Harold S Toppel

Harold S Toppel

Los Altos, California

Harold S. Toppel graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1966 and was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 1967.  He began his legal career as an associate with a law firm in Detroit until he was hired as house counsel for the commercial loan division of a Michigan-based subsidiary of Citibank.  Harold moved to California in 1973 to work as part owner and house counsel of a commercial mortgage company and thereafter as house counsel for a real estate developer.  He became a member of the California State Bar in 1974 and returned to the full time practice of law in San Francisco before joining the law firm of Atkinson-Farasyn LLP as a partner in 1979.

Harold is now semi-retired but still maintains his law office at Atkinson-Farasyn where he spends some time several days a week.


Harold has extensive experience in representing both private and public agency clients. He has provided legal services in the numerous areas of the law, including:

•    Estate planning, trust administration, and probate of decedent's estates;
•    Real estate development, commercial leasing, and financing;
•    Organization and operation of corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and other business entities.

He incorporated and currently acts a general counsel for the Metro Ethernet Forum and the Ethernet Alliance, both being international nonprofit organizations involved in the establishment of standards for Internet communications.

In the public sector, Harold retired as City Attorney for the City of Brisbane (serving from 1993-2013) and recently retired as District Counsel for the Cupertino Sanitary District (2000-2014) and the Saratoga Fire Protection District (2000-2014).  He previously served as City Attorney for the City of Saratoga (1980-1990), District Counsel for the Point Montara Fire Protection District (2004-2007), Interim City Attorney for the City of East Palo Alto (1989-1993), and Deputy Town Attorney for the Town of Woodside (1980-1985)

Year Joined Firm

  • 1979

Areas of Practice

  • Municipal Law

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1974
  • Michigan, 1967


  • The University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • Juris Doctor - 1966
  • Monteith College at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan
    • Bachelor of Philosophy - 1963