, high-profile, bet-the-company actions and demands both in and out of court and in arbitration and mediation. We look for ways to immediately take the value out of the case so that it becomes less desirable for plaintiffs to litigate in terms of risk and reward. In every case, we combine our substantive knowledge of the law with a dedication to achieving the right result.

We develop thoughtful, effective, and meaningful strategies.

We work collaboratively with our clients to design a “big picture” plan of defense that has the best chance of succeeding. Our lawyers know the law, and prepare from day one to achieve the most favorable result consistent with each client’s specific goals. We act with purpose, and do not make arguments for the sake of argument, or litigate for the sake of litigation. We consistently deliver practical advice on the procedural and legal issues, coupled with specialized knowledge of the requisite industry and substantive legal disciplines involved in each case. Our objective is to create a macro strategy for the life cycle of the case that is realistic and based on facts, and never on emotion or short-term thinking.

We take the cost of defense very seriously.

Our team is dedicated to communicating options, associated costs and realistic potential outcomes to our clients from the very beginning of representation. We are pragmatic, and give clients choices when it comes to the right approach to class action defense. If we can steer our client away from a class action in a more economical manner than the cost of defense, we advise them to do so. We are about providing our clients with value, the right strategy, and the best possible advice at every turn. We also explore and pursue insurance coverage options as needed. 

We understand the impact a class action can have on an organization.

Given the range of our experience, we know that a class action can have serious repercussions on our client’s operations. Therefore, we work tirelessly to understand the facts and determine a comprehensive approach that best aligns with each client’s objectives, whether that means pursuing early resolution, striving to defeat class certification at all costs, or positioning the case for a decision on the merits. We know, from practical experience, that one size does not fit all when it comes to class action litigation, and we are skilled in guiding clients through the critical decisions involved in defending these lawsuits.


Hanson Bridgett’s lawyers offer significant experience in all forms of commercial real estate and construction lending arrangements, as well as the disputes and litigation that can arise from them. Our lawyers are first and foremost committed to understanding and satisfying the unique needs and goals of each of our clients. We have the necessary understanding of the economic, practical and legal issues involved to document and close transactions and resolve disputes in an effective and efficient fashion. 

Lending. Our lawyers understand financial markets and stay abreast of emerging financial products. We are experienced in negotiating purchase money loans, construction loans, “mini-perm” and permanent take-out financing and other institutional lending arrangements. We structure equity financing joint ventures and hybrid equity/mezzanine financing undertakings. We represent lenders in general real estate transactional matters including commercial and retail leasing. When necessary, we negotiate loan workouts for our clients. We arrange tax-exempted bond financings for our nonprofit clientele. For public sector clients, we specialize in securing project specific federal and state grant funding.

We also bring a special advantage to construction lending due to our collaboration with the firm's construction attorneys and our deep experience in the industry. 

Disputes. We represent financial institutions in foreclosures and receiverships, and work closely with our clients to efficiently manage these processes to achieve effective and successful results. We also represent lenders, servicers, trustees and custodians in other actions affecting their, or their clients', interests in real property, including partitions and quiet title actions, as well as all aspects of litigation that can arise from managing, acquiring, selling or developing real property. We are skilled at obtaining provisional remedies to protect our clients’ interests and strengthen their bargaining position at the outset.

Our Real Estate Section. Hanson Bridgett’s real estate section provides comprehensive legal services to a wide array of real estate clients. We have substantial expertise in all areas of real estate transactional and litigation work. We represent investors, developers, buyers, sellers, owners, managers, landlords and tenants both locally and nationally. We serve as counsel to many major industry participants requiring outstanding quality and depth in legal services, such as investor/developers, senior and health care providers, shopping centers, and public transportation agencies. Our real estate attorneys have a reputation for creativity, excellence and a strong commitment to client service.

As a growing number of our clients seek to build and maintain sustainable, high performance buildings, we are committed to assuring that they achieve their goals. Our real estate and construction attorneys provide advice to a wide array of clients on issues at every stage of the real estate project life cycle. Together, we deliver an interdisciplinary set of sustainable development skills that advance project delivery from inception to completion, helping clients build for the future.  


Green Building Certification
Several of our attorneys are accredited and trained in the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification process.

We know firsthand that sustainable real estate development is a process of planning and implementing high performing buildings from an energy efficiency and environmental perspective. Performance rating systems such as LEED® and Build It Green provide performance standards against which a building or project may be measured. In more and more cases, these standards are becoming legally required mandates for green building compliance. Our attorneys offer strategic advice on how to structure development projects with these standards in mind. We offer accredited expertise in compliance with these standards and the review processes that exist to implement them.

Government Requirements and Incentives
We are intimately familiar with the federal, state and local government entities adopting laws that regulate construction of new buildings to achieve sustainability objectives. California’s energy use standards for new buildings is one example. Another is San Francisco’s Green Building Ordinance, the strongest command and control green building ordinance in the nation. Our attorneys continually monitor and master these legal requirements, advising clients in these matters as a value-added service. 

We are well aware that financial incentives offered by federal, state and local governments provide a valuable opportunity to developers to improve the economic feasibility and profitability of sustainable development projects. Our attorneys assist in applying for and obtaining these financial incentives, be they income tax credits, property tax reductions, rebates, or grants, and in syndicating them to third parties in the right case.

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM)
Our attorneys are at the cutting edge of industry transformative developments in design and construction, such as Building Information Modeling and Integrated Project Delivery. BIM is the use of object oriented, intelligent databases that not only can use 3D design tools to characterize existing architectural and engineering design, but can be used to explore and manage the construction process, energy optimization, sustainable construction, cost and facility management. IPD is a model for team building and risk allocation among owner, architect, engineer and contractor to align interests as a means of achieving project success. Howard Ashcraft, a partner in our Construction Section, played an instrumental role in drafting the American Institute of Architect’s policy statement on IPD, and that team is engaged in many high profile developments adopting the IPD model.

Green Leasing and Build Outs
The desire to maximize the economic and environmental benefits of high performance buildings, together with increasing tenant demand for space in high performance buildings has given rise to the “green lease.” A green lease sets forth the landlord’s building-wide protocols for tenant compliance to assure its building’s ongoing environmental performance.

When representing building owners and managers, our real estate attorneys craft comprehensive green leases based on industry standards such as the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) green lease as well as our own expertise. For tenants, we analyze the legal and economic implications of green lease provisions and negotiate concessions that will aid the tenant in building out its own premises in an environmentally sustainable way. On behalf of tenants, who are often less familiar with environmental design, we serve as a LEED® accredited project consultant and negotiate their commercial interior buildout to best protect their interest.

Industry Affiliations

  • American College of Construction Lawyers
  • American Institute of Architects California Council (AIACC)
  • American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE)
  • Design Build Institute of America (DBIA)
  • Founding Member Center for Innovation in Design and Construction
  • Lean Construction Institute
  • San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR)
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI)
  • U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
  • U.S. Green Building Council, Northern California Chapter

Hanson Bridgett’s Technology Practice was formed with three guiding principles. First, we recognize that a technology company’s most valuable assets are likely found in ground-breaking concepts, designs, and products rather than in the “brick and mortar” assets of many traditional companies. Second, we believe that technology companies operate in a unique environment where their success depends on a deep understanding of the governing law as well as an appreciation of the economic realities of a competitive and ever-changing marketplace. Third, we believe our clients are best served when we bring a wide range of legal expertise to bear on their complex legal matters. These three principles help guide our advice on individual matters and the way we engage with the more than 150 attorneys at Hanson Bridgett to best serve our clients.

Primary Services for Technology clients:

  • Corporate and Emerging Companies. Hanson Bridgett’s clients benefit from the depth of our experience in advising technology companies on the complex legal issues they face during all stages of growth.
  • Patent and Intellectual Property Litigation. When intellectual property disputes arise, our IP litigators often negotiate pre-litigation resolutions that spare our clients the legal expenses of taking matters into court.
  • Intellectual Property Counseling. Our intellectual property attorneys work closely with our technology clients to solve a myriad of issues relating to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights and to protect against future claims of intellectual property infringement. 

Serving Technology Clients’ Broader Legal Needs

Attorneys in Hanson Bridgett’s Technology Practice work closely with our colleagues in many other practice areas so that we may provide a broad array of legal services to our clients.

We work closely with attorneys in our nationwide Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice to successfully represents our clients in resolving a wide range of disputes through litigation, mediation and arbitration. We enlist attorneys from our Employee Benefits Group to address issues relating to our clients’ retirement plans, employee benefits, executive and equity compensation, and fiduciary responsibility matters. We work with partners in our Labor and Employment Group to provide advice relating to employee discipline and termination, federal and state wage-and-hour law, and compliance labor laws such as the Family Medical Leave Act, the California Family Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and workers’ compensation regulations. Our Labor and Employment attorneys also help our clients develop appropriate training programs to address employment law matters and to create employment forms such as personnel policies, employment contracts, and applications. When the need arises, our Labor and Employment attorneys also defend our clients against claims related to employment discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and contract administration.

Attorneys in our Real Estate and Construction Groups are available to assist growing technology clients with developing and acquiring the land and facilities they need. They also specialize in Integrated Project Delivery in particular with large technology campus construction projects. Lastly, our Insurance Recovery Practice advocate on behalf of our clients to obtain coverage for a wide range of incidents.

Technology Procurement

Hanson Bridgett attorneys routinely negotiate complex system-integration contracts involving the licensing of multiple technologies, and we regularly advise our clients on the contractual interplay between IP indemnities, software warranties, and licensing/maintenance agreements that arise in multi-vendor projects. We are often involved from the inception of these projects, and advise our clients through the original procurement process, contract negotiation, and contract administration.

Hanson Bridgett’s government practice attorneys are expert in helping our clients protect their valuable intellectual property when contracting with government entities. Particularly when the customer is a government agency and a project is funded with public funds, special rules may apply that could impact confidentiality and intellectual property rights. Finally, Hanson Bridgett attorneys are expert at prosecuting and defending bid protests pertaining to government contracts and can help make sure that your firm is treated fairly and allowed to compete on an even playing field for government contracts.


Our lawyers have specialized experience in the defense of environmental crimes, including responding to subpoenas, target letters and other government inquiries, designing and conducting privileged internal investigations, negotiating pre-filing resolutions, and trying cases. We work with highly qualified technical experts to interpret complex scientific and engineering issues in environmental cases and to explain those issues to prosecutors (when requesting a non-prosecution decision), or judges and juries (when the case goes to trial). We understand the intricacies of environmental permits, environmental data, and the overlapping laws, regulations and guidance documents used by the U.S. EPA and state environmental agencies to prosecute organizations and individuals.

Our team conducts internal investigations in response to government enforcement actions, whistleblower accusations, and internal corporate inquiries. We work closely with in-house counsel and executives to articulate the specific objectives of the investigation and keep it on track. We have conducted internal investigations during complex parallel proceedings, while representing the company and its employees (pursuant to a joint defense agreement), for companies who have hired counsel for individual employees facing potential prosecution, and in many other challenging situations.

We have experience handling filed criminal cases in federal and state court, having litigated against U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the Department of Justice, numerous California District Attorneys’ Offices, and the California Attorney General’s Office.

Environmental Crimes

Our lawyers have handled all aspects of environmental criminal cases under numerous federal and state laws. For example, we have defended clients against criminal prosecutions under the federal Clean Water Act for alleged unlawful discharges to waters of the United States, false reporting, and unlawful dredging and filling. We have also represented companies and individuals facing prosecution under the California Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act for alleged violations of municipal and storm water permits and unlawful discharges to water bodies. We have defended cases involving protected species and habitat, management and disposal of hazardous materials and waste, air emissions and releases, and risk assessment and emergency planning. We have successfully defended a company for alleged violations of hazardous waste laws and laws prohibiting the international export of hazardous waste. Our expertise spans all environmental media and numerous industry sectors.

We have defended companies facing parallel proceedings (criminal, civil and administrative) initiated by federal, state and local agencies after a major environmental incident. We help companies balance the interests of full and complete cooperation with the protection of individual rights, to ensure the provision of accurate information to investigators in stressful and fast-moving situations.

Representative environmental criminal matters:

  • Represented public agency in federal criminal investigation of alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and reporting laws. No charges were filed.
  • Represented company and its employees in federal criminal investigation of alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act relating to the importation and sale of listed species. No charges were filed.
  • Represented individual in federal criminal investigation of alleged violations of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for unlawful filling in waters of the United States. No charges were filed.
  • Represented company in action by District Attorney alleging unlawful disposal of hazardous waste. Resolved case via civil settlement.
  • Represented company in action by District Attorney alleging violations of the California Accidental Release Prevention program. Resolved case via civil settlement.
  • Represented individual in state criminal prosecution for alleged taking of listed species. Charges were dismissed.
  • Represented individual in federal Clean Water Act prosecution for alleged falsification of reports and unlawful discharges to water. Negotiated resolution of case and reduction in Sentencing Guidelines calculation based on ambiguities in discharge permit.
  • Represented individual in state prosecution for overfishing. Probation granted.
  • Represented chemical company in parallel criminal/civil and state/federal investigation for labeling and marketing violations under pesticide laws. Resolved case via misdemeanor plea.
  • Represented employee in investigation and prosecution under the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships for alleged dumping of oil in ocean. Case was dismissed.
  • Represented a smelting company and its president in investigation and prosecution by the U.S. Department of Justice under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and international export laws for alleged illegal transport and export of hazardous waste and illegal dumping of hazardous waste. Obtained jury acquittals of all defendants after a six week trial.
  • Represented an irrigation district and five individuals in investigation and prosecution by the U.S. Attorney under Sarbanes Oxley and fraud statutes alleging that district had filed false records of water deliveries with the United States. Charges were dismissed after motions filed.
  • Represented a state political subdivision against federal criminal charges by the U.S. Attorney for alleged retaliation against alleged whistle blowing employees, who had reported falsification of records to an agency of the United States and were subsequently terminated by the political subdivision. Case was dismissed after presentation to prosecutor.
  • Represented an Air Force general officer against allegations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of covering up a release of highly radioactive material into the atmosphere. No charges were filed.

Internal Investigations

A successful internal investigation requires the early identification of goals, development of an investigative plan with in-house counsel and/or company executives, careful management of the investigation to ensure it stays on track, retention of specialized professionals when necessary, and completing the investigation quickly and cost-effectively. Our expertise in the criminal arena includes investigations of alleged environmental crimes, reporting violations, obstruction of justice, financial fraud, and public corruption.

