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For more than four decades, Fenwick & West LLP 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.  MORE >

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 the legal work for those technological innovations. In order to be most effective, they decided they needed to move to a location close to primary research and technology development. These four attorneys opened their first office in downtown Palo Alto, and Fenwick became one of the first technology law firms in the world.  MORE >

From our founding in 1972, Fenwick has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion both within our firm and throughout the legal profession. For almost four decades, the firm has actively promoted an open and inclusive work environment and committed significant resources towards improving our diversity efforts at every level.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we are proud of our commitment to the community and to our culture of making a difference in the lives of individuals and organizations in the communities where we live and work. We recognize that providing legal services is not only an essential part of our professional responsibility, but also an excellent opportunity for our attorneys to gain valuable practical experience, learn new areas of the law and contribute to the community.  MORE >

Year after year, Fenwick & West is honored for excellence in the legal profession. Many of our attorneys are recognized as leaders in their respective fields, and our Corporate, Tax, Litigation and Intellectual Property Practice Groups consistently receive top national and international rankings, including:

  • Nearly 15 percent of Fenwick partners named America's Leading Lawyers for Business by Chambers USA and Chambers Global
  • Selected as a "Go-To" law firm by in-house legal departments at Fortune 500 companies in Corporate Counsel magazine
  • Named to The National Law Journal's inaugural "Intellectual Property Hot List" for outstanding patent, copyright, trademark and IP litigation services

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We take sustainability very seriously at Fenwick. Like many of our clients, we are adopting policies that reduce consumption and waste, and improve efficiency. By using technologies developed by a number of our cleantech clients, we are at the forefront of implementing sustainable policies and practices that minimize environmental impact. In fact, Fenwick has earned recognition in several areas as one of the top US law firms for implementing sustainable business practices.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we have a passion for excellence and innovation that mirrors our client base. Our firm is making revolutionary changes to the practice of law through substantial investments in proprietary technology tools and processes—allowing us to deliver best-in-class legal services more effectively.   MORE >

Mountain View Office
Silicon Valley Center
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
650.988.8500

San Francisco Office
555 California Street
12th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
415.875.2300

Seattle Office
1191 Second Avenue
10th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
206.389.4510

David L. Forst

Chair, Tax

Partner, Tax

icon partner 650.335.7254  

David Forst is the Practice Group Leader of the Tax Group of Fenwick & West. He is included in Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Tax Advisers. He is also included in Law and Business Research’s International Who’s Who of Corporate Tax Lawyers (2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012). David was named one of the top tax advisers in the western U.S. by the International Tax Review, is listed in Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2011-2012), and has been named a Northern California Super Lawyer in Tax by San Francisco Magazine.

David's practice focuses on international corporate and partnership taxation. He is a lecturer at Stanford Law School on international taxation. He is an editor of and regular contributor to the Journal of Taxation, where his publications have included articles on international joint ventures, international tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions, the dual consolidated loss regulations, and foreign currency issues. He is a regular contributor to the Journal of Passthrough Entities, where he writes a column on international issues. David is a frequent chair and speaker at tax conferences, including the NYU Tax Institute, the Tax Executives Institute, and the International Fiscal Association.

Selected Publications


  • Dual Consolidated Loss Proposed Regulations—IRS Finally Updates the Rules, Journal of Taxation, Vol. 103, No. 3, September 2005
  • IRS Issues New Final Regulations Regarding Foreign Tax Credit Limitations, Journal of Taxation, Vol. 101, No. 4, Oct. 2004
  • Often Overlooked and Mostly Unresolved Issues in International Partnerships, Journal of Taxation, Vol. 100, No. 3, March 2004
  • The SEC's Auditor Independence Regulations: Tax Services Under Sarbanes-Oxley, by James P. Fuller, David L. Forst, Barton W.S. Bassett, and Adam S. Halpern, The Tax Executive, Vol. 55, No. 2, pp. 117-121, March – April, 2003
  • The Service gets aggressive: Why taxpayers need to pay attention to FSAs, Journal of Taxation, Vol. 95, No. 1, pp. 42-49, July 2001
  • The Best in E-Commerce Law, The Full Text Of Insightful Articles To Help You Operate Profitably On The Internet & Manage the Legal Risks of E-Commerce – "Old And New Issues In The Taxation Of Electronic Commerce", Berkeley Technology Law Journal, pp. 657-669 (Article in above Publication)
  • Final Section 367(b) Regulations, Mergers and Acquisitions, The Monthly Tax Journal, Vol. 1, No 3, pp. 3-13, July 2000
 

About David