Established in 1972, Fenwick & West works closely with technology and life science companies that are changing the world through innovation. The firm has more than 40 years of experience solving the business challenges that arise at the intersection of technology and the law. Fenwick clients, who range from startup ventures to global enterprises, value our law­yers’ deep industry experience, and our understanding of their technologies and business issues. We have nationally ranked practices in complex financial and commercial transactions, intellectual property protection and licensing, mergers and acquisitions, “bet-the-company” litigation, domestic and international tax planning and tax controversies. And because technology companies were some of the first to tackle globalization, Fenwick has handled international outsourcing, IP prosecution and enforcement, foreign investment, acquisitions and international tax issues for our clients continuously since the 1980s.

Mission

We seek to form effective partnerships with our clients and to provide superior client service. Many of our clients have exceeded their expectations in creating and building successful enterprises; we strive to do the same in the lawyering we provide for our clients. It is important that we not only pro­vide first-rate innovative legal services, but that we also serve as powerful business partners for our clients.

History

Fenwick & West was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley—before “Silicon Valley” existed—by four visionary lawyers who left a top-tier New York law firm to pursue their belief that technology would revolutionize the business world and to pioneer legal work for those technological innovations. The firm’s history is inextricably entwined with the growth of technology in Silicon Valley: Fenwick incorporated Apple and took Oracle and eBay public. Since then, the firm has represented leading technology companies and underwriters in numerous high profile IPOs and led many landmark M&A transactions including the largest Internet merger in history, VeriSign’s $21 billion acquisition of Network Solutions. Our intellectual property practice is continuously on the cutting edge of legal issues arising from emerging technologies, from the pioneering of shrinkwrap license agreements in the 1970s, to the creation of software development clean rooms in the 1980s, to being one of the first firms to advise and litigate numerous internet-related IP issues that arose in the 1990s, including privacy, digital copyright, software patent and domain name issues. Among many other notable technology lawsuits, the firm’s litigators successfully defended Amazon.com’s 1-Click® patent just in time for the 1999 holiday shopping season and successfully defended Elan Pharmaceuticals’ patents on transgenic mice.