Fenwick & West LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “Flexibility”
  • “Cutting edge cases”
  • “I don't work with jerks”

Downers

  • “Free market pressures”
  • “Understaffing”
  • “Unpredictability of job”

The Buzz

  • “The cool kids in Silicon Valley
  • “Entrepreneurial”
  • “Stingy”
  • “Brutal hours”

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 2015

Helping Associates Get Ahead and Give Back

For the second year in a row, Fenwick was recognized as having the Best National Mentoring Program and being the Best National Firm for Pro Bono in North America by Euromoney at its Americas Women in Business Law Awards. Fenwick received several awards in 2014 for its exemplary commitment to pro bono work, including 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.

Intellectual Property Pros

Fenwick was honored among top U.S. IP law firms by The National Law Journal. "[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," The National Law Journal noted in its profile of the firm.

"But 2014 included a number of litigation knockout punches that bolstered its reputation as a courtroom heavyweight for tech companies," the publication added.

February 2015

A Blockbuster Year

​"Propelled by a thriving market for tech deals, Fenwick & West saw explosive growth in 2014," The Recorder opens in a profile of Fenwick's record year in 2014. Chairman Richard Dickson is quoted as saying, "Everything broke right this year. Everything aligned this year. Every cylinder hit. Every major practice area grew."

Top in Tech

Law360 again recognized Fenwick as the best firm in the United States for tech companies. Fenwick is noted in the accompanying profile as being "behind some of the biggest technology deals of 2014" while also "[leading] its clients to victory in the courtroom and in government investigations."

Exit Experts

Fenwick handled five of the top 10 venture capital-backed technology exits of 2014, including both the largest venture-backed initial public offering, Lending Club, and acquisition, WhatsApp's $19B acquisition by Facebook. The team was named the Emerging Companies Group of the Year by The Recorder and won The Legal 500's inaugural Venture Capital and Emerging Markets Team of the Year. Dropbox GC Ramsey Homsany said of the team, "They have staffed a lot of women on our account, which sends a signal to me about what the place is about. That it's a fair place to work, and I never got the sense it's because they're women-they're just good, and it often feels like Fenwick is preparing their women to be partners."

May 2014

Jiǔyǎng

Fenwick continued expansion of its China Practice with the opening of a licensed representative office in Shanghai and the addition of corporate partner Niping Wu. Fenwick partner Eva Wang, who joined the firm a year ago, leads the Shanghai office.

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Fenwick & West LLP

Silicon Valley Center
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
Phone: (650) 988-8500
Fax: (650) 938-5200
www.fenwick.com

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Kathryn J. Fritz
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 341

  • Employment Contact
    Julieta Stubrin
    Director of Attorney Recruiting and Diversity
    Phone: (650) 335-7141
    Fax: (650) 938-5200
    Email: jstubrin@fenwick.com

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $160,000
    Summer associate: $3,076/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    24 out of 24 (2014)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Antitrust & Unfair Competition
    Commercial Litigation
    Copyright
    Corporate Finance & Securities
    Corporate Social Responsibility
    Electronic Information Management
    Employment Practices
    Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits
    Intellectual Property
    Litigation
    Mergers & Acquisitions
    Patent
    Privacy and Information Security
    Private Equity
    Start-ups & Venture Capital
    Tax
    Technology Transactions
    Trade Secret
    Trademark

Major Office Locations

  • Mountain View, CA (HQ)
  • Boise, ID
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Shanghai

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