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, throughout the approval process and in due diligence. Alan has significant experience with general plans, specific plans, zoning codes, use permits, variances, the Density Bonus Law, other state housing legislation, the Subdivision Map Act, development agreements, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) 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 represents property owners in zoning enforcement actions.

Among Alan's clients are developers, landowners, educational and financial 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; preparing a citizens' initiative for a major project; advocating before San Francisco decision-making bodies to establish new residential units; and analyzing multifamily residential development options on properties between San Francisco and San Jose.

Alan recently co-chaired and presented at a new CLE International conference on land use law, served as chair of the Program Committee for the Association of Environmental Professionals 2017 state conference, and serves on a local Urban Land Institute Sustainability Committee. He also has represented nonprofit organizations on a pro bono basis to advocate for the approval of project entitlements, conduct land use due diligence and analyze legal authorities governing ocean ecosystems. Alan’s other pro bono work has included screening requests for clemency from federal prisoners and drafting 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