Representative internal investigations and audits:

  • Conducted internal investigation of alleged air violations made by internal whistleblower and provided recommendations for improved compliance protocols for major company.
  • Conducted internal investigation for quasi-governmental agency under federal investigation by U.S. EPA for alleged Clean Water Act violations while coordinating joint defense with counsel for executives and managers facing potential felony prosecution.
  • Conducted internal investigation for quasi-governmental agency under state investigation for alleged water and species violations while representing organization and employees under joint defense agreement.
  • Conducted internal investigation for company after major air release of chemical in preparation for negotiations with District Attorney’s Office, U.S. EPA, Air Quality Management District, neighboring company, and injured individual.
  • Conducted multi-facility audit for biotechnology company regarding possible violations of environmental laws governing use and reporting of chemicals, and developed reporting strategy and protocols to minimize potential penalties.
  • Designed and conducted periodic facility audits for submittal to U.S. EPA, U.S. DOJ, and private adverse company under federal, state, and local emergency planning, worker safety and hazardous materials management laws, as well as applicable safety and building codes.
  • Conducted extensive confidential internal investigation while under indictment for alleged activities of 50 employees that resulted in erroneous records being filed with an agency of the United States regarding water deliveries at a federal reclamation project.
  • Conducted extensive privileged internal investigation while under threat of prosecution by U.S. Attorney regarding termination of 25 employees who were identified as whistleblowers in a federal prosecution.
  • Conducted an internal investigation of release of highly radioactive material to the atmosphere in response to threatened charges from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a U.S. Senate Subcommittee investigation of the release.
  • Conducted an investigation of the alleged illegal dumping of hazardous waste in several dozen areas of a northern California city in response to potential charges by state agencies of illegal dumping.

Hanson Bridgett is one of the nation's premier law firms for public transit providers, providing the full complement of legal services across the state. No other California law firm can match our expertise in helping to keep buses, trains, ferries, and other means of public transportation in operation.

Public transportation serves as an essential link for people to get to work, buy groceries, receive medical help, and attain other basic services. Hanson Bridgett holds a unique status as legal counsel for many of the Bay Area's public transit agencies and transportation authorities. We serve as general counsel for many of the region's transit providers and support in-house legal offices in the Bay Area and beyond, stepping in to handle major, complicated, or controversial issues.

Our Services

As general counsel, we advise clients on their day-to-day functions and transactions, from the operations of a board to service decisions and the development of policies. We also do litigation and labor and employment work for transit agencies, assisting them with negotiations, discipline, and other issues.

Public transit agencies are highly regulated, and we assist our clients in complying with local, state, and federal rules that arise in an array of scenarios, including contract negotiation and management, procurement of equipment and services, and reallocation of resources. With our decades of experience, we know the changes, nuances, and practical applications of the rules and regulations, enabling us to work swiftly and efficiently. Over the years, we have gained invaluable credibility, especially when agencies receiving federal grants undergo periodic audits.

As special counsel to transit providers with in-house counsel, we assist clients with major infrastructure projects, labor, litigation, investigations, civil rights compliance, and other issues. We supplement our services with Hanson Bridgett lawyers who focus primarily on labor, construction, and other areas and lend their expertise when needed.

Our firm has a national reputation as an authority on public transit, and our lawyers often are asked to speak about compliance with federal regulations.

Public Transportation Initiatives

Here are examples of projects with which we've assisted our clients.

  • Golden Gate Bridge seismic retrofit, moveable median barrier, suicide deterrent system, and electronic toll collection system
  • Rail corridor acquisitions and BART extensions
  • Regional and high-speed rail planning
  • Regional fare systems
  • Bus rapid transit projects
  • Design-build and transit-oriented development projects
  • Civil rights and transportation funding litigation
  • Electrification infrastructure and zero-emission fleet acquisition
  • Express lane construction and project financing
  • Creation, adoption, and implementation of local and regional taxes

Areas of Expertise

We advise our clients on the full spectrum of legal areas, including the following:

  • State and federal civil rights laws compliance and litigation, including ADA, Title VI, and First Amendment
  • Contracts and procurement processes,including Buy America; DBE programs; cooperative procurements; technology contracts; maintenance; and rolling stock purchases for bus, train, and ferry
  • Transit service and safety regulations for buses, ferries, railroads, shuttles, vanpools, and taxis, among others
  • Employee benefits programs and tax considerations
  • Environmental laws, including CEQA and NEPA
  • Ethics training and compliance
  • Federal and state funding grant administration and audits
  • Insurance and indemnity
  • Joint exercise of powers and other intergovernmental agreements
  • Protection of intellectual property and privacy
  • Legislative drafting
  • Labor and Employment Law, including 13(c) labor protection claims, negotiations, and employee discipline
  • Infrastructure projects, including transit-oriented development, joint development projects, public-private partnerships, and design-build

Representative Clients

  • Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District
  • San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans)
  • Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (Caltrain)
  • San Mateo County Transportation Authority
  • Central Contra Costa Transit Authority (County Connection)
  • Metropolitan Transportation Commission
  • Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink)
  • Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)
  • Santa Cruz Metro Transit District

Hanson Bridgett delivers the breadth and depth of experience needed to defend businesses faced with complex product liability litigation and mass tort claims. We have successfully navigated our clients through and beyond a wide assortment of product liability, toxic and mass tort, premises liability, negligence, and fraud claims involving catastrophic injuries, property damage, trespass, transportation incidents, and industrial accidents. We maintain a proven track record of successful results with uniquely California claims, such as those based on California’s Proposition 65, California’s unfair competition law, and Business & Professions Code section 17200. We have resolved lawsuits pertaining to warranties, product labeling, and advertising including claims brought under the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and false advertising-related class actions.

Our team is known for big picture strategies, outstanding judgement, and honed crisis management skills. Whether our clients require an effective communication strategy or a formidable defense, we are dedicated to positioning them to minimize exposure, leverage opportunity, protect their bottom line, and safeguard their image. No matter what a client needs, we understand that a lawsuit involves critical business decisions. From the onset of a claim, we work with our clients to develop a macro strategy that not only resolves their dispute, but also is grounded in business-oriented and practical solutions that conserve financial resources.

Hanson Bridgett brings big law talent and experience at more competitive market costs. Many lawyers beyond state lines select us for their California-based product liability and tort matters because of our reputation for excellence and trustworthiness. We have broad experience in serving as both regional and national coordinating counsel, and are skilled in assembling teams of attorneys, experts, and investigators to respond to emergencies anywhere they arise. In addition, we have the resources to manage and analyze large amounts of data and we are accustomed to using technology to develop and work up cases. We have developed a product liability and tort litigation model that streamlines the litigation process and keeps our clients informed about the strategy, status, and direction of their cases.

The name Hanson Bridget means quality in California and beyond. When the future of a business is on the line, having a law firm that the courts consider reliable is a major advantage. We know the California bench. And because our firm has maintained its independence and has been practicing on the local level for almost sixty years, they know us in return. Our statewide and local know-how with regional benches allows us to assist lawyers and businesses outside of the state with their California matters. We monitor emerging trends involving legal, medical, and scientific issues and apply these developments in creative ways to help our clients achieve their objectives.

Hanson Bridgett uses its versatility to protect its clients and their brands. While we start with the premise that every case may result in a trial, we are always on the lookout for alternative methods to resolution. Our lawyers are highly adept in handling arbitrations, mediations, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, and we utilize these tools when necessary and appropriate. Depending on our clients’ needs and input, we adapt our time-tested litigation models to fit the situation at hand. In addition to defending cases, we work with our clients to develop strategies for risk management and prevention, litigation management, insurance recovery, third-party indemnification and debt collection, government and media relations, and technology and intellectual property issues.

Our team is also involved in proactive legal strategy designed to avert a potential liability suit altogether. We have acted as high level strategic advisers to manufacturers and insurers, providing a resource for complex risk analysis, project management, due diligence, and strategic initiatives to promote procedural change and tactical direction. In addition, we understand what it takes to execute a successful recall and to resolve a contentious licensing problem. We consistently strive to protect our clients from potential lawsuits resulting from new technologies and/or evolving government regulations, as well as work diligently to analyze possible liability throughout the development and launch of new products.

Areas of Expertise

We deliver specialized industry expertise and product-specific intelligence, and have resolved cases involving:

  • Adhesives
  • Agricultural and industrial chemicals
  • Aircraft
  • Asbestos
  • Automobiles and other motor vehicles
  • Bicycles
  • Boats
  • Buses
  • Children’s products and toys
  • Cleaning products
  • Computer equipment and technology
  • Construction machinery and equipment
  • Consumer products
  • Firearms
  • Food, beverage, and cosmetics
  • Household and consumer goods
  • Industrial machinery and equipment
  • Medical devices
  • Personal watercraft
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Power tools
  • Sports equipment
  • Swimming pool equipment
  • Transportation devices and equipment


Our trust and estate litigation group is uniquely qualified to represent fiduciaries and beneficiaries in all types of disputes. Our group combines the advocacy skills of experienced trial lawyers with the specialized tax and administration knowledge of our estate planning and probate attorneys. This integration of litigation and planning administration resources gives the group unsurpassed ability to analyze and address every aspect of trust and estate litigation.

We regularly represent both charitable and individual beneficiaries under trusts and wills, corporate and individual trustees of charitable and family trusts, executors of estates, fiduciaries' counsel, and persons with claims against trust or probate estates. We have experience in:

  • Will and trust contests
  • Proceedings to interpret ambiguous provisions
  • Defense and prosecution of breaches of fiduciary duty
  • Elder financial abuse claims
  • Estate planning and administration legal malpractice litigation  
  • Actions to remove fiduciaries
  • Disputes concerning no-contest clauses
  • Suits to invalidate gifts to "prohibited transferees" under Probate Code §21350
  • Cy pres actions  
  • Claims arising out of third-party transactions with decedents and fiduciaries

We have extensive experience representing charities to preserve their bequests and to set aside invalid instruments that would deprive them of gifts they should receive. Our attorneys have litigated numerous issues concerning the validity of donative transfers, including due execution, testamentary capacity, undue influence, fraud, mistake, drafting attorney's conflicts of interests, prohibited transfers under Probate Code §21350 and forgery. We have successfully litigated several such cases through trial and at the appellate level. We also have assisted our clients in achieving favorable settlements in multiple other cases.

We are acutely aware of the financial and emotional impact that trust and estate disputes have on institutions and families alike. We therefore maintain a close working relationship with each of our clients throughout the litigation process to ensure that we understand their priorities and involve them in important strategic decisions. Together, we actively weigh the risks and benefits of the available alternatives. We also recognize the significant burdens imposed on fiduciaries today. We not only have the qualifications to litigate aggressively in that area, but also to resolve disputes without resort to the courts and to provide advice that prevents disputes. When representing a corporate fiduciary, we enjoy working closely with in-house counsel to achieve the institution's goal.

Controlling litigation costs is a necessity. We provide added value with our expertise in employing the means for sharing or shifting those costs whenever possible. From the start, we identify whether a group of beneficiaries exists with sufficient common interests to warrant joint representation. We are also pro-active in preserving and protecting fiduciaries' ability to have a trust or probate estate pay their legal expenses or, when representing beneficiaries, preventing the estate's depletion through the payment of attorney's fees.

Similarly, our insight into the tax ramifications of any disputed matter—another function of the synergy between our trial lawyers and estate planning and probate attorneys—sets us apart. In resolving disputes, we not only seek to negotiate the most beneficial substantive terms, but also to structure settlements to maximize tax savings. Our effective use of these tools has often been critical in achieving favorable results for our clients.


We are widely regarded as one of the preeminent health and senior care real estate law firms in California. Our attorneys provide comprehensive transactional and litigation services across a broad range of practice areas and are supported through close collaboration and integration with multi-disciplinary colleagues in the firm. This includes those with experience in construction, regulatory compliance, business transactions, labor and employment and tax.


  • Real estate transactions and litigation
  • Health care and senior housing & care
  • Joint ventures and entity formation
  • Financing
  • Acquisition and disposition
  • Leasing
  • Development
  • Environmental review and impact mitigation
  • Land use planning
  • Entitlements
  • CEQA and NEPA compliance
  • Design and construction
  • Federal and state permitting

Representative Work

  • Development of a $168 million, 250K square-foot San Francisco medical office building under an airspace lease, construction of an underground parking garage and pedestrian tunnel, and creation of associated reciprocal easements
  • Ground leasing and leaseback of multi-story California medical office buildings, construction of associated parking structures. and preparation of reciprocal parking arrangements
  • Preparation of a bid document, project management agreements, and design build agreements for multiple design build public hospitals
  • Advised a senior care facility in Orange County regarding an environmental indemnity agreement required as a loan condition
  • Acquired six skilled nursing facilities in Texas and California for a total purchase price of $100 million.
  • A $144 million loan restructuring transaction involving 31 properties nationwide, with HUD approval of the purchase and subsequent sale of four senior care communities
  • A $160 million construction loan for a high-rise, mixed-use condominium project in San Jose
  • Litigated claims pertaining to purchase and sale agreements, including disputes regarding amounts due and property ownership
  • Successfully resolved $14 million delay and impact claims for a public hospital campus owner involving design and construction of an emergency room, a catheterization lab, and radiology facilities through mediation

Our health care practice is one of California's largest, having assisted providers in every segment of the health care industry with their legal needs for more than 65 years.

Health care is a complex and competitive field. As recognized experts in the issues that confront our clients, our attorneys are routinely called upon to serve clients in a wide variety of capacities. These include forming health provider entities; assisting in the business and regulatory aspects of mergers, acquisitions, and affiliations; obtaining and maintaining clients' tax exemptions; negotiating with payors; and advising providers regarding the myriad laws regulating and restricting their ability to do business with other providers, payors, and vendors.

A substantial part of our practice involves issues arising from our clients' operations. Examples are the state licensing laws and Medicare and Medi-Cal certification standards governing health care facilities; the privacy and security of electronic health information; compliance with federal and state laws prohibiting illegal referral fee arrangements, and advising regarding scope of practice issues.


