Fenwick & West LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “Flexible hours”
  • “Collegial atmosphere”
  • “Awesome tech clients”

Downers

  • “Below market bonuses”
  • “Free market system is what you make of it”
  • “Lack of transparency in bonuses”

About Fenwick & West LLP

In 1972, four attorneys moved from New York to Palo Alto to found a firm based on their vision that the Silicon Valley would become the future tech Mecca of the world. They were right. Small wonder, then, that the area's alpha geeks-Facebook, Airbnb, Amazon.com, Cisco Systems and Dropbox to name just a few-look to Fenwick & West for tech-savvy counsel.

Laying the Legal Groundwork for the iUniverse

Just four years after its founding, Fenwick & West snagged future tech icons Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak as clients, eventually helping to incorporate Apple Computer for them, the first step in building the eventual Apple universe of iPhones and iPads we all know and love. Soon after that, the firm handled IPO work for software manufacturer Oracle.

The firm continues to lead in the technology sector. Named the U.S. Technology Group of the Year by Law360 for the past two years running, Fenwick handled five of the top 10 venture capital-backed technology exits of 2014, according to CB Insights data, including both the largest venture-backed IPO, Lending Club, and venture-backed acquisition, WhatsApp's $19 billion purchase by Facebook, which Law360 called "a jewel in [Fenwick's] silicon crown."

Fenwick also worked on the two largest venture capital financings of 2014-Uber's two $1.2 billion VC raises. The financings were also the first and second largest in history behind Facebook's 2011 financing, which the firm also handled.

Additionally, Fenwick attorneys have proved adept at handling billion-dollar M&A work, becoming the go-to firm for tech acquisitions like VeriSign's $21 billion acquisition of Network Solutions and Concur Technologies' $8.3 billion acquisition by SAP and counseling the special committee of the board of directors of China's Giant Interactive Group in its $3 billion going private acquisition. Fenwick attorneys also manage serial acquisition programs for companies like Cisco Systems, Dropbox, Facebook and Twitter.

Not a One Trick Pony

Fenwick places substantial importance on the excellence of the firm's IP services because of the significance of IP for the firm's core client base, tech and life sciences companies. In recognizing the firm on its IP Hot List, which honors only 10 law firms nationwide as the best for IP, The National Law Journal noted that "[Fenwick] has long been a go-to shop for IP counseling: It helped build Facebook's patent portfolio and registered iconic trademarks for Twitter. And it has expanded into life sciences. But 2014 included a number of litigation knockout punches that bolstered its reputation as a courtroom heavyweight for tech companies."

The firm also earns accolades for its tax work from International Tax Review annually. The team, which has represented more than 100 of the Fortune 500 and half of the Fortune 100 largest U.S. companies, recently provided tax counsel on Tim Hortons' $11.4 billion acquisition by Burger King, Switzerland-based Glencore International PLC's $6 billion purchase of Canada-based Viterra Inc. and Eaton Corporation's $13 billion acquisition of Cooper Industries.

As Fenwick's securities litigation team continues to grow, the team continues to earn accolades in the legal community, including being recognized by Chambers USA. This year, The Legal 500 noted that Fenwick "has a lean and mean litigation team focused on getting the right result in shareholder litigation."

According to Businessweek, Fenwick pulled itself out of the recession much faster than other Bay Area firms, largely by "riding" the social network and online media trend "like no other firm in the Valley" and embracing startups from Facebook and Twitter to Airbnb and Dropbox. Growing alongside the titans of cyberspace to become one of the largest and most profitable firms in the Bay Area, Fenwick & West has also opened offices in Seattle, San Francisco and Shanghai.

Geek Heaven

The firm's successes aren't limited to the courtroom and the boardroom. Fenwick has enjoyed a reputation as one of the best places in the country to work. Until Fortune raised the minimum required number of employees for companies to rank, Fenwick was no stranger to the magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work for in America" list. The firm is regularly ranked among the "Best Places to Work" by Silicon Valley Business Journal and the San Francisco Business Times. Law360 and The American Lawyer annually rank Fenwick among the top 10 law firms for diversity nationwide, and for two years in-a-row, the firm's mentoring and pro bono programs have been named the best in North America by Euromoney at its Americas Women in Business Law Awards.

