Professional Biography

Alan Murphy Partner

  • San Francisco

    D +1.415.344.7126

    F +1.415.344.7326

    San Francisco

    505 Howard Street, Suite 1000

    San Francisco, CA




Alan Murphy focuses his practice on land use and development matters, including associated environmental review. He secures and defends land use entitlements and counsels clients in preparing development applications, during the approval process and in the due diligence period. Alan has significant experience with local general plans, specific plans, zoning codes, conditional uses, variances, the Subdivision Map Act, development agreements, impact fees, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and San Francisco’s discretionary review process.

In his practice, Alan strives to identify innovative solutions to complex and politically sensitive development challenges. He routinely interacts with public agency staff and regularly appears on behalf of clients before city councils and boards of supervisors, planning commissions and local appellate boards. He also defends against land use and environmental litigation, and he represents property owners in zoning enforcement actions.

Alan's clients have included developers, landowners, financial and educational institutions, energy companies and public agencies. His experience includes representing clients in securing entitlements to redevelop over 500,000 square feet of office and R&D uses in both Foster City and Mountain View; advocating before various San Francisco decision-making bodies for proposals to establish new residential units; processing a proposal for a 200-acre rural residential development and a 1,950-acre wildlife preserve in Santa Clara County; and representing an air district in litigation challenging rule amendments. Alan also has worked on a citizens' initiative to amend a city's general plan, specific plan, zoning and other ordinances to accommodate a major development project.

As an accredited LEED Green Associate, Alan can assist clients in complying with U.S. Green Building Council certification requirements. He is chair of the Program Committee for the Association of Environmental Professionals 2017 state conference, and serves on the Urban Land Institute San Francisco’s Sustainable Development Committee.

Alan routinely provides pro bono legal services to those in need. He has worked with an environmental nonprofit organization on an extensive analysis of legal authorities governing ocean ecosystems and resources. He also has screened requests for clemency from federal prisoners, worked on an application for asylum and drafted part of a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief on behalf of Catholic nuns.


Professional Leadership

  • Association of Environmental Professionals
  • Urban Land Institute
  • San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR)
  • Bar Association of San Francisco

Related Employment

  • Bingham McCutchen LLP, San Francisco, CA, Associate, Land Use and Development Group, 2010 - 2011
  • The City and County of San Francisco, CA, Office of the City Attorney, Legal Intern, Land Use and Environmental Protection Team, 2006


  • Hon. Richard Clifton, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2008 - 2009





Areas of Focus

Bar and Court Admissions

  • California

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California


  • Yale Law School, J.D., 2008,
    Editor, The Yale Law Journal, Policy Editor, Yale Law & Policy Review
  • Stanford University, B.A., Political Science, 2003