Contact Info vCARD

T: +1 415.393.8257
F: +1 415.374.8480

San Francisco Office
555 Mission Street
Suite 3000
San Francisco, CA 94105-0921, USA


Mary G. Murphy is the co-chair of Gibson Dunn's Land Use Practice Group and a member of Real Estate Practice Group and Sports Law Group.  She also is a member of the Firm's Diversity Committee.  Ms. Murphy represents a wide variety of developers and investors in real estate transactions and land use issues, with particular experience in public private partnerships and historic rehabilitation projects.

Ms. Murphy is one of the most influential land use attorneys in San Francisco and has been a major player in development in San Francisco and the Bay Area.  She is a pre-eminent figure in the City for significant and historic public/private development deals.  Ms. Murphy recently represented the Golden State Warriors in their successful entitlement of a new event center and mixed use development in the Mission Bay area of San Francisco, including successfully defending the entitlements and CEQA analysis pursuant to AB 900, an expedited judicial review process for CEQA cases. Ms. Murphy also represented Treasure Island Community Developers in its successful negotiations to redevelop Treasure Island, a former naval base in the San Francisco Bay. The Treasure Island project is a complex, multi-year, multi-phase development project involving federal, state and local components.  She also was lead counsel in the successful entitlements for the redevelopment of the 312 acre Parkmerced residential development in San Francisco. She was part of the Gibson Dunn team representing Related Company in its 9 million square foot development in Santa Clara and currently represents Cedar Fair, the owner of the Great American Theme Park in Santa Clara.  She currently represents Fortress Investment Group in its efforts to redevelop the Oakland Coliseum City site. She is legal counsel to Westfield America, the developer of the $420 million public/private retail and entertainment complex, the Westfield San Francisco Centre, an urban 1-million-square-foot retail and entertainment complex, and also assisted Westfield in its acquisition of the 350,000-square foot SONY Metreon, an urban dining, gaming, music, exhibition, shopping, and movie entertainment complex, located in downtown San Francisco.  

Ms. Murphy was also legal counsel to the developers in the public/private partnership with the Port of San Francisco, in the 8 Washington Project, the rehabilitation of Piers 1 ½, 3 and 5, an historic waterfront property, and was lead counsel to the developers of the San Francisco Ferry Building, a national historic landmark.  In 2003, this project was named "Deal of the Year" by the San Francisco Business Times.

Both waterfront projects were federal historic tax credit projects. Other important historic building rehabilitations in which she was legal counsel include the original Bank of Italy Building (One Powell Street), the old San Francisco Chronicle Building (690 Market Street, San Francisco's first skyscraper), the Mutual Bank Building (700 Market Street), the Call Building (74 New Montgomery), and the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Building (140 New Montgomery), all located in downtown San Francisco.

Appointed by both Presidents Clinton and Bush, Ms. Murphy served two terms on the Presidio Trust Board, a United States Government Corporation established by Congress in 1996.  As a principal representing the Presidio Trust, Ms. Murphy represented the Trust in the two largest transactions it had ever undertaken –  the landmark $100 million remediation agreement among the Trust, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior, and a 90-year ground lease and development agreement with Lucasfilm to build a digital entertainment facility and office complex in the Presidio National Park, which was also named "Deal of the Year" by the San Francisco Business-Times in 2002.

Ms. Murphy was named to the 2017 California Lawyer of the Year by the Daily Journal for her work leading the Golden State Warriors Mixed-used and Event Center Development legal team. She was also named to the list of "100 Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business" by the San Francisco Business Times several times, and was elevated in 2017 to their “Forever Influential” status. She was also named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the State of California in 2011 and 2012 by the Daily Journal and the Recorder, respectively, as well as a California Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer magazine in 2007.  Ms. Murphy has also been included in Chambers & Partners' USA Leading Lawyers for Business Guide as a first-tier land use attorney, several times.  She was recently awarded the Euromoney LMG Americas Women in Business award for 2016 in Real Estate and was named the 2014 Best Lawyer in Real Estate by Best Lawyers in America.  She sits on the Board of Trustees of San Francisco Planning & Urban Research and the Committee on JOBS.  She is a former board member of the San Francisco Boys & Girls Club, Hamlin School for Girls, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the Drew School in San Francisco.  She is also a former San Francisco City Commissioner, having served on the San Francisco Board of Appeals, which hears, among other things, appeals from the Planning Commission and Zoning Administrator.

Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Ms. Murphy was a partner in a San Francisco firm, as well as a law clerk for Judges Cecil F. Poole and James R. Browning of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Ms. Murphy received her law degree from Harvard University, cum laude, in 1986.  She was a Rhodes Scholar and graduated from Oxford University with an Honours B.A. in 1983. She received her B.A., cum laude with distinction, from Yale University in 1981.


  • Harvard University - 1986 - Juris Doctor
  • University of Oxford - 1983 - Bachelor of Arts
  • Yale University - 1981 - Bachelor of Arts


  • California Bar