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Cecily Talbert Barclay

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2007

Perkins Coie LLP

Cecily Barclay focuses her practice on land use and entitlements, real estate acquisition and development and local government law.  She regularly assists landowners, developers and public agencies throughout Northern California in all aspects of acquisition, entitlement and development of land, including land use application processing, drafting and negotiating purchase and sale agreements, negotiating and securing the approval of development agreements, general plan amendments, specific plans, planned development zoning, annexations, initiatives and referenda, and tentative and final subdivision maps.  She also advises clients on riparian and appropriative water rights, including in connection with vineyard and agricultural properties.

In addition to processing entitlements for large mixed-use master planned communities, as well as for reuse of former military facilities and other infill development sites, Cecily also has significant experience in negotiating school fee mitigation agreements, preparing conservation easements to mitigate for loss of biological resources, drafting affordable housing programs, Williamson Act contracts and related issues pertaining to agricultural properties, and assisting local agencies in drafting ordinances relating to updating general plans and housing elements, planned development zoning, specific plans, mitigation fees, affordable housing and growth management.

Cecily is the author of Curtin's California Land Use and Planning Law, a well-known publication which definitively summarizes the major provisions of California's land use and planning laws.  She regularly speaks and writes on topics involving land use and local government law, including programs and articles for the American Bar Association, American Planning Association, California Continuing Education of the Bar, League of California Cities, University of California Extension programs, Urban Land Institute, and other state and national associations and conferences.  Cecily's practice also focuses on how agencies and developers must comply with state housing laws, particularly anti-NIMBY and density bonus laws.  Cecily is also the president of two nonprofit affordable housing corporations in Oakland.

Case History

  • Other Court Admissions
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California


  • 2011 Honoree for Northern California Real Estate Women and Influence
  • Listed in Super Lawyers, Northern California (2004 - 2012)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, "Leading Lawyer in Land Use and Zoning Law" (2007 - 2012)
  • Ranked by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2006 - 2010)
  • Ranked by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Real Estate (2011 - 2012)
  • Selected as "Leading Lawyer," Legal 500 US, California North, Land Use and Zoning (2009)
  • Selected as "Top East Bay Land Use Attorney," East Bay Business Times (2006 - 2008)

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Four Embarcadero Center, Suite 2400
San Francisco, CA 94111-4131
Phone: 415-344-7117
Firm Phone: 415-344-7000

Practice Areas

  • Environmental Law
  • Land Use and Zoning Law
  • Real Estate Law

Lawyer of the Year


  • University of California Berkeley (BA) (1983)
  • Harvard Law School (J.D.) (1988)

Bar Admissions

  • The State Bar of California

Organizations & Affiliations

  • American Planning Association — Member
  • Urban Land Institute — Member
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association — Member
  • San Francisco Bar Association — Member
  • American Bar Association — Member