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 ...
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 shared 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 on 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.
Fenwick’s uninterrupted history of handling landmark transactions, disputes and legal innovations includes the following:
With more than 300 attorneys and 500 employees firm-wide, 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.
Our greatest legacy and the reason for our continued success lies in the quality of our people and our culture. Our lawyers possess a deep understanding of the technology and science behind our clients’ businesses and we have always been committed to delivering the highest level of service in the most efficient, effective way possible, while maintaining a collegial and collaborative environment based on mutual respect.
For more than four decades, Fenwick & West has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become, and remain, market leaders. From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, our clients are leaders in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors and are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation.
Having worked alongside such progressive and cutting edge companies for so long, our culture has come to reflect the entrepreneurial spirit of our client base. Unlike traditional law firms, we move at our clients’ speed and have earned the reputation as a go-to law firm for growing companies that need insightful, strategic counsel to help tackle the challenging issues that arise when the law cannot keep up with their pace of innovation.
With the same passion for excellence and innovation reflected in our client base, our firm is making revolutionary changes to the practice of law through substantial investments in proprietary technology tools and processes. Our clients demand—and deserve—new ways to receive best-in-class legal services more effectively. At Fenwick, we are proud to be shaping our legal services to do just that.
Diversity, inclusion and community engagement are core Fenwick values. We are committed to making a difference the communities where we live and work.
- Top 5 Law Firm in the U.S. for Diversity (American Lawyer)
- Best Places to Work for LGBT Individuals (Human Rights Campaign Foundation)
- Employer of the Year for support of employees with disabilities (The Arc of San Francisco)
- Donated 10,000+ pro bono hours to address civil rights, child advocacy, political asylum and death penalty cases
Fenwick & West was in Silicon Valley when there were more apricots than silicon. As a result of our history and experience, we are deeply integrated in the unique eco-structure of Silicon Valley, not only with entrepreneurs and their companies, but also with venture capitalists and investment bankers who help drive the area's constant innovation. We represent hundreds of exciting technology and life sciences companies that are redefining e-commerce, communications, cleantech, digital health, entertainment and social media every day. We invite you to dig deeper into Fenwick & West to see what we have to offer YOU!
Like many of our clients, Fenwick proves that sophisticated, cutting-edge work performed at the highest level isn’t always a function of size. Our goal is not to be the biggest law firm, but rather the best law firm in the practice areas critical to our clients. How do we do it? Keeping our focus on what is important to our clients instead of trying to be a legal superstore.
At Fenwick, you’ll find intellectual stimulation in a remarkably collegial atmosphere. The firm’s smaller scale means that you’ll have significant responsibility and client contact. And with very little hierarchy, you’ll be practicing at the highest level for a first-rate group of clients that are doing remarkable things.
I worked at Fenwick & West part-time (More than 8 years)
Good work, fair management, smart interesting people. Very generous benefits and progressive policies. I left several years ago but the firm seems to have a similar culture and ever growing reputation.
Hard work, sometimes long hours. Pressure of pleasing clients. A few temperamental partners but overall a great environment. I can’t think of any more negatives.
I applied online. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at Fenwick & West (New York, NY) in January 2017.
Phone interview with recruiter, then interview(s) with administrator. Made me an offer before checking references. Never met with the team of attorneys. Evaded questions concerning duties and amount of attorneys which I would be assigned (major red flag). Both times I interviewed at the office, the lobby security could not locate my name on the security list. When the concierge attempted to call the receptionist, they kept receiving her automated voicemail. Firm seems rather disorganized. Glad my gut told me no.