  • Corporate issues
  • Tax and tax exemption matters at federal and state levels
  • Tax-exempt bond financing
  • Licensure
  • Medicare and Medi-Cal certification
  • Fraud and abuse
  • Compliance plans
  • Americans with Disabilities Act matters
  • Professional contracts
  • Managed care contracting
  • Physician recruitment
  • Payment/reimbursement
  • Ancillary health services
  • Medical staff credentialing, peer review, and QA activities
  • Patient care issues
  • Vendor relations
  • Health information privacy and security
  • Labor, employment, executive compensation, and employee benefits

Representative Clients

  • Hospitals and hospital systems
  • Physician groups
  • Behavioral health providers
  • Medical staffs
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Federally qualified health centers
  • Home health agencies
  • Hospices
  • Air ambulance companies
  • Health industry trade associations
  • Integrated delivery systems


As part of the construction industry's leading edge, our Chambers USA Band 1 ranked Construction Group delivers tailored solutions to serve our clients' business goals. Whether negotiating a state-of-the-art project or resolving a contentious dispute, our attorneys draw from a deep base of experience and a genuine passion for the design and construction industry to pragmatically apply best practices while serving clients’ interests regionally, nationally, or internationally.

In this dynamic field, we understand that not every project ends well and aggressive advocacy is sometimes required. We have prosecuted and defended major construction claims, including delay, loss of efficiency, default termination, surety, licensing, mechanics' lien, and stop notice claims.

We also know how to leverage technology and AI to efficiently analyze and manage the vast quantities of digital information generated on a modern construction project. Further, we understand that insurance often plays a central role in construction disputes and we have considerable experience with construction insurance coverage and indemnity claims. These include general liability, errors and omissions, builders risk, OCIP/CCIP, subcontractor default, and environmental contamination claims. We also recognize that disputes are often best resolved without litigation, and have long used mediation and arbitration successfully, when appropriate.

Our Construction Group is complemented by attorneys in the firm’s related groups, including labor and employment, business, environmental, real estate, insurance recovery, general litigation, and public agency. This close collaboration allows the firm to provide a broad spectrum of specialized legal services tailored to the construction industry.


•    Highway and light rail
•    Tunnels and pipelines
•    Hospital and health care
•    Clean and waste water treatment
•    Educational and government
•    Coastal and marine
•    Geotechnical and environmental
•    Commercial and industrial
•    Sustainability practice with LEED®-accredited professionals
•    High-density residential

Our attorneys have also helped develop processes and standards for Building Information Modeling (BIM), Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), and Lean Construction. Along with sustainability, these are among the most significant developments in the AEC industry. We also have significant experience in other alternative project delivery systems such as design-build and public/private partnerships (P3).

Representative Clients

These include public and private owners, general contractors, architects, engineers, and specialty subcontractors, some of which are ENR Top 100 contractors and ENR Top 50 designers.

•    ABB, Inc
•    Airco Mechanical, Inc.
•    Auburn Constructors, Inc.
•    Autodesk, Inc.
•    Build Group, Inc.
•    California Department of General Services
•    Cook Children's Hospital
•    East Bay Municipal Water District
•    Fremont-Rideout Health Group
•    Frank M. Booth, Inc.
•    Golden Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District
•    Haworth
•    HDR Architecture & Engineering
•    HOK
•    J.F. Shea Construction, Inc.
•    KCS West, Inc.
•    Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.
•    Kingston Construction
•    Knife River Corporation
•    Lawrence & Memorial Hospital
•    MaineGeneral Healthcare
•    Myers & Sons Construction
•    Otto Construction
•    Prologis
•    Roebbelen Contracting, Inc.
•    ROMA Design Group
•    Royal Electric Company
•    San Mateo County Transit District
•    S.D. Deacon Corp. of California
•    State of California, Department of Corrections
•    Sutter Health
•    Syblon Reid
•    Teichert Aggregates
•    Teichert Construction
•    Terra Insurance Company
•    Tsakopoulos Investments
•    UCSF Medical Center
•    URS Corporation 

California Women in Design + Construction™ Forums (CWDC)

CWDC is an organization of professional women in the design and construction industry that hosts forums to discuss relevant topics and to provide networking opportunities. CWDC was developed by Lisa Dal Gallo, who is advised by a leading group of women executives in the field. For more information, please contact Lisa Dal Gallo.

Our attorneys regularly defend complex class, collective and PAGA employment actions. We exclusively handle management-side litigation for small and large employers.

Class actions are operationally disruptive for employers and can be financially devastating. To that end, we recognize the value of early alternative dispute procedures, and, when appropriate, use them effectively to accomplish our clients’ goals of early resolution.

On a daily basis, we collaborate with our clients to develop lawful practices and policies that will withstand challenges in class, collective, and PAGA actions. We also leverage our breadth of knowledge and extensive experience to advise clients effectively on risk management and class action avoidance strategies, such as training and compliance audits tailored to their specific industries. We make it a point to know our clients’ industries, dedicating the resources necessary to understand their particular business practices, find solutions to the daily operational issues they face, and bring to the forefront the implications of any legal claims.

Relevant Experience

  • State wage-and-hour class actions and federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective actions involving misclassification claims, overtime pay, bonus pay, regular rates of pay, reimbursement claims, and off-the-clock claims, such as donning/doffing claims
  • Meal and rest break class and representative actions that allege CA Labor Code violations and seek multiple penalties, such as wage statement and waiting time penalties
  • Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) representative actions and claims alleging violations of the CA Unfair Competition Law
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class actions challenging background check forms used by employers
  • Pattern-and-practice class actions alleging discrimination, harassment and equal pay claims brought under the CA Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the CA Labor Code, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), and the Equal Pay Act
  • Class actions challenging reductions-in-force and layoffs under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Title VII and FEHA
  • Civil rights defense under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Titles II and III, the California Disabled Persons Act, the Fair Housing Act, FEHA housing discrimination, the Unruh Act, Title VI, and Title IX
  • Retirement benefits class actions and privacy claims brought under federal and state constitutions


Hanson Bridgett delivers specialized expertise in appellate law.
Our Appellate attorneys promptly evaluate cases, identify the issues that will attract an appellate court’s attention, prepare accurate, thoughtful, and persuasive briefs, and deliver influential oral arguments. Our briefs and oral arguments not only convince the court that our client’s position is right, but often result in precedent for future cases. Hanson Bridgett’s Appellate lawyers provide the breadth of experience, talent, and recognized skill to handle even the most complex and challenging appeal. We handle appeals in all areas of civil law for a wide variety of clients and industries.

We know the appellate court system throughout California and beyond.
Our Appellate practice group maintains a stellar record of favorable results before the California Supreme Court and in every district of the California Court of Appeal. We also successfully handle cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and we have submitted briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court. Among appellate court judges, Hanson Bridgett’s Appellate practice has earned a reputation for the highest quality advocacy. In addition, the personal relationships our attorneys have forged over decades of practice and throughout the appellate community creates instant credibility when representing clients on appeal. We know the justices, and we understand how their past decisions and views are likely to impact rulings in individual cases. This, in turn, allows us to tailor our strategy and our briefs to maximize our clients’ chances of success.

We advise on every facet of appellate law and procedure.
Our team has successfully prosecuted and opposed petitions for certiorari, review, rehearing, mandamus, and other emergency relief. Our lawyers have briefed and argued important issues in nearly every major area of civil law and can address all aspects of an appeal. Clients with cases that present unsettled legal questions or issues of widespread importance are often well served by amicus briefs. We have prepared meaningful amicus briefs and regularly coordinate successful amicus campaigns for our clients.

Preparation for an appeal begins at the onset of litigation.
Our Appellate attorneys are skilled at preserving issues during trial and preparing cases for appeal. We routinely consult with trial teams from the inception of the dispute, through pre-trial, trial, and post-trial motion practice. In this way, as trial lawyers are putting on their best case before the judge and jury, we are helping them build their trial record for the best possible results on appeal.

In addition to being excellent counselors, we are practical.
Our Appellate lawyers do not get overly caught up in legal arguments that can become so erudite that common sense or real-world pragmatism goes by the wayside. We understand the goals of our clients without overreaching, and never lose sight of the fact that we represent real people and entities facing tangible and serious consequences. We keep this in mind in everything we do, and strive to advance arguments that are not only inspiring, but also grounded in practical realities.


Check out our Appellate Blog:

Appellate Insight


During this unprecedented time of uncertainty and turmoil in the capital markets, supply chains, service industries, retail world, health industry, travel industry, and overall business environment, there is no “business as usual.” Individuals and businesses need guidance in addressing the many unique and complex issues that have suddenly arisen as a result of enforced business shutdowns and “shelter-at-home” directives, as well as all of the new legislation, including the stimulus package. They find themselves trying to understand how to interpret contract terms in light of these changing circumstances and determine their rights, obligations, and remedies. The attorneys of the Hanson Bridgett Business Disruption Strategies Group have extensive experience analyzing, interpreting, drafting, enforcing, and negotiating solutions within the context of commercial and real estate contracts. We have experience with the issues unique to an early-stage start-up business and its founder(s) as well as the multiple complex issues that large established companies face in dealing with issues associated with their workforce, bankers, vendors, suppliers, customers, brand, and reputation. Our combined experience guarantees that the Business Disruption Strategies Group attorneys will efficiently and effectively provide you and your business with the guidance necessary to stay in front of the quickly changing business environment we are all facing as we collectively work to contain and minimize the effects of COVID-19 on our families, companies, employees, business associates, customers, suppliers, and lenders.

We advise businesses in virtually all industries and sectors in a wide variety of areas, including:

  • Bankruptcy and insolvency
  • Real estate
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Asset dispositions
  • Corporate restructuring
  • Privacy
  • Labor and employment law
  • Employee benefits
  • Equity and debt finance
  • Tax
  • Securities
  • Private equity
  • Venture capital
  • Workforce health and health care.

Our attorneys advise individuals, businesses, real estate owners and a wide array of investors in legal matters related to the cannabis industry in California. We provide instrumental counsel and guidance to clients looking to ensure that their cannabis/cannabis related businesses operate in full compliance with applicable state and local law. Our attorneys serve as outside general counsel for many of the industry’s leaders and have successfully assisted our clients in obtaining necessary permits, approvals and licenses throughout the State of California.

Clients Served
Our clients in the cannabis industry include the full spectrum of businesses and related concerns. Our experienced attorneys have worked with virtually every type of business in this burgeoning industry ranging from land owners to cannabis retail dispensaries, cultivation facilities, distributors, manufacturers, medical offices, processors and ancillary technologies. In particular, our clients include:

  • Dispensary owners and operators
  • Real estate owners
  • Cultivators
  • Real estate developers 
  • Agriculture 
  • Distributors
  • Biotech companies
  • Manufacturers (equipment and consumer products)
  • Management companies 
  • Software and ancillary technology companies 
  • Non storefront retailers
  • Medical and health care providers
  • Angel, venture capital and private equity investors 
  • Family offices
  • Non-profits, co-ops and collectives
  • Advocacy groups

Legal Services Provided
We advise clients in the cannabis and cannabis related industries on matters ranging from business formation, permitting and licensing to M&A and public offerings. Specifically, we provide comprehensive legal guidance on the following matters:

  • Permitting and licensing at the local and state level
  • Choice of entity/business formation (including Benefit Corps) and structuring
  • Tax (federal, state and local)
  • Real estate (acquisitions, lending, development, leasing, management) 
  • Angel/venture investments 
  • Securities (private placements and public offerings) 
  • Debt financing 
  • M&A 
  • Intellectual property 
  • Health law 
  • Senior care law 
  • Executive compensation 
  • Labor and employment 
  • Construction 
  • Litigation 
  • Data security
  • Land use
  • Administrative appeals/litigation
  • Regulatory compliance

Hanson Bridgett attorneys have represented businesses in the cannabis and cannabis related industries since 2008. As this area continues to develop we are proud to serve as outside general counsel to some of the leading cannabis related startups in the State, as well as established companies. We believe in supporting this industry at all levels and are proud supporters of advocacy and business groups focused on the industry such as NORML, California Growers Association and CannaAngels. 

There is a divergence between Federal law and California’s state and local laws regarding the legality of the production, distribution and sales of cannabis.  Compliance with California and local law is not a defense to a Federal charge or indictment.

The corporate practice group is comprised of experienced attor­neys who assist businesses in meeting their goals by providing sophisticated, astute, and practical legal advice. Our attorneys focus primarily on advising public and private corpo­rations, limited liability companies, partnerships, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit institutions.

We are experienced in the areas of choice of entity and business formation issues, mergers, acquisitions and dispositions, securities offerings, compliance and reporting, financing of all kinds, venture capital transactions, corporate and entity governance, international and cross border transactions, tax, and day-to-day legal representation for individuals and entities of all sizes. We also advise clients with regard to franchising and distributorship, shareholder disputes, corporate successorship, intra-family planning issues, antitrust, and anti-competitive practices.

Our knowledge and expertise assures you that we will effectively advise you regarding the benefits and risks of your transaction and provide you with creative solutions in order to meet your objectives. We make every effort to accomplish the transactions pursued by our clients effectively and efficiently.

Our clients come from diverse sections of the economy including banks and other financial institutions, hospitals, retailers, restaurants, retirement facilities, managed care companies, colleges and universities, technology companies, designers, manufacturers, licensors and standards associations, trade and professional associations, charities, agriculture companies and cooperatives, religious organizations, theaters and entertainers, transportation providers, telecommunications, energy, multimedia, foreign sales corporations, export trading companies, architects, construction, apparel, hospitality providers, landlords, venture capitalists, reprographics, government and other public agencies, and commercial real estate. Our clients consist of both for-profit and nonprofit institutions.

Specific Areas of Expertise

  • Entity Formation
  • Financing
  • General Advice and Transactional Work
  • Securities Offerings
  • Securities Reporting and Regulation
  • Governance of Corporations and Other Entities
  • Tax Services
  • Foreign Account Disclosures
  • International and Cross-Border Transactions
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Emerging Companies and Venture Financing


Employee benefits and compensation issues can be complicated and costly for employers. Our Employee Benefits Group handles all types of qualified retirement plans, employee benefits issues that arise in business transactions, executive and equity compensation issues, fiduciary responsibility and welfare plan issues. The Employee Benefits Group relies on its relationship with clients and its depth and diversity of experience to work closely with our clients to develop creative and practical solutions.

Resources of the Firm

In advising our clients, the Employee Benefits Group draws on attorneys from other disciplines within the firm relevant to benefit matters, including tax counsel and corporate counsel. Thus, we offer the broad spectrum of legal experience essential to proper representation in employee benefits matters.

Areas of Expertise

Our Group advises clients on the laws governing retirement and welfare benefits and executive compensation, including ERISA, tax, labor and securities laws. We are conversant with all aspects of the design and administration of retirement plans (including 401(k)s and ESOPs), executive compensation, cafeteria plans, health benefit plans (including cost containment issues), employment agreements, early retirement incentive programs, change-in-control counseling, and the legal aspects of investment of plan assets.

