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<?php preg_match_all('/(\((?>((?!<br>|[()]).)++|(?=\()(?1))*+\))/is', 'this () is a ( test ) right here ((l);;) so yea', $result); var_dump($result);
Output for 4.3.0 - 5.6.28, hhvm-3.10.0 - 3.12.0, 7.0.0 - 7.1.0
array(3) { [0]=> array(3) { [0]=> string(2) "()" [1]=> string(8) "( test )" [2]=> string(7) "((l);;)" } [1]=> array(3) { [0]=> string(2) "()" [1]=> string(8) "( test )" [2]=> string(7) "((l);;)" } [2]=> array(3) { [0]=> string(0) "" [1]=> string(1) " " [2]=> string(1) ";" } }