Stephens Friedland Merges with FBFK Law, Joint Leadership to Leverage Collective Commercial Litigation and M&A Bench Strength

John Stephens, Todd Friedland point to bigger legal platform for existing, new Orange County and cross-state clients

COSTA MESA, Calif. & DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Leadership of Orange County-based Stephens Friedland LLP (SF) and Texas-based FBFK Law Firm today announced the law firms are merging to bolster the strong litigation and transactional practices of both firms across Southern California and Texas.

Stephens Friedland’s powerhouse founding partners John Stephens, also the Mayor of Costa Mesa, Calif., and Todd Friedland, former President of the Orange County Bar Association, will lead FBFK’s commercial litigation expansion in Orange County and Southern California while adding resources and service offerings from FBFK.

“Todd and John are highly respected attorneys and wonderful leaders. We are thrilled for this opportunity to serve the ever-growing business community in Orange County,” said FBFK CEO Kyle Ferguson. “We have seen a significant increase in legal transactions between Texas and California and plan to leverage our joint capabilities and experience across our business communities.”

With more than 50 attorneys in Dallas, Houston and Austin, Texas, FBFK has also been growing an M&A presence in Orange County. The more than 20-year-old FBFK law firm boasts extensive business law experience – from intellectual property and commercial litigation to tax planning and employment law – with a specialty in corporate and transactional law – and particular expertise in cross-state mergers and acquisitions between companies in California and Texas. Stephens and Friedland will join and help lead FBFK’s California efforts to service their clients’ growing commercial litigation needs.

“One of the biggest reasons John and I started Stephens Friedland 17 years ago was culture and autonomy – we wanted to do great work for entrepreneurs as well as global companies,” said Todd Friedland. “Only now after meeting Kyle, Paul and the FBFK team and quickly discovering we meshed culturally and personality-wise, and after experiencing so much overlap and migration between the strong economies of California and Texas, we saw a huge opportunity to better serve our clients and grow by joining forces.”

Stephens adds, “What attracted me to FBFK was the firm’s alignment with the philosophy of client service and teamwork that we have instilled at Stephens Friedland since Todd and I joined forces in 2006. Over the past two decades, FBFK has built a firm based upon these and other core principles. Working with the FBFK team will bring tremendous value to our clients and referral sources as we continue to serve the Orange County business and legal community.”

A business trial lawyer in Orange County for more than 34 years, John Stephens’s practice includes cases involving business dissolution and a wide variety of complex business issues. He has been recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer, and in Best Lawyers in America, and is an influential “connector” in the Orange County business community as a Group Leader in the national professional organization, ProVisors. He has also served as the Mayor of Costa Mesa, Calif since March 2021, and on the Costa Mesa City Council since 2016.

With more than 25 years of complex commercial litigation experience, Todd Friedland is a lauded attorney well known for his legal leadership in Orange County. His practice focuses on commercial litigation and strategic counseling including matters related to corporate governance and fiduciary duty, complex contract and manufacturing disputes, trade secrets, unlawful business practices, business torts, and real estate issues. Friedland has served as President, Orange County Bar Association (2016); President, Orange County Bar Association Charitable Fund (2017); President, Association of Business Trial Lawyers – Orange County (2020); and has been honored as one of the Top 50 Attorneys in Orange County (2018-2023), Best Lawyers in America (2015-2023), and Southern California Super Lawyers (2011-2023). He is rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell.

About FBFK

Celebrating more than 20 years of legal expertise and success across Texas and the U.S., Dallas-based FBFK is an entrepreneurial-minded, full-service business law firm with offices in Plano, Houston and Austin, Texas, as well as in Orange County, Calif. Driven by a commitment to creating lasting client relationships grounded in high-quality representation and client service, FBFK represents clients nationwide in nearly 40 practice areas related to business structures and transactions, intellectual property protection and dispute resolution.


Melissa Flynn,, 843.817.7653

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