We offer our clients full coverage in the employee benefits and executive compensation specialties, including:

  • Retirement Plans. This area includes 401(k) plans, pension plans, profit-sharing plans, 403(b) plans and other funded retirement plans, including religious and governmental plans. We advise on the design issues for plans, draft the plan documents, assist with contracts with investment managers and service providers, consult on plan administration and nondiscrimination testing, obtain determination letters from the Internal Revenue Service, monitor changing laws and regulations and assist with qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs).
  • Fiduciary Responsibility and Liability.  We counsel clients on the responsibility and liability associated with their roles as fiduciaries with respect to employee benefit plans. We provide counseling regarding prohibited transactions, fiduciary training, procedures for decision-making and investment policies.
  • M&A and Restructuring Transactions.  In mergers, sales or acquisitions of businesses, we offer "diligence" review of employee benefit matters and participation in negotiating and drafting the agreement between the parties. We advise our clients throughout the transition period associated with any merger, sale or acquisition.
  • Executive and Equity Compensation.  We advise clients in matters involving various compensation programs, including stock option, stock purchase and phantom stock plans, other equity incentive programs, deferred compensation arrangements, supplemental retirement and excess benefit plans, plans for outside directors and other prerequisites. We prepare employment agreements, severance agreements and assist in establishing trusts used to fund payments under any such agreement. We also advise clients regarding change in control issues involving golden parachutes.
  • Welfare Plans.  We assist clients with health care plans, group insurance (such as life and disability insurance plans), “cafeteria plans,” severance pay plans, post-retirement insurance programs, and the mechanisms for funding any of these plans. We also advise clients on compliance with the Affordable Care Act, health care coverage continuation requirements of COBRA, the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”).
  • Healthcare.  We advise clients on preferred-provider organizations (PPOs), employer-sponsored provider networks, managed-care arrangements and other responses to rising health care costs.
  • Tax and Estate Planning.  In conjunction with our Estate Planning and Tax Groups, we advise individuals on how to deal with beneficiary designations, benefit distributions, IRA rollovers, income and estate tax elections, and the related planning opportunities.
  • Benefit Claims and Litigation.  We have diverse experience in advising clients regarding claims made against employee benefit plans. We also offer litigation and arbitration experience in matters involving disputes of claims and fiduciary liability.

Hanson Bridgett’s environmental lawyers possess broad experience in many areas of environmental and natural resources law, while also offering highly specialized expertise in water law, contaminated property cleanup and development, environmental crimes and investigations, air quality compliance and defense, and physical and regulatory takings. We assist our private and governmental clients in defending civil and criminal actions by environmental agencies, perfecting and enforcing water rights, ensuring just compensation for regulatory and physical government takings, and conducting effective due diligence during real estate transactions and development projects. We help our clients avoid regulatory pitfalls and implement practical solutions to environmental problems, leveraging decades of combined hands-on experience in the courtroom, boardroom and hearing room.

Our highly specialized expertise includes:

Water Law

Our lawyers have significant experience representing individuals, private companies, and governmental agencies in water rights and water resources matters. Our clients include ranchers, farmers, developers, urban water suppliers, and irrigation and reclamation districts in California and the western United States. We advise our clients regarding water curtailment and conservation orders and regulations in times of drought. We also adjudicate water rights before agencies and courts, work with federal water masters under existing federal river decrees, acquire water rights from states, and advise clients regarding the reconveyance of appropriative and riparian rights. Our trial lawyers have defended and prosecuted class action lawsuits to protect existing water rights and litigated Petitions for Review before the State Water Resources Control Board. In this era of restricted water resources, our team’s highly specialized expertise is critical to our clients’ continued operation and success.

We also assist clients with water pollution compliance and enforcement defense, handling cases involving CWA Section 404 permits for dredging and filling in waters of the United States, actions by the U.S. EPA and state agencies to enforce water pollution permits and regulations (NPDES, pretreatment and stormwater), and citizen suits alleging permit or statutory violations. We have strong relationships and open lines of communication with water enforcement agencies (federal, state and local) which allow us to resolve cases quickly and cost-effectively.

Environmental Crimes, Investigations, and Enforcement Defense

Our lawyers have many years of experience defending environmental crimes and conducting investigations for companies and individuals facing potential prosecution or filed charges. Our team includes a former federal and state environmental prosecutor who has critical knowledge of and relationships with prosecutors and enforcement agencies. Also on our team is a former head of environmental law at the U.S. Department of Defense who worked closely with the U.S. Department of Justice on environmental enforcement actions, and who has defended several environmental prosecutions since leaving federal service. We receive most cases before the government has filed charges, helping clients respond to Grand Jury subpoenas, conduct privileged internal investigations, prepare presentations to prosecutors, and negotiate pre-filing resolutions. If charges are already filed, we investigate the case, handle court hearings and trials, and participate in plea negotiations. Our lawyers have tried numerous environmental criminal cases to verdict as both prosecutors and defense attorneys and are adept at all stages of criminal proceedings.

We have also defended hundreds of civil and administrative environmental enforcement actions, whether initiated by government officials or citizens groups. We quickly evaluate the strength of the enforcement case and give pragmatic advice on whether to fight or settle, recognizing that this choice depends in large part on evidentiary issues, business realities, and the estimated cost of defense. When we fight, we fight to win, drawing on the expertise of our skilled trial lawyers, both within our practice group and throughout the firm.

Cleanup and Development of Contaminated Properties

Our lawyers have handled the cleanup and development of complex contaminated sites, including sites listed on the U.S. EPA’s National Priorities List, former military Superfund facilities, properties impacted by solvents and vapor intrusion, sites with leaking underground storage tanks, and many others. We have expertise in selecting consultants and contractors, overseeing legal aspects of the cleanup, and negotiating closure with regulatory agencies. We also advise clients on Brownfields issues, including strategies for using creative legal avenues to manage and limit liability. We work closely with clients to develop an overall strategy that shifts liability where possible and obtains funding for the cleanup, whether from third parties responsible for the contamination, government cleanup funds or insurance proceeds.

Property Transactions

We work closely with developers, landowners, investors, and lenders to reduce or eliminate environmental liability associated with real estate transactions. Because environmental cleanup and compliance costs are often unknown, and have the potential to be greater than the value of the property, rigid approaches to addressing environmental risks can quickly end a deal. By implementing creative legal solutions to address environmental liability, we have protected our clients’ interests while successfully closing hundreds of deals involving properties with environmental issues. To do so, we quickly identify, evaluate, and resolve potential hazardous materials, water availability, wetlands, endangered species, traffic, noise, and construction issues in real property development and acquisitions. This includes participating in the client’s due diligence by analyzing existing environmental documents and Phase 1 Environmental Assessments and, if appropriate, overseeing and analyzing Phase 2 Assessments and other investigations. Where environmental issues arise, we negotiate and document the acquisition and development transactions to minimize and control the client’s risk.

Air Quality

Our lawyers help small businesses as well as large corporations comply with complex air quality regulations at the local, state, and federal levels. Our air quality expertise includes enforcement defense, counseling and permitting assistance, litigation, and advocacy in regulatory and legislative forums. We advise clients regarding California’s mobile and stationary source regulations, the federal Clean Air Act, and California’s greenhouse gas emissions regulations (AB 32). When enforcement actions occur, we have the expertise to respond to alleged violations, having successfully resolved numerous enforcement actions brought by local air districts, the California Air Resources Board, the U.S. EPA, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Proposition 65

Our lawyers have represented clients in Proposition 65 matters since the Proposition’s inception in 1986. We assist clients in litigation, counseling, and negotiations, and represent manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and trade associations in a wide range of industries both inside and outside California.

We recognize that the response to a Proposition 65 notice or lawsuit depends first and foremost on a client’s business objectives, and we develop defense strategies to help clients achieve those objectives. We have handled some of the most significant Proposition 65 cases in California, including the first Proposition 65 case heard by the California Supreme Court and the first trial addressing testing methods for lead under Proposition 65. We have been successful both at trial and on appeal in these cases. At the same time, we pride ourselves on our ability to resolve Proposition 65 cases without litigation, and we work with clients to develop proactive strategies for compliance and to avoid the risk of litigation entirely.

Compliance Counseling, Permitting Assistance, and Regulatory Advocacy

We work with clients and technical consultants to assess and improve our clients’ compliance with environmental laws and regulations governing water quality, air quality, and hazardous materials and waste. We have conducted numerous assessments and audits and produce user-friendly products rather than long legal documents and memoranda. We understand that regulatory compliance depends on effective communication and training at all levels of an organization and is no easy feat for companies operating in heavily regulated jurisdictions like California. The challenges are particularly intense for small companies falling under complex and overlapping regulations but with limited managerial and engineering resources. We know how to work closely with CEOs as well as field and technical employees to help companies use their limited resources wisely to implement cost-effective compliance programs.

We assist our clients in obtaining the local, state, and federal permits necessary to run their operations. In the water quality area, these include NPDES point source discharge and stormwater permits. We also represent clients in obtaining RCRA and other required permits for the operation of hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities. We have helped our clients obtain necessary air permits for the operation of industrial and other commercial facilities.

Our personal working relationships with regulators enable us to raise clients’ issues to the proper level and give us the credibility to advocate our clients’ positions effectively. When appropriate, we team with seasoned lobbyists to provide our clients a powerful combination of substantive expertise and access to the legislative process. We also have positive and productive relationships with numerous regulatory agencies, including the U.S. EPA, the State Water Resources Control Board, and the California Air Resources Board, among many others.

Family Wealth Planning

For more than 60 years, Hanson Bridgett has helped clients realize their goals related to managing and protecting assets via thoughtful and tailored legal advice spanning all aspects of family wealth. Hanson Bridgett's lawyers guide clients in areas such as formulating a comprehensive estate plan, succession planning for family businesses, providing for future generations, protecting vulnerable family members, mitigating taxes where appropriate and planning for charitable giving.

We understand that each client’s situation is unique, and we work closely with individuals and families to help devise a plan that addresses their distinct values and priorities. Our services extend far beyond drafting the basic documents that comprise an estate plan; rather, we develop ongoing relationships with our clients, advising them through changes in tax laws, as well as changes to their lives and priorities, all while helping them navigate family dynamics and other interpersonal challenges inherent in this area of the law.

Our Services

We are versatile in tailoring a plan that is both flexible and suited for each client's particular stage in life, whether planning for a young family, guiding founders through a liquidity event or revisiting priorities as clients welcome grandchildren. We then assist in implementing the plan as a client moves through the stages of life and following death.

We have extensive experience in estate, gift and income tax planning, as well as considerable experience with complex assets, including pre-IPO stock, equity compensation awards, carried interest, concentrated real estate holdings and family businesses. We also regularly counsel clients with unique family situations, such as blended family households.

When the time comes, we assist families with post-death trust and estate administration. We assist our clients as they follow the road map created under the trust agreement, including advising trustees on their fiduciary duties, guiding trustees with respect to the transfer of assets and preparing estate tax returns and other documentation to comply with ever-changing tax laws.

Regardless of the circumstances, we work collaboratively with our clients, their families, our colleagues and outside advisors as necessary to formulate creative and thoughtful approaches to planning for and protecting family wealth and for putting those plans into action.

Our Clients

Our clients include families that our firm has counseled for generations, ushering them through the shifts in local, state, federal and international tax laws. A growing segment of our clientele include those in the sectors of technology, venture capital and private equity, as well as clients who are not U.S. taxpayers or have an increasingly global presence. These situations require sophisticated tax and estate planning, which we provide in collaboration with our firm’s tax group and counsel in foreign jurisdictions.


Our attorneys represent major financial institutions, lenders, mortgage brokers, and other businesses in the finance sector in complex lending and other financial transactions across a broad spectrum of industries. Client service is a core value at Hanson Bridgett. We work hard to understand your business and to become a trusted advisor and a valued partner.

We provide  advice to our financial services clients in the following areas:

  • Appellate
  • Bankruptcy, Creditor’s Rights
  • Financing
  • Commercial Finance
  • Consumer Finance
  • Insurance Recovery
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor & Employment
  • Lending
  • Litigation
  • Loan Documentation
  • Privacy and Cyber-security
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Workouts
  • Trusts & Estates


We represent financial institutions and other lenders as well as borrowers in drafting and negotiating promissory notes, deeds of trust, loan agreements, environmental indemnity agreements, security agreements, and other conventional or special purpose loan documents relating to the acquisition and refinancing of real property, personal property, and business operations. We also negotiate and document line-of-credit and related instruments. We assist our clients in the development of financial and business plans for their businesses and provide advice on alternative debt and equity financing arrangements.


Our lawyers understand financial markets and stay abreast of emerging financial products. We represent lenders and borrowers in the negotiation and documentation of a wide array of loans, workouts, loan restructurings, “mini-perm” and permanent take-out financing, lines of credit, guaranties, and other credit facilities. We structure equity financing joint ventures and hybrid equity/mezzanine financing undertakings. Our attorneys represent lenders in general real estate transactional matters including commercial and retail leasing. We arrange tax-exempted bond financings for our nonprofit clientele. For public sector clients, we specialize in securing project-specific federal and state grant funding.

Bankruptcy and Creditor's Rights

Our attorneys represent commercial creditors and real estate owners and managers in  bankruptcy cases, nationwide. We provide our clients with efficient analysis of bankruptcy proceedings and developments, the requisite economies of scale, and the ability to respond and act quickly.

We provide strategic advice and advocacy when our clients encounter opposing parties in financial distress or insolvency proceedings – including cases under chapters 7, 11, and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, and state court proceedings after an assignment for the benefit of creditors. Notably, Hanson Bridgett offers considerable depth of expertise in bankruptcy cases involving real estate. We resolve time-sensitive cases and disputes involving issues of possession, lease assumption, and rejection. Our goal is to make sure each client is in the most advantageous position possible to address the problems created when a commercial tenant files bankruptcy.

Labor & Employment

Our premier labor and employment practice focuses exclusively on management-side employment law. We partner regularly with clients in the financial services industry to ensure they stay ahead of the fast-changing employment laws in California. Our attorneys have a reputation for strategic thinking, problem-solving, and leading-edge advocacy. We provide a comprehensive range of services, including complex class action litigation defense, single and multi-plaintiff litigation defense, representation in arbitrations, and employment law advice and counseling. Our attorneys also conduct workplace investigations and training, audits of workplace policies and practices, and they defend employers against administrative claims and investigations by the Department of Labor, EEOC, California EDD, the DLSE, and others.

