Donahue Fitzgerald LLP, believed to be the longest continuously practicing law firm in the East Bay and one of the oldest law firms in California, celebrates its 140th Anniversary in 2023. We attribute the firm’s longevity to its relationship with its clients who have placed their trust in us and worked with us to achieve their goals.
A Brief History
This proud legacy of client service began in 1883 when legacy firm, Fitzgerald Abbott and Beardsley, was founded by Robert M. Fitzgerald in a two-room office on Broadway in downtown Oakland. Over the next 30 years, Mr. Fitzgerald formed a partnership with colleagues Carl H. Abbott and Charles A. Beardsley.
In 1918, Judge William H. Donahue resigned from his position with the Alameda County Superior Court and William H.L. Hynes resigned as Alameda County District Attorney. Together they founded legacy firm Donahue and Hynes. The Donahue firm’s name would change over the years, becoming Donahue Gallagher Woods in 2003.
In 2014, the two firms merged to become Donahue Fitzgerald LLP, continuing a strong history of legal excellence and community service.
Both legacy firms had long traditions of excellent service to clients who helped shape East Bay history. The Donahue firm represented a key transportation company, while the Fitzgerald firm was instrumental in spearheading development of the waterfront, which later became the Port of Oakland.
Our founders also strengthened both the legal and local community by serving on the boards of various organizations. Robert M. Fitzgerald helped found the organization that would become the State Bar of California, and Charles Beardsley was elected President of the American Bar Association. Oliver Deveta Hamlin Jr. of the Donahue firm served as President of the Alameda County Bar Association in 1929, the first of many of its attorneys to serve in that position. In 1982, The Alameda County Bar Foundation funded the creation of Legal Access Alameda (formerly VLSC) to mobilize attorneys to provide volunteer pro bono services to low-income people in the community. Donahue Gallagher Woods was the first firm in Alameda County to take cases from VLSC. This heritage continues to this day as our attorneys support numerous community and charitable organizations by serving on their boards and providing pro bono legal services.
Who We Serve Now
Today, Donahue Fitzgerald with offices in Oakland, Walnut Creek, San Rafael, and Los Angeles and with the ability to provide services beyond California by partnering with other law firm members of the Law Firm Alliance, represents clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations, closely-held private companies and family-owned businesses, to start-ups, nonprofits, and individuals with complex legal needs. The breadth of this experience, coupled with a collaborative culture among our attorneys and staff, enables us to offer our clients the sophistication and expertise of a large firm with the responsiveness and efficiency of a small firm.
Whether we are retained for a single matter or to handle a client’s ongoing legal needs, our focus is on developing a close working relationship with each client, while providing the highest quality services in the most cost-effective manner. To do so, the Donahue Fitzgerald team brings a business and practical perspective to every matter, ensuring that our clients have both a legal counselor and a real-world problem solver by their side.
How We Can Serve You
Our transactional, litigation, intellectual property, real estate, estate planning, music and entertainment, franchise, and immigration attorneys have the in-depth experience and knowledge to assist our clients with all their legal needs, including matters related to, securities, employment, real property, intellectual property, and nonprofits. Our litigators resolve complex disputes involving business contracts, copyright and trademark infringement, software licensing enforcement, employment claims, construction disputes, and estates and trusts. Our estates and trusts attorneys provide a full range of services, including designing individually crafted estate planning strategies and advising estate administrators such as trustees and executors. Our transactional attorneys draft and negotiate complex business contracts, form legal entities, and represent buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions.
A Proud Tradition Continues
Donahue Fitzgerald LLP has sought to build on the foundation created by its founders, whether in providing outstanding legal services to its clients or by contributing to the development of our local communities. We look forward to continuing these traditions in the decades to come.