Shartsis Friese Mourns Loss of Co-Founder Robert C. Friese

Robert C. Friese

San Francisco, May 17, 2021:  The lawyers and staff of Shartsis Friese LLP are saddened by the loss of co-founding partner Robert Charles Friese, who passed away on May 13, 2021 of complications relating to Alzheimer’s.

Bob Friese founded what today is Shartsis Friese LLP in 1975 with Art Shartsis and Mary Jo Shartsis, and was instrumental in building it into one of the premier midsize law firms in the country.  Throughout his illustrious career, Bob specialized in business litigation and his clients included major investment advisers, banks, brokerage firms, and many executives and board members of these entities. Bob was a champion for public interest causes and gave his time and passion to numerous environmental organizations.  He retired from the firm in 2017.

In addition to his contributions to the legal community, Bob was the moving force behind San Francisco Beautiful, a civic organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in San Francisco and preserving the cultural heritage of the City.  He was very involved in the life of the city and personally did much to improve the city environment.  He was also deeply committed to supporting organizations that improved the lives of disadvantaged people.

“Bob was not only a brilliant, savvy lawyer, but a trusted and generous friend, who helped build the firm from the ground up,” said Managing Partner Art Shartsis.  “He made an incredible contribution to his firm, the profession, and the city that he loved and will be missed by friends and colleagues in San Francisco and around the country.”

Prior to co-founding the firm, Bob was a lawyer at the Securities and Exchange Commission and later served as President of the Association of SEC Alumni.  He taught at the SEC’s in-house training sessions in Washington, D.C., and has served as claims administrator at the request of the Commission.

Bob was an active participant in a host of legal organizations.  He served as Chair of the Business Litigation Committee and the State Court Civil Litigation Committee, as well as serving as a board member of the Bar Association of San Francisco.  He was a member of the Securities Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association, also serving as co-chair of the SEC Enforcement Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section. One of Bob’s many contributions to the profession was serving as coordinator of a multi-year study of the increasing criminalization of securities law.

Bob received an A.B. degree from Stanford University in 1964 and a J.D. from Northwestern University in 1970. He has also studied at the Graduate Institute for International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, and the School of Law of Freie Universitaet in Berlin, Germany.

Born in Chicago on April 9, 1943, Bob is survived by his wife Chandra and children Matt, Mark and his wife Mallory, and Laura.  Memorial contributions in Bob’s honor can be made to San Francisco Beautiful ( or the Greenbelt Alliance (  Details about a memorial service are pending.

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About Shartsis Friese
Founded in San Francisco in 1975, Shartsis Friese LLP has more than 65 lawyers.  The firm has extensive trial and business litigation experience, including securities enforcement defense, and a complex transactional practice focused on investment advisers, hedge funds, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, securities, tax, venture capital, intellectual property, family wealth planning, and real estate.  For more information visit