Privacy and Data Security

In the world of ever-changing privacy and data security laws, our attorneys stay abreast of the latest changes to ensure our clients are always prepared. We advise financial services clients in areas of privacy applicable to IT/technology, data security, financial privacy, health privacy, consumer privacy, employment privacy, litigation, and transactions. Our attorneys advise clients on how to protect proprietary and customer confidential information. We guide our clients through all steps of information governance and risk management, such as the development and implementation of preventative measures, policies and procedures, technology selection and validation, the placement of cyberliability insurance, and pursuit of claims under these policies. In addition, we help clients investigate and respond to data breaches and represent clients in related litigation.


Our banking litigation practice includes customer disputes related to secured and unsecured loan products, handling of checks and deposit accounts and collections, as well as recovery of funds related to fraudulent transfers and related disputes.  We represent national and regional banks and lenders in commercial litigation, including claims alleging various business torts, including unfair business claims, and alleged violations of Truth-In-Lending and Fair Credit Reporting Acts, and TCPA, to name a few. We also represent financial institutions in foreclosures and receiverships, and work closely with our clients to efficiently manage these processes to achieve effective and successful results. We also represent lenders, servicers, trustees, and custodians in other actions affecting their, or their clients', interests in real property, including partitions and quiet title actions, as well as all aspects of litigation that can arise from managing, acquiring, selling or developing real property.

By taking a proactive approach, we identify and create choices for resolving disputes while helping the client to identify and manage the risks and benefits of each particular path.


Our appellate practice group maintains a stellar record of favorable results before the California Supreme Court and in every district of the California Court of Appeal. We also successfully handle cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and we have submitted briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court. Among appellate court judges, Hanson Bridgett’s appellate practice has earned a reputation for the highest quality advocacy.

We provide counsel to emerging food and beverage companies. We represent manufacturers of consumer packaged goods, agricultural producers and cooperatives, wineries, and distilleries. We are committed to advancing the growth of sustainable food and beverage enterprises that generate social and environmental impact.

Our group provides specialized expertise in product innovation and commercialization, co-manufacturing arrangements, advertising and media contracts, consumer privacy, brand management, licensing and enforcement, food labeling, Prop 65 and other regulatory compliance.

We also provide expertise in procurement and commercial transactions, facilities development, labor and employment matters, intellectual property protection, and transportation and logistics. We partner with our clients through collaborative technology solutions to manage their legal affairs.

Representing public agencies has been a principal specialty of Hanson Bridgett  for more than 50 years. We represent, as general counsel, transportation districts, cities, water districts, harbor districts, community service districts, fire districts, hospital districts, joint powers authorities, associations of local governmental agencies and sanitation districts. In addition, we serve public agencies on individual assignments (or as on-going counsel in specific areas of the law) on projects involving labor and employment law, municipal finance, litigation, environmental laws, rate setting, real estate and land use, government reorganization and complex procurements and contract negotiations.

Much of the work for public sector clients is performed by attorneys in the government group, composed of lawyers whose practices are devoted exclusively to representation of general and special purpose public agencies. Whenever necessary we are able to draw on the expertise of attorneys in other specialized practice areas.

Just like our clients, we are creative, resourceful and dedicated to providing the best service possible. We take pride in understanding the business of our public agency clients and in finding ways to implement their goals and objectives on a sound legal basis and in a cost-effective manner.

The firm has substantial (in some cases unsurpassed) experience with issues unique to agencies providing services in certain fields. These include transportation, water supply and solid waste management.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Open Government Laws
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Public Procurement
  • Public Works and Infrastructure
  • Labor and Employment
  • Employee Benefits
  • Litigation
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Technology Procurements
  • Privacy, Data Security and Information Control
  • Environmental Law
  • Financial and Rate Setting
  • Taxes, Assessments and Fees
  • Administrative Law
  • Legislation
  • Insurance Recovery
  • Code Enforcement
  • Eminent Domain and Inverse Condemnation
  • LAFCO Issues
  • Land Use
  • Real Property Acquisition, Management and Disposition
  • Elections
  • Joint Powers Agreements
  • Ordinances and Resolutions
  • Public Private Partnerships


Hanson Bridgett’s Technology Practice was formed with three guiding principles. First, we recognize that a technology company’s most valuable assets are likely found in ground-breaking concepts, designs, and products rather than in the “brick and mortar” assets of many traditional companies. Second, we believe that technology companies operate in a unique environment where their success depends on a deep understanding of the governing law as well as an appreciation of the economic realities of a competitive and ever-changing marketplace. Third, we believe our clients are best served when we bring a wide range of legal expertise to bear on their complex legal matters. These three principles help guide our advice on individual matters and the way we engage with the more than 150 attorneys at Hanson Bridgett to best serve our clients.

Primary Services for Technology clients:

  • Corporate and Emerging Companies. Hanson Bridgett’s clients benefit from the depth of our experience in advising technology companies on the complex legal issues they face during all stages of growth.
  • Patent and Intellectual Property Litigation. When intellectual property disputes arise, our IP litigators often negotiate pre-litigation resolutions that spare our clients the legal expenses of taking matters into court.
  • Intellectual Property Counseling. Our intellectual property attorneys work closely with our technology clients to solve a myriad of issues relating to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights and to protect against future claims of intellectual property infringement. 

Serving Technology Clients’ Broader Legal Needs

Attorneys in Hanson Bridgett’s Technology Practice work closely with our colleagues in many other practice areas so that we may provide a broad array of legal services to our clients.

We work closely with attorneys in our nationwide Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice to successfully represents our clients in resolving a wide range of disputes through litigation, mediation and arbitration. We enlist attorneys from our Employee Benefits Group to address issues relating to our clients’ retirement plans, employee benefits, executive and equity compensation, and fiduciary responsibility matters. We work with partners in our Labor and Employment Group to provide advice relating to employee discipline and termination, federal and state wage-and-hour law, and compliance labor laws such as the Family Medical Leave Act, the California Family Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and workers’ compensation regulations. Our Labor and Employment attorneys also help our clients develop appropriate training programs to address employment law matters and to create employment forms such as personnel policies, employment contracts, and applications. When the need arises, our Labor and Employment attorneys also defend our clients against claims related to employment discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and contract administration.

Attorneys in our Real Estate and Construction Groups are available to assist growing technology clients with developing and acquiring the land and facilities they need. They also specialize in Integrated Project Delivery in particular with large technology campus construction projects. Lastly, our Insurance Recovery Practice advocate on behalf of our clients to obtain coverage for a wide range of incidents.

Technology Procurement

Hanson Bridgett attorneys routinely negotiate complex system-integration contracts involving the licensing of multiple technologies, and we regularly advise our clients on the contractual interplay between IP indemnities, software warranties, and licensing/maintenance agreements that arise in multi-vendor projects. We are often involved from the inception of these projects, and advise our clients through the original procurement process, contract negotiation, and contract administration.

Hanson Bridgett’s government practice attorneys are expert in helping our clients protect their valuable intellectual property when contracting with government entities. Particularly when the customer is a government agency and a project is funded with public funds, special rules may apply that could impact confidentiality and intellectual property rights. Finally, Hanson Bridgett attorneys are expert at prosecuting and defending bid protests pertaining to government contracts and can help make sure that your firm is treated fairly and allowed to compete on an even playing field for government contracts.


Our firm has decades of experience representing institutional investors of all types and sizes with a wide variety of investment activities. Our experience spans hundreds of transactions ranging from the low end at $10 million into the multi-billions.

Our approach to these matters is highly unique and customized as a result of our experience working on both sides of the table. Our attorneys have represented managers and fund sponsors as well as institutional investor clients. Many engage us again and again because we operate as a partner and add value as a strategic advisor.

The co-chairs of this practice group each has more than 20 years of experience in investor-side legal work, which is a key reason some of the largest institutional investors in the world choose to work with us.


  • Structuring and tax planning in connection with investments
  • Negotiating investments in virtually every type of pooled investment vehicle on the market, including private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, real estate funds, and negotiation and structuring of direct investments
  • Negotiating and structuring co-investments
  • Forming and structuring of funds of one, and other special purpose investment vehicles
  • Negotiating separate account arrangements
  • Preparing and negotiating investment management agreements
  • Negotiating and assisting with secondary transactions
  • Negotiating interest redemptions and transfers
  • Fiduciary counseling and advice
  • Structuring and advising on joint ventures
  • Preparing and negotiating various ancillary agreements related to the above

Representative Clients

  • Large public and private pension funds
  • Leading universities
  • Funds of funds
  • Nonprofits and endowments
  • Corporate/strategic investors
  • Family offices
  • High-net-worth individuals

Insurance Recovery

Hanson Bridgett has handled thousands of claims against insurance companies, helping clients recover money for losses suffered and for the legal costs of defending themselves in litigation.

We know how insurance companies operate and how to devise the best strategy for recovering funds without incurring excess costs or engaging in unnecessary conflicts. We also have expertise in industries in which these disputes arise, which has been instrumental in our recovering millions of dollars for our clients.

We have handled a broad array of claims and losses, from alleged construction defects to environmental claims to cyber risks and liabilities. Our clients include construction companies dealing with property damage, businesses facing liability claims for bodily injury, property owners seeking to recoup pollution clean-up costs, and company officials seeking to recover their legal costs after being sued.

Our Services

Through our experience, we know how to quickly evaluate a claim, gauging the dynamics of the case and whether to negotiate, litigate, or settle. We often can resolve a coverage dispute without litigation. If necessary, however, we have the expertise and resources to litigate these cases quickly and efficiently. Our attorneys have successfully resolved claims in courts – as well as in arbitration proceedings – throughout California and other parts of the United States.

A key part of our approach is to understand each client’s pressure points – how concerned they are about costs, and whether they are reluctant to litigate or adverse to certain risks. We consider our services an investment for our clients as we strategize how to recover insurance funds without being distracted by issues peripheral to the dispute . As part of that approach, each case is staffed with a partner with a background in the industry and the types of policies involved.

Construction Claims

Hanson Bridgett assists clients with claims in a variety of industries, including construction, one of our significant areas of practice. We have successfully resolved claims covering major residential, commercial, industrial, and public works projects on behalf of clients that include general contractors, subcontractors, developers, and owners. We are well versed in the many project-specific and general policies involved in construction. These policies include the following:

  • Builder’s Risk
  • Commercial General Liability (CGL)
  • Delay in Completion
  • Difference in Conditions
  • Errors and Omissions, Professional Liability (E&O)
  • Excess and Umbrella Liability
  • Inland Marine
  • Pollution Liability, Environmental Remediation
  • Rectification and other coverages for design defects
  • Wrap-ups, such as OCIPs, CCIPs, and other project-wide coverages

Directors and Officers Claims

We have negotiated claims for current and former officers and directors, as well as businesses, successfully obtaining coverage for defense costs and indemnity when they’re sued. We are adept at negotiating all aspects of coverage, from tender through litigation for declaratory relief, breach of contract, and bad faith. We work closely with our firm's Business Section to obtain practical results, mindful of the impact of litigation on companies and their executives.

Environmental Claims

Hanson Bridgett represents clients in obtaining insurance funds related to pollution conditions, clean-up costs, and other environmental claims. Our clients include property owners and developers, tenants and former operators, and general contractors and subcontractors. We also work closely with the firm’s Real Estate & Environment Section attorneys and other attorneys to assist clients in maximizing recoveries from insurers.

A Range of Industries

Other industries in which we have recovered insurance funds for clients include the following:

  • Food and Beverage
  • Labor and Employment
  • Payment Processing
  • Senior Housing and Care
  • Shopping Centers
  • Transportation and Logistics


We have experience in securing funds for our clients under a wide range of policies. They include:

  • Business Interruption, Time-Element Losses
  • Commercial Auto, Trucking, Transportation
  • Commercial General Liability (CGL)
  • Commercial Property
  • Cyber Liability, Data Breach
  • Employment Practices Liability (EPL)
  • Errors and Omissions, Professional Liability (E&O)
  • Excess and Umbrella Liability
  • Fiduciary Liability
  • Flood
  • Homeowners
  • Pollution Liability, Environmental Remediation
  • Product Contamination and Recall
  • Representations and Warranties

Our practice spans a broad range of clearance, prosecution, transactions, litigation and dispute resolution. Our intellectual-property clients are diverse in size and enterprise, ranging from Fortune 500 global corporations to local businesses and individuals. The roster includes high technology firms, industrial companies, consumer products companies, public agencies, hospitals and industry trade associations.

We strive to be responsive, efficient, and caring. Our primary goal is to make our clients’ lives easier. We work to understand each client's business and its unique challenges. And, we tailor our approach to each client's preferences for working with outside counsel.

We are proud to be ranked in the World Trademark Review. Click here to learn more.

Patent and Intellectual Property Litigation

We successfully advocate for our clients in a wide array of intellectual property matters including patent infringement cases involving complex fields of technology. Our attorneys have litigated and tried patent infringement matters in a broad range of complex technologies including semiconductor chips, materials, and fabrication processes; semiconductor power technologies (MOSFETs and IGBTs); FLASH and DRAM devices, microprocessor designs; computer connector devices; software methods; hardware and software security; fiber optic switches; optics and optoelectronics; optical character recognition; communications and telecommunications devices; motion detector devices; packaging equipment; motors; manufacturing systems; medical gas plasma sterilizers; electrical circuits; textile chemistry; oil exploration; transportation; electronic toys; cosmetics; consumer products; and fertilizers. Our patent litigation experience spans the leading patent litigation venues and our attorneys have represented clients in a wide variety of jurisdictions, including the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of California, the District of Delaware, the Northern District of Georgia, the Northern District of Illinois, the Western District of Oklahoma, the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, and the International Trade Commission (ITC).

In addition to our patent litigation practice, our attorneys routinely represent our clients in disputes involving trademark, copyright and trade secrets; unfair competition; counterfeiting; false advertising; slander and rights of publicity and privacy. Because of this experience, we have had the opportunity to go before special courts, agencies and tribunals, including the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and the World Intellectual Property Organization on numerous occasions.

Intellectual Property Rights

We advise our clients on clearing, procuring, maintaining, licensing, and enforcing their intellectual-property rights across the constantly shifting landscape of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret laws. We handle all aspects of trademark and copyright registration. We manage international trademark portfolios of clients whose brands are their key assets and police those portfolios to prevent degradation of value. We have close relationships with specialty intellectual-property firms around the world to assist our clients with particular needs in foreign locales. In recent years, we have identified, investigated, and stopped hundreds upon hundreds of infringers in the United States and abroad.