Interested in pro bono? In addition to the aforementioned Euromoney recognition, Fenwick received the National Legal Aid & Defender Association's Beacon of Justice Award, the San Francisco Business Times' Community Impact Award, API Legal Outreach's Legal Impact Award and the San Mateo County Legal Aid Society's Guardian of Justice Award. The National Law Journal also selected Fenwick for its Pro Bono Hot List; Fenwick was one of only 10 law firms in the United States to receive this recognition.

IN THE NEWS

June 2017
R3

Fenwick represented a consortium of leading financial institutions that participated in a $107 million capital investment in R3, the largest consortium of global financial institutions collaborating to develop a platform and commercial applications for distributed ledger technology (DLT). The financing represents the first two of three tranches in R3's Series A fundraising round. The consortium includes more than 40 participants from over 15 countries. Top investors include SBI Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Intel and Temasek. Other major investors include ING, Banco Bradesco, Itaú Unibanco S.A., Natixis, Barclays, UBS, and Wells Fargo.

April 2017
Sanctuary Cities

A U.S. District Court judge issued a decision granting the Santa Clara County and the City and County of San Francisco's motion for a nationwide preliminary injunction to bar the federal government from enforcing an executive order that threatened to cut off federal grants and funding to local governments targeted as "sanctuary jurisdictions" for declining to participate in federal immigration enforcement. Through an amicus brief filed by Fenwick, a group of technology companies spoke out against the executive order noting how the order seeks to compel conduct antithetical to the values of inclusiveness, diversity and openness.

March 2017
Holy GRAIL

Fenwick represented GRAIL, Inc., a life sciences company whose mission is to detect cancer early when it can be cured, in raising over $900 million through the first close of its Series B financing. The financing was led by ARCH Venture Partners and includes Johnson & Johnson Innovation as the largest investor in the financing. Other strategic investors participating in the financing include Amazon, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, McKesson Ventures, Merck, Tencent Holdings Limited and Varian Medical Systems, Inc.

August 2016
Wally & The Jets

Fenwick represented Jet.com, Inc., a home goods e-commerce company, in its definitive agreement under which Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), will acquire Jet for approximately $3 billion in cash, a portion of which will be paid over time. Additionally, $300 million of Walmart shares will be paid over time as part of the transaction.

January 2017
Good Giganews

Fenwick secured a landmark victory for its clients Giganews and Livewire Services in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a case brought by notorious copyright plaintiff Perfect 10. The court's opinion consolidated important principles of copyright law which will shape the landscape for online service providers for years to come. Repeat copyright plaintiff Perfect 10, Inc. sued Giganews for billions of dollars over alleged copyright infringements on its Usenet service. Before suing Giganews, Perfect 10 had sued many other leading Internet service providers. In earlier stages of the litigation, three separate federal judges in the trial court in Los Angeles made key rulings for Giganews, culminating in a complete victory for Giganews in the trial court in late 2014. The trial court also awarded Giganews over $5.6 million in attorney's fees and costs against Perfect 10 in 2015. On January 23, 2017, the Court of Appeals, by a 3-0 decision, affirmed Giganews' victory.

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Fenwick & West LLP

Silicon Valley Center
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
Phone: (650) 988-8500

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Kathryn Fritz
  • Hiring Partners: William Hughes (Mountain View); Bill Bromfield (Seattle)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 359

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $180,000
    Summer associate: $3,076/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    29 out of 30 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Antitrust & Unfair Competition • Commercial Litigation • Consumer Goods and Retail • Copyright • Corporate • Corporate Finance & Securities • Corporate Social Responsibility • Digital Health • Electronic Information Management • Employment Practices • Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits • Gaming and Digital Media • Intellectual Property • Life Sciences • Litigation • Mergers & Acquisitions • Patent • Patent Litigation • Patent Post-Grant Proceedings • Payments • Privacy and Cybersecurity • Private Equity • Securities Enforcement • Securities Litigation • Startups & Venture Capital • Tax • Tax Litigation • Technology Transactions • Trade Secret Litigation • Trademark • Trademark Litigation • White Collar & Regulatory Defense

Major Office Locations

  • Mountain View, CA (HQ) • San Francisco, CA • Seattle, WA • New York, NY Shanghai