News

Seventeen Coblentz partners have been recognized by Best Lawyers in America® in its 2018 listing of the nation's top legal talent. Partners Jon Bass, Jeff Bernstein, Pam Duffy, and William Hutton have been recognized annually by Best Lawyers for over 30 years, and three new partners have been added to the 2018 listing as well: Tim Crudo, Gregg Ficks, and Julie Treppa.

Business partner Karen Frank has also received the Best Lawyers® 2018 Copyright Law "Lawyer of the Year" award in San Francisco.

Congratulations to these Coblentz attorneys for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018 guide in the following categories in San Francisco:

  • Jon Bass: Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Land Use and Zoning, Litigation – Real Estate
  • Jeff Bernstein: Litigation and Controversy – Tax, Tax Law
  • Tim Crudo: Criminal Defense: White-Collar
  • Pam Duffy: Environmental Law, Land Use and Zoning Law, Litigation – Environmental, Litigation – Land Use and Zoning, Real Estate Law
  • Phil Feldman: Litigation – Trusts and Estates, Trusts and Estates Law
  • Gregg Ficks: Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Karen Frank: Copyright Law, Litigation – Intellectual Property
  • Alan Gennis: Real Estate Law
  • William Hutton: Tax Law
  • Jeff Knowles: Commercial Litigation
  • Danna Kozerski: Real Estate Law
  • Barbara Milanovich: Real Estate Law
  • Jim Mitchell: Trusts and Estates Law
  • Harry O'Brien: Land Use and Zoning Law, Real Estate Law
  • Richard Patch: Litigation – Antitrust
  • Julie Treppa: Non-Profit / Charities Law
  • Tay Via: Land Use and Zoning Law, Litigation – Land Use and Zoning


The Best Lawyers annual guide is based on peer review and feedback from tens of thousands of leading attorneys leading lawyers who confidentially evaluate their professional peers. In 2018, Best Lawyers analyzed more than 7.4 million votes in 198 metro areas and across 145 practice areas to select more than 58,000 attorneys across the United States.

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Coblentz partner Brandi Brown was featured in an interview by Super Lawyers, after being named among the Super Lawyers 2017 Northern California Rising Stars. You can read the full interview here, where Brandi discusses her wine practice and outside general counsel work for advertising, creative services, and food and beverage industry clients. Of her business, Brandi notes, “I play shortstop. I never know, when I come to work, what will be the issue of the day for these companies, and I love that. You have to be able to give a legal solution that’s not a business killer, because as mid-size companies, they need to take risks to grow.” She also discusses her diverse background growing up and time working in Japan, where she “fell in love with Tokyo.”

Brandi was named a Northern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers, along with 16 other Coblentz attorneys named to the Super Lawyers list.

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Real estate partner Tay Via was named among the Top Women Lawyers in 2017 by the Daily Journal – a list that recognizes the leading women attorneys across California.

In its coverage of Tay, the Daily Journal noted her “25-year track record of guiding clients through the notoriously complicated Bay Area regulatory environment,” and her representation of marquee projects such as the California Academy of Sciences, the Exploratorium, AT&T Park, California Pacific Medical Center, and real estate plans for Uber Technologies. Tay mentions the Giants’ AT&T Park remains her favorite project, noting her personal investment in the stadium and remarking, “Sitting with my own sons behind home plate is a proud time for me.”

Tay advises clients on commercial real estate, land use and development, specializing in large public-private partnerships and  expertise that includes the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Tay is also the editor of the firm’s Unfamiliar Terrain blog, which provides insights into the complex Bay Area land use landscape.

Read more here.

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Coblentz litigation partner Timothy Crudo is ranked as a Leading Lawyer in the California, Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations category in Band 4 by Chambers USA.

Clients described Tim to Chambers as offering "very valuable breadth of expertise," while another client noted "I have complete confidence in his ability to represent me in a negotiation or trial." Chambers describes Tim as having “particular proficiency in financial fraud cases and interactions with the SEC.”

Tim is a trial lawyer focusing on white collar defense and government enforcement, particularly investigations and cases brought by criminal prosecutors, government regulators, and shareholders in white collar, securities, and corporate governance matters.

London-based Chambers and Partners conducts intensive, continuous research to identify the world's leading lawyers and law firms – individual lawyers are ranked (in their practice-areas) on the basis of their legal knowledge and experience, their ability, their effectiveness, and their client-service.

The Coblentz real estate practice is also listed by Chambers USA in the top tier, Band 1, for California, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use, and real estate partners Pamela Duffy and Harry O'Brien are listed as Leading Lawyers in the same category. 

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Coblentz real estate partners Pam Duffy and Harry O'Brien are listed in the California, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use category of the 2017 Chambers USA guide, published by Chambers & Partners. Pam and Harry have been consistently ranked as Leading Lawyers by Chambers USA since 2003.

Pam Duffy is again ranked as a Leading Lawyer in the top tier, Band 1, noted for her strength in zoning and land use matters. Clients described Pam to Chambers as having “superb breadth of knowledge” and “really understands how San Francisco works, not only in her legal expertise and intelligence, but also her great political knowledge of the town. She is great to deal with." Harry O’Brien is also again ranked as a Leading Lawyer in Band 2. Clients describe Harry as "a very good and solid land use attorney who is well connected in San Francisco," and "a smart guy."