Intellectual Property in Business Transactions

We review, counsel on, draft, and negotiate all types of transactions involving technology and intellectual property. Our technology transactions range from patent and other licensing deals to joint ventures, procurements and technology transfers. We also have abundant experience in computer software licensing and publishing contracts. And, we are skilled in managing intellectual property as an asset in business structuring, mergers, acquisitions and other dispositions.

Intellectual Property on the Internet

We frequently advise on the host of issues surrounding web sites. We draft web site notices, disclaimers, terms of use and privacy policies. We tailor these to the style of the web site and for the possible exposures flowing from the nature of the site. We also work with our clients regarding Internet domain name disputes.

Our firm focuses exclusively on management-side employment law in a wide variety of industries: construction, manufacturing, health care, senior housing and care, finance, transportation and logistics, government, and public agency. We represent prominent national clients, as well as clients with a statewide and regional presence. Our relationships with many of these have lasted 30+ years in part due to our reputation for strategic thinking, creative problem solving and leading edge advocacy.


  • Civil rights and impact litigation
  • Complex employment class actions
    • Employment discrimination disparate impact class actions
    • FLSA collective actions
    • PAGA representative actions
    • Wage and hour & meal period and rest break class actions
  • Employment Agreement arbitrations
  • Disability discrimination litigation
  • Individual employee employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination litigation
  • Employee benefits litigation
  • Employment agreements
  • Employment law advice and counseling, including advice concerning federal, state and local laws mandating employee  leaves of absences, advice concerning employee disciplinary issues, counseling and advice concerning employee job performance issues and counseling and advice concerning employee separations including, reductions in force, layoffs, job eliminations and involuntary separations
  • Advice concerning or leading collective bargaining negotiations
  • Advice and counsel concerning the administration of collective bargaining agreements
  • Labor arbitrations under collective bargaining agreements
  • Advice and counsel concerning labor organizing drives, union picketing and strikes
  • Workplace investigations and various manager and supervisor trainings
  • Administrative proceedings and hearings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), California’s Public Employee Relations Board ( PERB), the California Department of Civil Rights (CDCR) and the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) 
  • Personnel policies and handbook
  • Advice and counsel and litigation concerning trade secrets and unfair competition issue
  • Wage and hour advice including DLSE and DOL investigations
  • Whistleblower litigation

As a California law firm, we have extensive experience representing clients in all phases of the California land use approval process, from simple use permits to complicated specific plan adoptions, development agreements, and other legislative approvals. We also, when the need has arisen, have litigated land use issues in state and federal court.

With respect to the entitlement process, our attorneys have developed close working relationships with agency staff and public officials across the entire State, from Humboldt County to San Diego County. With offices located in Northern California, the Bay Area, and Southern California, we have experience in most California cities and counties, and are adept at forging valuable partnerships in new jurisdictions. 

We represent developers, property owners, investors, financial institutions, private citizens, and governmental entities in all aspects of development, and have helped them entitle hundreds of millions of square feet of development throughout California, including:

  • Residential projects (including affordable, market-rate, faculty, work force, transitional, supportive, and other housing types)
  • Life science campuses supporting international operations
  • Regional hospitals
  • Research and development centers
  • Wineries and vineyards
  • Agricultural facilities
  • Innovative mixed-use development
  • Mining and quarry operations
  • Desalinization facilities
  • Recycling facilities (handling both waste and aggregate)
  • Shopping centers
  • Office campuses and business parks
  • Infrastructure projects
  • Terminal expansions
  • Race track facilities
  • Solar energy projects 
  • Battery storage projects
  • Intermodal transport facilities at California’s busiest ports

Our land use team not only has proficiency in securing approvals and conducting environmental review, but has extensive experience litigating land use matters in judicial and administrative venues. Having experience in both disciplines helps our attorneys, in entitlement matters, "see down the road" and avoid litigation risks whereas, in litigation matters, understanding how administrative records are formed has positioned our litigators formulate arguments and identify evidence with greater efficiency, comprehensiveness, and creativity.

To bring added value, we work closely and cross-train with our environmental and real estate transactional practices, enabling us to efficiently assist clients in identifying, evaluating and resolving potential environmental and real estate issues in real property acquisitions, sales and project approvals. This includes participating in clients’ due diligence by analyzing Phase 1 Environmental Assessments, title documents, and other materials to documenting existing issues to minimize risk.


  • General plans, specific plans and amendments
  • Zoning ordinances and amendments
  • Initiatives and opposition to referenda
  • CEQA and NEPA compliance
  • Subdivision approvals
  • Housing laws and entitlement strategies under the State Density Bonus Law and Housing Accountability Act, including under Senate Bill 330 and the Builder's Remedy 
  • Development agreements
  • LAFCO/boundary changes
  • Design review and historic preservation
  • Due diligence review in acquiring, selling, leasing, and financing real estate
  • California Coastal Act
  • Surplus Lands Act
  • Takings, exactions, dedications, and fees
  • Vested rights
  • Permit Streamlining Act
  • Brown Act
  • Prevailing Wage
  • Williamson Act
  • Natural resource permitting (including under the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act Sections 401 and 404)
  • Code enforcement 
  • Religious facilities

Representative Clients

  • Developers
  • Property owners
  • Investors
  • Financial institutions
  • Private citizens
  • Governmental entities (e.g., cities, counties, water districts, transportation districts, and joint powers authorities)

Representative Matters

  • Assisted multinational pharmaceutical corporation redevelop its $1 billion campus in proximity to the San Francisco Bay, including negotiation of a development agreement and coordination of environmental review.
  • Assisted developers with obtaining approvals of affordable housing projects, requiring implementation of various strategies under the Housing Accountability Act, including the filing of Senate Bill 330 applications and exercise of the Builder’s Remedy.
  • Assisted multiple developers in processing approval of specific plan developments in Northern California and the Monterey Peninsula, with each project consisting of thousands of residential units and hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial and industrial uses.
  • Represented a large, well-known Bay Area computer animation studio in securing a development agreement and zoning for a four- phase headquarters project.
  • Represented numerous trucking  terminals and other logistic facilities near California ports in securing entitlements and conducting environmental review.
  • Assisted multinational company redevelop and expand its terminal in the Port of Los Angeles, including navigation of federal and state environmental review processes.
  • Represented one of the West Coast’s largest recyclers of aggregate in their operations and expansion projects.
  • Assisted a residential developer in obtaining local and coastal permits, including through several lawsuits and global settlement of California Coastal Act, wetland, subdivision, traffic and inverse condemnation issues.
  • Represented a Bay Area city with a specific plan and EIR for mixed-use development of a local valley.
  • Obtained approval of a 545 unit residential condominium project in a new 18-story building in San Francisco.
  • Represented a large San Francisco hotel company in obtaining approval of a new 200 room hotel built on land leased from the City.
  • Negotiated approval of a new residential/ retail project to be built above what may become a future subway station in Downtown San Francisco.
  • Represented clients in the conversion of warehouses to office and multi-media use throughout San Francisco.
  • Represented numerous Northern California developers in obtaining approvals for the subdivision of land, and in obtaining approvals for new condominium projects (both vertical and traditional), including the drafting of all governing documents.
  • Negotiated approval of a large multi-use project in San Francisco that includes a public library, supermarket and new housing.
  • Worked with a Bay Area developer on an EIR, development agreement and permits for a mixed-use, phased redevelopment of commercial uses on port lands.
  • Represented a unique, mixed-use development including work-live, residential, and retail components in a coastal city known for environmental opposition.
  • Represented county in litigation over vested rights claimed by riverbed sand and gravel mining operation, successfully obtaining a judgment in favor of the county.
  • Successfully litigated the terms of an existing development agreement against a city on behalf of a large phased residential and office development.
  • Prevailed over challenges to county’s refusal to issue unconditional certificates of compliance under the Subdivision Map Act
  • Defended in court the EIR and entitlements for a 20,000-acre residential development and open space preserve in the Carmel Valley.
  • Negotiated and defended a development agreement and gaming ordinance for a card room facility at a Bay Area live horse racing venue.
  • Successfully defended an appeal of a local coastal permit for a beachfront hotel and obtained a permit from the California Coastal Commission.
  • Takings case against the United States for a ranching family in central Nevada resulting in a $14.2 million dollar judgment for the taking of water rights from a cattle operation.
  • Representation of three separate governmental entities of the State of Nevada against the United States in an Administrative Procedures Act challenge to a federal regulation that required the interpretation of and challenge to federal legislation.
  • Assisted Fortune 500 national drugstore company negotiate various land use issues in operating regional distribution center in the Central Valley.
  • Represented client in approximately $700 million project entailing entitlements and CEQA for construction of 7-mile tunnel and outfall from a wastewater treatment plant to terminus in San Pedro.
  • Represented client in the acquisition and renovation of indoor composting facility in San Bernardino County valued at $70 million.
  • Represented client in approximately $200 million project entailing CEQA work for the development of effluent treatment system in Santa Clarita.
  • Represented client in the acquisition of approximately 12,000 acres of farmland and development of $150 million composting facility in Kings County.

Hanson Bridgett litigators provide custom solutions to help clients achieve results that matter. We balance cost effective litigation management tools with time tested techniques to find advantages during all phases of the dispute, whether it be discovery, trial, arbitration, mediation or otherwise. The firm’s litigation practice spans many substantive areas and includes deep experience at all levels of research and investigation, discovery, project management, alternative dispute resolution, trial, and appeal. When problems arise, we work closely with the client to identify and master the key issues and objectives, mapping a strategy for resolving the dispute in keeping with the client’s goals and means.

By taking a proactive approach, we identify and create choices for resolving disputes while helping the client to identify and manage the risks and benefits of each particular path. We are no strangers to the courtroom and have won many important victories that have generated headlines. However, time has shown that our greatest victories are those that came through the careful planning, strategic analysis and open communication that has produced satisfied, well informed, clients who continue to work with Hanson Bridgett. 

Major Areas of Focus:

  • Appellate
  • Banking and Finance
  • Commercial
  • Construction
  • Criminal
  • Environmental
  • Governmental/Public Agency
  • Health Care and Senior Housing & Care
  • Insurance Recovery
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor and Employment
  • Product Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Trust & Estates




Our attorneys have a wealth of experience in advising fund sponsors on the organization of a variety of private investment funds and similar products – whether structured as a fund, separate account, or other arrangement, irrespective of the focus of the asset class in the investment strategy.

Private fund sponsors face increased regulation around the world. Our considerable experience helps them comply with requirements as we pay close attention to internal governance and economic arrangements, including the allocation and vesting of carried interest. We also counsel sponsors as to the structure and operation of the entities that serve as general partners and managers to their funds. Other areas where we add value include joint ventures with, and investments from third parties, generational transition and other partner additions and departures, family wealth planning, placement agent agreements, subscription lines of credit, labor and employment matters, intellectual property, and insurance coverage.

A core part of our private fund practice is the representation of a broad and significant number of institutional investors in connection with their alternative investment activities. We are well-versed in the complexities associated with a wide range of alternative investments and transactions and have represented institutional investors in negotiating all parts of their agreements, advising them with respect to separately managed account arrangements, co-investments, and secondary transactions. We also represent fund advisory boards in their negotiations with fund sponsors.

After years of legal experience and activities in the market, we are intimately familiar with identifying and resolving the special commercial, regulatory, and tax concerns of different types of investors. We work with pension funds, corporations, tax-exempt organizations, funds of funds, sovereign wealth funds, and foundations.

Our in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of fund documentation enables us to quickly identify significant economic issues that are otherwise difficult to uncover, and to craft solutions to complex problems pertaining to tax, ERISA, and more. We are a member of several legal networks that permit us to address special tax and structuring issues involved in funds focused on regions such as Australia, Canada, Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, and Asia.


We have assisted our institutional investor clients with:

  • Buyout funds
  • CDOs/CLOs
  • Co-investment funds
  • Credit opportunities funds
  • Energy funds
  • Fund of funds
  • Hedge funds
  • Loan funds
  • Mezzanine funds
  • Natural resources funds
  • Real estate funds
  • Royalty funds
  • Secondary funds
  • Single member funds
  • Special Situations
  • Venture capital funds

Our real estate section provides comprehensive legal services to a wide array of real estate clients. We have substantial expertise in all areas of real estate transactional and litigation work. We represent investors, developers, buyers, sellers, owners, managers, landlords and tenants both locally and nationally.

We serve as counsel to many major industry participants requiring outstanding quality and depth in legal services, such as investor/developers, senior and health care providers, shopping centers, and public agencies. Our real estate lawyers are known for their proficiency, creativity, effective advocacy and practical dealmaking.

Our Expertise

  • Entity Formation and Tax Counseling
  • Land Use and Development
  • Project Financing
  • Property Acquisitions and Sales
  • Leasing and Lease Litigation
  • Environmental Compliance
  • Construction Issues and Disputes
  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution


Hanson Bridgett's attorneys know that successful businesses and capital markets are a powerful, positive force in the community and make a favorable contribution to society. The firm's client base has always included organizations that are not only the best in the world but also the best for the world, so we recognized long ago that mission-driven capitalists needed legal advice for designing and incorporating their sustainable enterprises, and structuring their investments to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

The social impact investment arena is rapidly growing and changing and Hanson Bridgett attorneys have valuable insights and connections in both the investment and entrepreneurship realms. We represent sustainable businesses and impact investors in a variety of industries, including venture capital and private equity, financial services, retail, software, advertising, media, entertainment, biotech, medical devices, solar energy, construction (including green building), food, senior care, and education.

Our attorneys assist entrepreneurs with the formation of their companies. We advise them on start-up, finance, tax, securities, and M&A decisions specific to their structures as benefit corporations, and other legal forms that promote social impact, while providing them with the full complement of services we offer other companies. We advise corporations that seek to attain legal status as benefit corporations, and other social impact legal structures, and we guide nonprofits through the legal process of converting to or partnering with for-profit, values-driven enterprises. You may be familiar with the work of clients like Powerhive, MorphOS, Kimpacto, Kairos Society, and Mustard Square. Our attorneys also advise investors interested in opportunities for adding social value to their capital investments by targeting companies, organizations, and funds that generate social impact in addition to positive financial returns. Our impact fund clients include Good Capital’s Social Enterprise Expansion Fund, Better Ventures Fund, Blue Swell Capital Fund and other venture capital firms that offer clients the opportunity to obtain both financial and societal gains. We represent financial services firms that manage portfolios for investors whose business acumen is guided by social awareness.

