Derek Early

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Derek Early is a partner at Brown & Streza LLP, a premier Southern California transactional law firm that provides an integrated approach to business and personal planning with an emphasis on tax issues. He represents businesses and high-net-worth individuals regarding business planning, succession planning, corporate governance, contracts, commercial real estate, and mergers and acquisitions. As a presenter and author, Derek frequently addresses business succession planning and related issues.

Derek performs general counsel work for numerous privately held companies, and frequently counsels these clients regarding entity selection, designing and refining corporate governance structures, contract review and preparation, buy-sell agreements, risk management, and compliance. Much of his time is devoted to helping business owners develop and execute exit and succession plans to meet their personal, tax, and operational objectives. He also regularly collaborates with the firm’s tax and estate planning attorneys and clients’ CPAs, financial planners, insurance professionals, and other advisors to execute complex transactions and engage in strategic planning.

Regarding commercial real estate, his extensive experience primarily concerns retail shopping centers. He has represented both landlords and tenants in numerous lease negotiations, and frequently assists clients with sales transactions and financings. He also represents buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions, where the firm places particular emphasis on tax planning and structuring.

Before joining Brown & Streza LLP, he litigated numerous business disputes and employment issues, providing him with an understanding of clients’ risks and concerns relating to the litigation process.

During law school, Derek was a Managing Editor for the Indiana Law Journal and President of the Sports & Entertainment Law Society.

In 2000, Derek won an Ivy League Championship as a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s football team.

  • Business Planning
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Real Estate
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Brown & Streza LLP, 2013-Present
  • Varner & Brandt LLP, 2010-2013
  • Fernandez & Lauby LLP, 2008-2010
  • Juris Doctor, cum laude, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, 2005-2008
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Pennsylvania – 1999-2003
  •  2018 "Southern California SuperLawyers - Rising Star"
    • Published by Los Angeles magazine and The Journal for Law & Politics. Only 2.5% of lawyers under the age of 40 and/or in their first 10 years of practice in Los Angeles and Orange Counties receive this honor.
  • Forbes, October 16, 2018
    • Using An Intentional Defective Irrevocable Trust (IDIT) To Gift Your Family Business
    • Primary source for technical information related to IDIT and briefly quoted
  • Prudential Irvine Office, Irvine, California, June 19, 2018
    • Avoiding Business Planning Mistakes Using Life and Disability Insurance and Other Techniques
  • 2018 Agents Helping Agents (AHA) Conference, Hotel Irvine, Irvine, California, March 30, 2018
    • Using Life and Disability Insurance for Business Planning
  • Exit Planning Institute SoCal Chapter Meeting, The Center Club Costa Mesa, June 1, 2017
    • Family Business Divorce
  • CalCPA Study Group Breakfast, Marie Calender's, Anaheim, California, September 22, 2016
    • Buy-Sell Agreements
  • Morgan Stanley Seminar, The Canaletto Ristorante, Newport Beach, California, June 28, 2016
    • Avoid the 6 Mistakes that Business Owners Make
  • State Bar of California - Member
  • American Bar Association - Member