The Coblentz real estate practice is also listed in the top tier, Band 1, for California, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use. Known for its strong presence in the Bay Area and comprehensive real estate offering, clients also commented on the Coblentz team's strong zoning reputation and clear communication skills: "I find them very easy to work with; they have a reputation for being one of the top firms in the city, especially on land use. They are very straightforward; they say what they think in a way we can understand, and they get good results." Another client praises the team’s commitment to their goals, noting "Very good focus on our needs, with a consistency and continuity I appreciate."

London-based Chambers and Partners conducts intensive, continuous research to identify the world's leading lawyers and law firms – individual lawyers are ranked (in their practice-areas) on the basis of their legal knowledge and experience, their ability, their effectiveness, and their client-service.

Coblentz litigation partner Timothy Crudo is also listed by Chambers USA as a Leading Lawyer in the California, Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations category. 

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The Coblentz office design was a featured project in Contract Magazine, a commercial interior design and architecture publication, covering projects, products, and practice issues that set the standards in the industry.

Coblentz worked with global architecture and design firm Gensler on the firm's new San Francisco office space Contract says "illustrates how the latest [in] design innovations can be successfully applied to one of the most conservative industries," and noting the firm's desire for a "workplace that would celebrate its 125-year history, reflect local culture, welcome clients, and embrace the future by appealing to a new generation of legal talent."

“Gensler understood our desire to create an innovative, standout space that was, at the same time, highly functional and well suited to our current and future needs,” says Maggie Callicrate, chief operating officer of Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass. “The result is a stunning office that draws you into bright, modern, and highly functional spaces for everyday work and creative meeting spaces for connecting with co-workers and clients.”

View the featured project and additional photos here.

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Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass assisted Elevate Credit in its initial public offering, the fourth venture-backed tech IPO of 2017. Elevate Credit debuted on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ELVT, with an offering of 12.4 million shares of common stock at a price of $6.50 per share.

Elevate has originated $4 billion in nonprime credit to more than 1.6 million consumers to date. Its innovative online credit solutions provide immediate relief to customers and help them build a brighter financial future. The company is committed to rewarding borrowers’ good financial behavior with features like interest rates that can go down over time, free financial training and free credit monitoring.

The team from Coblentz consisted of Paul Tauber, Karen Frank, Scott HallJulie Treppa and Jacob Mayers

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Coblentz is recognized by BTI Consulting Group’s report, BTI Brand Elite 2017: Client Perceptions of the Best-Branded Law Firms. BTI Brand Elite 2017 includes the 426 law firms with a definitive impact in key areas, including achieving recommendations to peers without prompting, likeliness to be an industry leader over the long term, delivering new and valuable services other firms don’t, and continuously improving the client experience. BTI’s research is based solely on in-depth interviews with 633 corporate counsel at the world’s largest and most influential companies.

Coblentz was also named as a Client Service Leader by BTI Client Service A-Team 2017, where corporate counsel ranked Coblentz in the top firms nationally for client service excellence.

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On February 16, 2017, Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass teamed up with the Bar Association of San Francisco's Justice & Diversity Center to host a real estate and facilities pro bono legal clinic. The clinic featured an educational presentation by Coblentz attorneys Barbara Milanovich, Valerie McDermott, Misti Schmidt, and David Anderson, who provided attorney volunteers with an overview of lease negotiation, administration and litigation, property ownership, land use, and tax considerations.  After the presentation, Coblentz volunteers paired up with in-house counsel from several Bay Area offices to help six small nonprofits assess their real estate and facilities "wellness" and identify potential legal issues. 

Companies represented by in-house counsel included Apple, Inc., Seagate Technology, Oracle Netsuite, and Essex Property Trust.  Non-profit participants included Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing (DISH), San Francisco Housing Development Corporation, Swords to Plowshares, Downtown Streets Team (DST), and Spanish Speaking Citizens' Foundation.

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Richard Patch has been named among the best attorneys for client service by corporate counsel in BTI's 2017 Client Service All-Star list.

The annual list from BTI Consulting Group Inc. is based on direct feedback from more than 300 corporate counsel of large businesses and Fortune 1000 companies with $1 billion or more in revenue identifying attorneys who stand out for delivering superior client service. The Client Service All-Stars excel in six common traits identified by corporate counsel and legal decision makers: having superior client focus; demonstrating an exceptional understanding of the client's business; superior legal skills; delivering efficient, value-added service; being innovative thought leaders; and delivering outstanding results.

According to BTI, the class of 2017 Client Service All-Stars is "especially sought after by clients as their needs have shifted in response to the surge in complex work. These attorneys are proactive in building client relationships. They take, and make, the time to understand their clients in-depth—their business, their objectives, and their goals. This elite group enjoys a clear cut advantage over the competition."

As a senior trial and appellate lawyer, Richard Patch is widely regarded as one of the leading satellite, cable and telecommunications lawyers in the country. Richard was also recognized as a BTI Client Service All-Star in 2014, and Coblentz has been recognized in BTI’s Client Service A-Team for several consecutive years, where corporate counsel continue to rank Coblentz in the top firms nationally for client service excellence.

The Coblentz litigation group was ranked in the top 15 percent of all U.S. law firms for Commercial Litigation and Class Actions as featured in BTI's Litigation Outlook 2017, which annually provides in-depth analysis of the litigation market from direct feedback in interviews with corporate counsel at the world’s largest companies.

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