Our firm is at the forefront of the growing trend to maximize both financial and social potential. Partner Jonathan Storper co-authored the change to the California Corporations Code that created the Benefit Corporation business entity in 2011. Jonathan also consulted with the state of Delaware, which added its public benefit corporation statute to the Delaware General Corporation Law 18 months later. Hanson Bridgett is a proud founding member of B Labs, the nonprofit that offers B Corporation certification, and the first law firm to become a certified B Corporation. Hanson Bridgett continues to be one of the few firms nationwide with an in-depth knowledge of impact investment structures, benefit corporation practices and law; we are both thought leaders and practice leaders in this realm.

Our firm represents a variety of clients, from individuals, partnerships, and limited liability companies, to corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Our extensive practice includes a broad range of federal, state and local tax services involving income, estate, gift, and real property taxes, and ranging from personal and transactional tax planning to dispute resolution and tax litigation.

We regularly advise startup founders and venture capitalists on a variety of tax issues, including qualified small business stock (QSBS) and equity compensation issues, including forward contracts. We help founders optimize federal and state tax issues from formation until IPO. Our attorneys are nationally recognized as experts on startup tax issues and regularly publish and speak on tax issues affecting founders, early employees, and venture capitalists.

Many of our tax lawyers have extensive experience in corporate and business law, which enhances our ability to navigate complex tax issues in structuring transactions. Our approach is to carefully review each transaction, evaluate its history, identify the consequences of certain actions and, ultimately, provide options to clients in achieving their goals.

We have advised numerous companies on the tax ramifications of structuring partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations; mergers and acquisitions; and corporate and LLC divisions and spin-offs of subsidiaries. We collaborate with clients as a strategic partner, whether we’re advising families on gift and estate tax planning or guiding companies through corporate reorganizations. When tax disputes arise, we represent them in audits, appeals, and litigation.

In addition to federal tax planning, we assist clients with a wide range of state and local tax matters. When a dispute leads to litigation, we represent clients before the IRS, the Franchise Tax Board and the California Office of Tax Appeals. We also provide tax advice for U.S. and foreign individuals and entities, with particular experience in cross-border issues affecting taxpayers in the Pacific Rim.


  • Corporate Tax: Advise C corporations, S corporations and other companies in all phases of development, from early formation to public offerings
  • Employee Benefits: Advise employers on compensation and benefits tax issues, and individuals on benefit distributions, retirement plans and income and estate tax elections
  • Health: Provide practical advice on such tax issues as “pay or play”
  • Employment: Assist with a variety of issues, including payroll taxes, independent contractor controversies, and federal and state employment tax audits
  • Nonprofit and tax-exempt entities: Advise on formation and compliance issues
  • Partnership tax: Cover sales and purchases of limited liability company and partnership interests and assets, as well as carried interest issues 
  • Real estate tax: Advise on tax-free exchanges under Section 1031 as well as Proposition 13 reassessment rules and local real property transfer taxes


Hanson Bridgett possesses a wide variety of experienced general transportation and logistics attorney-practitioners, representing both privately and publicly-owned companies for their particular distribution and supply-chain requirements. The firm is counsel to a broad and diverse range of domestic and international commercial carriers, including motor, water, rail, passenger, air cargo and household goods companies.  In addition to direct suppliers and users of such services, Hanson Bridgett regularly assists local and national third-party brokers, intermediaries and full-service logistics enterprises with litigation, transactional, and contractual matters. The scope of services for the transportation clientele served by the firm includes: mergers and acquisitions; contractual relationships; comprehensive service contracts; risk management mitigation; business structures and management; successorship planning; financings; security and credit arrangements; insurance coverage; regulatory compliance; real estate development, sales and due diligence; and, other business-related resources essential to participants in this dynamic industry. Likewise, litigation activity regularly includes: freight loss and damage claims; contract construction and interpretation; freight payment disputes; environmental laws and compliance; creditor’s rights; defense of state and agency enforcement actions related to environmental, equipment and clean air initiatives; and, labor disputes, including defense of class actions designed to challenge independent contractor status, all of which are consistent with the types of domestic and international transportation disputes which often occur between transportation companies or as a result of government intervention at all levels.

The firm’s transportation clients represent a cross-section of specialty carriers such as: less-than-truckload; package; truckload general freight; liquid and dry bulk; agriculture; passenger (bus, limousine, airport shuttle, taxi, and public transit carriers); water; air cargo; foreign and domestic ground, air and ocean freight forwarders; rail and bus commute; transportation brokers; warehouses; and passenger ferries. Within the public agency section, the firm represents a number of public transit agencies, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District, BART, SamTrans, Caltrain and other major districts throughout the country.


We’re a born and bred California law firm with more than 60 years of experience representing clients in some of the world’s best-known grape-growing regions. Our deep experience in the complex issues faced by clients in the wine industry comes from our local roots and the strong connections we’ve built with prominent winemakers and vineyard owners, their communities, and key local and state government officials. Today, our wine practice extends to the entire West Coast. 

This wine industry is unlike any other. We understand the distinct challenges that come with operating wineries, from family owned boutique operations to multimillion-dollar ones, we know and understand every stage of the winemaking process. We can assist in land use issues, including guiding clients through the entitlement process, handling water rights matters, the protection of a winery's trademarks, as well as the sale of a winery or your vineyard property.


Real estate

Our lawyers have decades of experience in buying and selling wineries, vineyards and orchards. We also handle the complex financing and development of vineyards and wineries, including title and wastewater issues, as well as leasing and subleasing. Our experience includes:

•    Representation of a national brand winery in the sale and leaseback of a St. Helena winery and vineyard, followed by a series of 1031 like-kind exchanges acquiring other Northern California vineyard properties
•    Representation of one of the largest vineyard owners in California in the phased acquisition and development of 1,500+ acres of vineyards in Monterey, California, including development of separate well parcels and related easements on the Salinas River
•    Representation of national institutional lenders in the origination, servicing, workouts, and enforcement of agricultural loans in California, including vineyards, wineries, and orchards
•    Representation of a national brand winery in the acquisition of vineyard and winery properties in California, Oregon, and Washington
•    Representation of a national brand winery in the negotiation and documentation of a revolving line of credit and real estate-secured, long-term debt aggregating over $500 million
•    Sale and leaseback of a boutique winery in Monterey, California
•    Representation of a national brand winery in a 600 acre vineyard development sublease in Napa, California


Operating a vineyard involves a host of environmental issues. After working with clients and technical consultants to assess and improve compliance with environmental laws and regulations, we’ve understand that regulatory compliance depends on effective communication and training at all levels of an organization. This is not an easy feat for companies operating in heavily regulated jurisdictions like California. That’s why, when conducting assessments and audits, we produce user-friendly products rather than long legal documents. Our experience working with agricultural and manufacturing companies includes matters related to:

• Water pollution control
• Air quality
• Pesticide use and disposal
• Hazardous materials and waste management
• Worker protection
• Stormwater management
• Carbon footprint analysis
• ESG analysis

Land Use

Our land use attorneys develop efficient, politically strategic permitting strategies for the approval of wineries and vineyards throughout California. Our experience includes:

•    Representation of applicants seeking land use entitlements for new wineries and vineyards, and expansion of existing wineries and vineyards, in Sonoma and Napa Counties and their incorporated towns and  cities
•    Representation of Napa County in evaluating legality of various land use initiatives placed on the local ballot, including an oak woodland initiative and its impact on agricultural operations
•    Navigating issues related to Williamson Act contracts

Water law

Ground and surface water rights and water quality are central issues for wine growers. We have strong relationships and open lines of communication with water enforcement agencies (federal, state and local), enabling us to resolve cases quickly and cost-effectively. Our experience includes:

•    Handling water permits, water quality compliance, and other general environmental permitting issues
•    Advising on groundwater management and water curtailment, as well as on conservation orders and regulations in times of drought
•    Adjudicating surface and groundwater rights before agencies and courts
•    Acquiring and transferring water right permits
•    Advising on the reconveyance of appropriative and riparian rights
•    Assisting with water quality compliance and enforcement defense
•    Representation of a winery against Zone 7 agency regarding a well permit
•    Representation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies in Sustainable Groundwater Management Act compliance and groundwater adjudications
•    Representation of agencies in resolving water rights complaints involving flows for endangered fish species

Family Wealth Planning 

For many of our winery and vineyard owner clients, family is key. When it comes time to pass the torch from one generation to the next, our wine law attorneys work closely with our estate planning attorneys to ensure a successful transition.

Intellectual Property

Trademark clearance and protection is critical for wineries, whether small grape growers or those with global brands. We have successfully represented wineries and their affiliates in trademark clearance, U.S. and international trademark prosecution, and U.S. and international litigation and trademark enforcement, including matters before the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and dozens of trademark offices abroad. Our clients also include other producers of alcoholic beverages, including those with famous trademarks.

Labor and Employment

We have counseled winery owners on the full range of employment matters, including wage-and-hour, discrimination, reasonable accommodation, leaves of absence, and union-related issues. We also have defended numerous wineries in employment-related litigation including single, multi-plaintiff, and class action lawsuits involving ADA Title III, sexual harassment, and other workplace claims. Our experience includes:

•    Representation of one of the ten largest wine producers in the United States, providing advice and counseling on labor and employment matters as well as employment-related disputes
•    Representation of a family-owned, organic winery regarding workplace policies and employment actions, as well as threatened litigation
•    Defense of numerous wineries in Paso Robles, Napa, and Sonoma counties regarding ADA Title III matters
•    Defense of a barrel manufacturer in TCA (corkage) litigation

Representative Clients

•    Wineries
•    Vineyard owners
•    Tasting Rooms
•    Breweries
•    Hotels
•    Vineyard management companies
•    Investment groups
•    Insurers
•    Business suppliers
•    Wine distributors
•    Grape contractors
•    Institutional lenders

The Health Privacy Practice Group is dedicated to helping health care clients navigate the tricky regulatory framework and requirement of state and federal privacy laws. Our areas of experience include advising clients on: 

  • HIPAA and California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA)
  • Confidentiality of Psychiatric Information under the California Lanterman-Petris-Short Act
  • Confidentiality of HIV Testing Information under California law
  • Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records (Part 2)
  • State consumer privacy laws (California Consumer Privacy Act, California Privacy Rights Act) 
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • 21st Century CURES Act 
  • California Data Exchange Framework (DxF)
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) intersection with special education students and health/therapy records
  • Security incident response, including privacy/security investigations; breach analysis; and working with breach counsel, investigators, and consultants
  • Data breach notifications, including to patients and state/federal agencies and AG offices
  • Protecting electronic communications (faxing, emailing, and texting PHI)
  • Social media and privacy issues
  • Privacy implications of new developments such as telehealth and use of smart devices when providing care and services
  • Special knowledge of consumer data breach class actions, including tactics of plaintiff attorneys in building liability cases emanating from health information security breaches

Past client projects include: 

  • Drafting:
    • Federal and state HIPAA Privacy and Security Policies & Procedures
    • Privacy and Security Policies & Procedures for non-HIPAA covered entities 
    • 21st Century CURES Act Protocol
    • Substance Use Disorders (Part 2) Policies & Procedures
  • Preparing and negotiating HIPAA Business Associate Agreements
  • Implementing compliance plans for CCPA and CPRA 
  • Protecting PHI in electronic and hard copy patient records during litigation (e.g., drafting discovery stipulations for protective orders governing health information)
  • Protecting health information in electronic communications with government and non-government entities (e.g., government agencies; Medical Board of California)

Federal and state privacy and security laws affect nearly every industry sector ranging from healthcare providers to financial institutions to start-ups. Our attorneys advise both public and private clients in healthcare, technology, transportation and financial services in areas of privacy applicable to IT/technology, data security, financial privacy, health privacy, consumer privacy, employment privacy, litigation and transactions.

We counsel clients on how to protect proprietary and customer confidential information. We guide our clients through all steps of information governance and risk management, such as the development and implementation of preventative measures, policies and procedures; technology selection and validation, the placement of cyberliability insurance, and pursuit of claims under these policies. In addition, we help clients investigate and respond to data breaches and represent clients in related litigation.

  • Commercial transactions
  • Compliance audits
  • HIPAA compliance
  • Training programs
  • Information governance
  • Cyberliability insurance
  • Incident response and data breach counseling
  • Information handling
  • Privacy and data protection litigation
  • Privacy policies and procedures
  • Regulatory investigations

Representative Work


  • Drafted a privacy policy for a mobile app company.
  • Ongoing HIPAA Compliance for client (e.g., draft HIPAA privacy and security manual and related health plan language; draft and negotiate business associate agreements; analyze reportability of HIPAA breaches).
  • Drafted numerous privacy policies and technology contracts including SaaS and online bill pay agreements, where we advised on significant privacy issues.
  • Advise clients regarding obligation under HIPAA and California law to report possible health information security breach.
  • Advised global semiconductor company on the effect of data security monitoring and investigation practices on EU Safe Harbor Certification.
  • Advised American subsidiary of European company regarding US Government access to EU hosted cloud content under Patriot Act procedures (National Security Letters or FISC subpoenas.)
  • Advise numerous clients regarding the purchase/renewal of cyberliability policies.
  • Counsel clients on pursuing and obtaining insurance to pay for costs/losses arising from a data breach.
  • Counsel clients in successfully pursuing insurers to pay for costs/losses arising from hacking and other cybersecurity incidents. 
  • Advised transportation agency client on contract involving third party collection, processing and off-site storage of employee data.
  • Advised retail client regarding requests for Personally Identifiable Information (PII) at California brick and mortar stores.



Our clients own, manage, and develop a wide range of properties, from neighborhood centers, to lifestyle centers, to super-regional malls. This has given us a great deal of experience handling the array of legal issues they confront.

Lease litigation and unlawful detainers 
We litigate breach of lease and declaratory relief actions involving all types of obligations, including:

  • Rent and additional charges 
  • Security deposits
  • Common area maintenance obligations
  • Exclusivity and use rights 
  • Fraud and rescission claims
  • Holdover tenants
  • Lease extensions and purchase options
  • Audit rights 
  • Tenant improvements and other construction disputes
  • Co-tenancy obligations
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act

Additionally, with extensive experience in unlawful detainer actions, we understand the importance of obtaining possession quickly when tenants default.

Acquisition, sales, financing, and leasing
We handle all aspects of commercial leasing, from negotiation through drafting and execution. We negotiate and draft letters of intent, purchase and sale agreements, purchase money loans, construction loans, and other institutional lending arrangements. We assist with property inspections, title, and other due diligence, while our tax experience includes handling reassessment issues, tax-free exchanges, and other tax-driven transactions.

