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"The 'exceptional' Brian Farmer receives praise from a client who says he 'understands our business well, is incredibly responsive to our needs, creatively comes up with solutions and is incredibly thoughtful in his counsel.'"  Chambers USA

Brian is a leader of Hirschler’s investment management practice group and a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. His practice focuses on the investment management industry, serving both institutional investors and investment managers. 

Responsiveness and deep industry knowledge are often cited as Brian’s key strengths.  He regularly collaborates with a worldwide network of industry contacts and service providers.  A frequent lecturer at investment industry events, Brian has been quoted in Reuters, The Wall Street Journal Online, PE Manager, Opalesque and Hedge Fund Law Report, among other periodicals.

Brian is a former member of the Board of Trustees and Investment Advisory Committee of a $600 million municipal pension plan, investing across virtually all asset classes.  He believes this experience has helped him better understand the industry from his clients’ perspective.


Selected as "Lawyer of the Year" for Information Technology Law, 2021, Securities/Capital Markets Law, 2022, Best Lawyers in America

Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Law, Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Securities/Capital Markets Law and Venture Capital Law, 2022

Named a "Leader in the Field," Corporate/M&A, Southern Virginia, Chambers USA: Guide to America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2015–2022

Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Law, Information Technology Law, Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Securities/Capital Markets Law, and Venture Capital Law, 2016-2021

Selected as "Lawyer of the Year" for Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law, Best Lawyers in America, 2020

Selected for inclusion as a “Super Lawyer,” Securities and Corporate Finance, Virginia Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2006-2022

Named to Virginia’s "Legal Elite,” Business Law, Virginia Business, 2014, 2016-2020

Named "Richmond Lawyer of the Year," Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law, Best Lawyers, 2017

Selected as a “Richmond Lawyer of the Year,” Venture Capital Law, The Best Lawyers in America, 2016

Team Finalist, Best Law Firm-Client Service, HFMweek Magazine, 2010-2012

Greater Richmond Technology Council, Leadership Award, 2004

  • 2019 "Best Law Firms" Badge Artwork
  • Best Law firms 2021
  • Best Law Firms 2022
  • chambers 2018
  • Farmer Chambers 2019
  • farmer chambers 2020
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • Virginia Legal Elite



Investment Management

Represented several university endowments with investment portfolios exceeding $1 billion in reorganizing their internal investment offices into separate tax exempt organizations aligned with the university’s mission. These projects involved determining the new investment office’s governance structure (including degree of university control), advice on tax-exempt qualification, executive and key investment professional compensation, fee–setting and similar tax-exempt compliance issues, advice on application of investment advisory laws and required SEC filings, structuring management of assets through separate accounts and commingled vehicles, and planning to comply with state law requirements on investment of public funds and FOIA.

Represented a U.S.-based hedge fund manager in negotiating a $300 million commitment from a multi-billion endowment supporting biomedical innovation.

Represented a European-based hedge fund manager in launching its feeder funds for U.S. investors and in negotiating a $70 million commitment from one of the largest U.S. private university endowments.

Regularly represents institutional investors (endowments, OCIOs, pension plans, family offices, funds of funds) in portfolio investment activities. Representation includes negotiation of fund or separately managed account agreements and assessment of legal terms in comparison to current market ranges. Transactions generally range from $10 million to $500 million per investment. 

Represented a large government pension plan in separate account investments with global banking institutions investing across all marketable asset classes using a dynamic portfolio allocation strategy.  An objective of the relationship was to assist the portfolio team of the plan in enhancing overall plan returns using dynamic allocation strategies.

Regularly represents institutional investors in a wide variety of private equity secondary sales, synthetic secondary transactions and co-invest transactions. Transactions typically range from $5 million to $200 million and involve funds spanning all illiquid strategies. 

Represented an RIA in a change of control transaction with a private equity fund valuing the advisory firm at over $100 million. Subsequently represented the founders in the sale of their retained minority interest in the firm at a transaction value in excess of $300 million.

Represented a global private equity manager in a "fund of one" agreement to manage over $200 million for a large public pension plan.

Represented multiple real estate fund managers as they have moved from a high net worth to an institutional investor base over the course of several funds.

Served as counsel to a nationally recognized prime broker on a securities lending transaction with a large endowment in excess of $100 million.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Represented numerous privately-held companies in control and non-control sales to strategic, private equity, family office and insurance company buyers. Transaction sizes have ranged from $20 million to over $500 million. Representation has included advising on transaction structure from a tax and regulatory perspective, negotiating key deal terms, advising on benefits and drawbacks of auction versus non-auction sales processes, use of earn-outs, assisting with due diligence, negotiating representations and warranties insurance coverage and advising on response to pre- and post-closing indemnification claims. This representation has been focused on the financial services industry but has also included assignments for companies in healthcare, business services, manufacturing and other commercial fields.



Speaking Engagements




Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association, Business Law Section; Institutional Investors, Hedge Fund, and Private Equity/Venture Capital Committees

National Association of Public Pension Attorneys

New York State Bar

Virginia State Bar, Business Section

Virginia Bar Association, Business Section

Beyond the Law

Beyond the Law

Brian has three children and enjoys spending time helping them with their studies as well as exploring the outdoors with them.  Brian was a competitive triathlete for many years and still enjoys cycling with friends.  He likes playing backgammon, poker and other games of chance and is popular among opponents for being an easy win.

  • Law clerk for the Honorable J. Calvitt Clarke, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

The University of Virginia School of Law, J.D.

University of Virginia, B.A., Phi Beta Kappa

  • Virginia
  • New York
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