ADA and First Amendment access issues
Professional plaintiffs file ADA lawsuits daily that target shopping centers, and owners confront problems caused by solicitors at their centers. We advise shopping centers on ADA compliance, and have successfully defended numerous disability access claims. We also advise clients on First Amendment access issues, and develop access rules and regulations to allow owners reasonable control over the use of their properties.

Creditor’s rights and tenant bankruptcies
We represent commercial creditors, real estate owners, and real estate managers in bankruptcy cases, nationwide. We provide strategic advice and advocacy when our clients encounter opposing parties in financial distress or insolvency proceedings. This includes:

  • Cases under Chapters 7, 11, and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code
  • State court proceedings after an assignment for the benefit of creditors
  • Protection of rights to enforce lease obligations
  • Recovery of post-petition rent
  • Regaining possession
  • Obtaining maximum recovery when a lease is rejected

Construction contracts and litigation
We represent owners in negotiating and preparing construction contracts, surety bonds, and construction financing documents. Our experience includes:

  • Mechanic’s lien litigation
  • Impact and delay claims from new construction
  • Project management and construction defect disputes
  • Claims concerning tenant improvements and mall expansions

Land use and development
Our attorneys are deeply involved in their local communities, and we use that regional perspective to fashion pragmatic win-win solutions to development challenges. We obtain entitlements and other regulatory approvals, and have experience in NEPA /CEQA compliance, general plan, zoning and map approvals, and development agreements for mixed-use projects.

Environmental issues
We coordinate environmental due diligence efforts and handle investigation and remediation of contamination caused by tenants that releases hazardous substances, including dry cleaners and gas stations. We also work with consultants and regulators to maximize accessibility during cleanups, and provide comprehensive services for acquisition and development of "brownfield" properties. Additionally, we advise on common landlord-tenant issues involving:

  • Asbestos
  • Lead-based paint
  • Radon
  • Mold contamination
  • Statutory notification requirements
  • Abatement requirements

Our firm represents commercial creditors and real estate owners and managers in bankruptcy cases, nationwide. The hallmarks of this representation are quick analysis of bankruptcy proceedings, efficient monitoring of developments, and timely action to preserve rights and claims. We provide strategic advice for clients when opposing parties threaten or commence insolvency proceedings – including cases under chapters 7, 11, and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, as well as proceedings after a general assignment for the benefit of creditors.  

We have deep experience in bankruptcy cases involving real estate. This includes the resolution of time-sensitive issues of possession, lease assumption, rejection and abandoned property. When a commercial tenant files bankruptcy, we provide knowledge, insight, and timely action to protect our client's rights and interests.

Representative Work

•    Represented major national shopping center owners in dozens of large retail tenant bankruptcies in Delaware, New York, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and in all districts in California
•    Successfully resolved numerous bankruptcy claim disputes, preference actions, and disputes over assumption and rejection of commercial real property leases
•    Advised a national insurer on modifications to policy documents to address uncertainty created by bankruptcy preference statutes
•    Represented a landlord’s claims and leasehold interests in a skilled nursing facility during the bankruptcy estate’s auction of the debtor’s property, to ensure successor tenant was qualified, licensed, and in compliance with lease obligations
•    Assisted clients defending voidable transfer claims, avoidance actions, and recovery of preferential transfer lawsuits

Our team has the industry and litigation experience to deliver timely advice and take thoughtful action in all types of real estate disputes. Our deep understanding of the unique nature of real estate and its impact on clients’ bottom line comes from our extensive experience representing clients on the local, national, and international levels. These clients include:

  • Landlords
  • Tenants
  • Managers
  • Developers
  • Investors
  • Brokers
  • Government agencies 

Lease litigation: Breach of lease, declaratory relief and unlawful detainer / eviction actions involving all types of claims, including those related to:

  • Rent and additional charges 
  • Security deposits
  • Common area maintenance obligations
  • Exclusivity and use rights 
  • Fraud claims
  • Holdover tenants
  • Lease extensions and purchase options
  • Audit rights 
  • Tenant improvements and other construction disputes
  • Co-tenancy obligations
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act

Unlawful detainers: With extensive expertise in unlawful detainer actions, we understand the importance of obtaining possession quickly when tenants default.

  • Property and ownership disputes:
  • Purchase or sale of real estate
  • Property ownership and partnership disputes
  • Partition actions
  • Non-disclosure claims
  • Escrow disputes
  • Commission disputes
  • Easement disputes
  • Nuisance claims
  • Quiet title actions
  • Neighbor disputes

First Amendment access issues: We have helped clients develop access rules and regulations to allow owners reasonable control over the use of their properties. 

ADA issues: We have defended against disability access claims and advised property owners on ADA compliance. 

Creditor’s rights and bankruptcy: We represent commercial creditors, real estate owners, and real estate managers in bankruptcy cases, nationwide. We provide strategic advice and advocacy when our clients encounter opposing parties in financial distress or insolvency proceedings. This includes:

  • Cases under Chapters 7, 11, and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code
  • State court proceedings after an assignment for the benefit of creditors
  • Protection of rights to enforce lease obligations
  • Recovery of post-petition rent
  • Regaining possession
  • Obtaining maximum recovery when a lease is rejected

Land use and development: Our attorneys are deeply involved in their local communities, and we use that regional perspective to fashion pragmatic win-win solutions if a land use or development issue proceeds to litigation.

Environmental issues: We coordinate environmental due diligence, advise on investigation and remediation of contamination, and handle enforcement actions related to, hazardous substances, including:

  • Asbestos
  • Lead-based paint
  • Radon
  • Mold contamination
  • Statutory notification requirements
  • Abatement requirements
  • Enforcement actions



Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is a highly effective method for delivering complex projects. Harnessing the knowledge and skill of the entire design and construction team, IPD overcomes many of the dysfunctions documented by the Construction Users Roundtable, the World Economic Forum, McKinsey Global Institute and others. Our attorneys were at the inception of IPD, helping draft the American Institute of Architects, California Council’s ground breaking IPD: A Working Definition (2007 and 2016 update), the American Institute of Architects’ IPD Guide and the definitive text, Integrating Project Delivery published by Wiley in 2017. In addition, we have served as advisory or steering committee members for IPD research projects and white papers.

Although IPD is characterized as a project delivery method, it is most often used in conjunction with Lean principles and processes and utilizing Building Information Modeling (BIM). This is another area were we have taken the lead working with the National Institute of Building Sciences on BIM standards, serving on NBIMS sub-committees, and presenting and participating in Lean Construction Institute programs.

We are proud of our leadership in disciplines that can transform the AEC industry, delivering better value to project sponsors, stakeholders, and the design and construction team.


  • Consultation regarding use of IPD
  • Consultation regarding use of BIM
  • Lead IPD Workshops pre-contract and for contract negotiation
  • Preparation of IPD Agreements and related legal documents
  • Insurance counseling
  • Serve as project counsel providing legal services and advice to project team
  • Serve as project facilitator assisting team in managing IPD project
  • Serve as counsel to party in an IPD project

Not only have our attorneys paved the way in IPD, we have executed far more projects than any other firm. By 2018, our IPD team had structured more than 135 pure IPD projects and many other projects that applied IPD principles to design/build or CM at Risk projects. These projects, located across the United States, Canada and abroad have included:

  • Acute Care Hospitals
  • Medical Clinics and Medical Office Buildings
  • Biotech and Pharmaceutical Facilities
  • World Class Theme Park Attractions
  • Semi-conductor Manufacturing
  • Data Centers
  • Software and Tech Facilities
  • Financial Service Headquarters
  • University Facilities (Residences, Labs, Performing Arts Centers)
  • High Schools and other Secondary Education Facilities
  • First Responders Support Facilities
  • Process and Logistics Facilities
  • Net Zero/LEED Platinum Facilities
  • Historic Renovations
  • Multi-use Development
  • Commercial and Office Buildings



For more than six decades, our firm has been a national leader in the senior care and housing sector. Today, we serve as general or special counsel to hundreds of clients in this essential and evolving sector.

Our attorneys are nationally recognized for their leadership in this field.  We frequently speak at conferences throughout the country and write articles for state and national publications. We draft legislation and serve on key state task forces.  In fact, one of our partners wrote a widely respected treatise on senior housing and care facilities. Many of us play key leadership roles in organizations including the American Bar Association Health Section, American Seniors Housing Association, LeadingAge, Argentum, the California Assisted Living Association, and LeadingAge California. 


•    Licensing and Regulatory Matters
•    Contracting
•    Operations
•    Business Transactions
•    Competency Issues
•    Corporate and Tax Matters
•    Employee Benefits
•    Fair Housing and ADA
•    Financing – Taxable and Tax-Exempt
•    Insolvency and Bankruptcy
•    Insurance Coverage
•    Intellectual Property
•    Labor and Employment
•    Land Use and Local Regulation
•    Leasing
•    Legislative and Administrative Advocacy
•    Litigation and Dispute Resolution
•    Mergers, Affiliations, and Dissolutions
•    Nonprofit Board Governance and Tax
•    Privacy, Security and Data Breaches
•    Property Acquisitions and Sales
•    Public/Private Partnerships
•    Trusts and Estates

Representative Clients

•    Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) aka life plan communities
•    Assisted living communities
•    Skilled nursing facilities 
•    Independent living communities
•    Affordable housing providers
•    Hospices
•    Home health agencies
•    Home care agencies
•    PACE providers
•    Intermediate care facilities
•    Adult day care providers
•    Trade associations
•    Foundations
•    For-profit and nonprofit organizations
•    Cooperatives and condominiums
•    Management companies
•    Developers, investors, and lenders
•    Private and publicly traded companies


We draw on our extensive knowledge of both the legal and operational issues our health and senior care clients confront to provide comprehensive litigation and dispute resolution services. Attorneys in other practice areas of the firm who specialize in corporate law, senior care regulation and operations, transactional health law, real estate, labor and employment law, construction, public agency law, and insurance recovery enhance our ability to zealously and effectively advocate for our health and senior care clients.

The health and senior care industries face unique issues and challenges. We are sensitive to the economic and operational impact of litigation on our clients and strive to resolve cases efficiently. We perform careful and candid case analysis and assessment at the outset and work in partnership with our clients to create a litigation plan. We aggressively defend or prosecute actions in state and federal trial courts, appellate courts, arbitration settings, and administrative forums. We are also skillful negotiators. No matter the setting, we work hard to help our clients achieve their goals.


  • Medical staff credentialing and peer review matters
  • Citations and deficiencies imposed by the California Department of Public Health, California Department of Social Services, and the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • License revocation actions and denials
  • Complex business and contract disputes
  • False Claims Act, government investigations, and fraud and abuse
  • Resident transfers, discharges, and evictions
  • Capacity and consent disputes
  • Unfair business practices
  • Medicare and Medi-Cal reimbursement
  • Class action lawsuits
  • Insurance coverage for claims
  • Tort claims, such as elder abuse, wrongful death, fraud, and professional negligence

Representative Clients

  • Hospitals and organized medical staffs
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Independent senior living and continuing care retirement communities
  • Intermediate care facilities for the developmentally disabled
  • Medical groups
  • Home health agencies and other health providers
  • Licensed health care and senior living professionals
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC)

Key Contacts

Natalie Wilson
Natalie Wilson
San Francisco, CA
Business Disruption Strategies
Emerging Companies
David Cameron
David Cameron
Sacramento, CA
Water Law
Eric Clarke
Eric Clarke
Walnut Creek Market Leader
Walnut Creek, CA
Family Office Services
David Gehrig
David Gehrig
Walnut Creek, CA
John Cu
John Cu
San Francisco, CA
Financial Services
Business Litigation
Batya Forsyth
Batya Forsyth
San Francisco, CA
Privacy, Data Security and Governance
Trust and Estate Litigation
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Patricia Hartman
Patricia Hartman
Sacramento, CA
Health / Senior Care Real Estate
Diane Marie O'Malley
Diane Marie O'Malley
San Francisco, CA
Employment Class Actions
Matthew Fisher
Matthew Fisher
San Francisco, CA
Private Investment Funds
Institutional Investors
Mohammad Walizadeh
Mohammad Walizadeh
San Rafael, CA
Shopping Centers
Real Estate Litigation

News & Resources

Press Release |

Hanson Bridgett Reps OnSight Technology in Seed Financing

September 19, 2023 (Sacramento, CA) – Hanson Bridgett LLP recently represented client OnSight Technology, a leading robotics and computer vision company for the photovoltaics (PV) solar industry, in its Series Seed Financing. Early-stage venture capital firm Moneta Ventures led the round, with Stäubli, the global market leader in solar connections, robotics and industrial automation, joining as a strategic investor and board member. Previous investor Sacramento-based Growth Factory also participated in the round.  

Emerging Companies
Publication |

California Passes New Landmark Carbon Emission Reporting Laws

California Legislature has approved two landmark climate accountability bills that would require large companies to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions.

Sustainable Business and Impact Investing
Publication |

The Turbulent Market’s Impact on Qualified Small Business Stock Exclusions

Christopher Karachale and Ann Lucchesi review changes in economic conditions that have caused the rules regarding working capital and qualified small business stock (QSBS) exclusions to be reexamined, possibly impacting QSBS eligibility for growing companies.

Publication |

Pollock v. Superior Court of Los Angeles

On July 31, 2023, the 2nd Appellate District issued its decision in Pollock v. Superior Court of Los Angeles holding that, unlike a response to a production demand, a document production does not have to be verified

Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Business Litigation
Press Release |

Hanson Bridgett Secures CA Supreme Court Win for Aera Energy

August 28, 2023 (San Francisco, CA) – On August 3, 2023, the California Supreme Court issued its opinion in Chevron, et al. v. County of Monterey, et al. in which the Court unanimously affirmed the prior Sixth District Court of Appeal and Monterey Superior Court decisions finding that Monterey County Measure Z is preempted by superior state law and is invalid. A team from Hanson Bridgett represented Aera Energy LLC in this case.

Environmental Law
Press Release |

Senior Housing at Marin Valley Mobilehome Country Club Saved from Sale to For-Profit Corporation

August 25, 2023 (Novato, CA) – On August 22, 2023, the Novato City Council voted to decline a $30-million offer from a private for-profit company to purchase the city-owned land at Marin Valley Mobile Country Club (MVMCC), a mobilehome park, home to more than 400 seniors, ranging in age from 55 to 100 years old. Hanson Bridgett represented the residents.

Land Use