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:

  • Named Technology Group of the Year by Law360
  • Ranked #1 in the Americas for number of technology deals in 2015 by Mergermarket
  • Nearly 20 percent of Fenwick partners are ranked by Chambers
  • Consistently ranked among the top 10 law firms in the U.S. for diversity
  • Recognized as having top mentoring and pro bono programs by Euromoney


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

San Francisco Office
555 California Street
13th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104

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

New York Office
1211 Avenue of the Americas
32nd Floor
New York, NY 10036

Shanghai Office
Unit 908, 9/F, Kerry Parkside Office
No. 1155 Fang Dian Road
Pudong New Area, Shanghai 201204
P.R. China
+86 21 8017 1200

Michael J. Shuster, Ph.D.

Industry Co-Chair, Life Sciences

Partner, Intellectual Property  

San Francisco 415.875.2413


Michael Shuster provides strategic intellectual property legal services to biotechnology and chemical/pharmaceutical companies. His practice includes patent prosecution, portfolio analysis, due diligence, litigation and opinion work. His clients include start-up and established biotechnology companies, venture capital firms and research universities and hospitals.

Michael has legal and technical experience in protein and nucleic acid chemistry, clean tech, high resolution protein structures, proteomics, genomics, combinatorial peptide libraries, vaccine development for viral and autoimmune disorders, transdermal drug delivery systems, liposomal drug formulations and microfluidics devices.

Before becoming an attorney, Michael’s career experience included graduate research in the laboratory of Professor Eric Kandel at Columbia University as part of a team focused on discovery of mechanisms by which short-term memories are stored, research for which Professor Kandel was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Michael then moved to the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, where he pursued his interests in ion channel biophysics and protein structure.

In 2016, Michael joined the advisory board of CalBIO, the biotech division of the California Technology Counsel. Currently, Michael is a co-instructor of "A Life Scientist's Guide to Intellectual Property" at UCSF, and regularly lectures about intellectual property law subjects. He is past chair of the Intellectual Property section of the Barrister's Club of San Francisco. Michael was named one of Top 25 Biotech Lawyers in California in 2011 and one of the Top 25 Intellectual Property Portfolio Managers in 2009 and 2012 by the Daily Journal. He was also recognized for patent prosecution in The Legal 500’s 2014 guide, as a "Life Sciences Star" for his outstanding patent work in Euromoney's LMG Life Sciences 2012 and 2013, as a Northern California “Super Lawyer” in 2013 and 2014, as well as an IP Star by Managing Intellectual Property in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Michael has published numerous scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals as well as articles on biotechnology patent law. Representative technologies for which he's written and prosecuted patent applications include genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, vaccines, microfluidic devices, drug delivery methods and microarrays.

Organization and Community Participation

  • American Bar Association
  • California Bar Association
  • San Francisco Bar Association
  • San Francisco Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Biophysical Society



  • Personalized Medicine Patent Law Update​, Personalized Medicine World Conference (PMWC), January 28, 2015
  • Supreme Court View on Prometheus Case, Personalized Medicine World Conference (PMWC), January 23, 2012
  • Consumer Protection or Government Intrusion: Is Regulation appropriate? Is it different in Europe? Japan? Are companies moving away from “betting the company” on the FDA?, Burrill Personalized Medicine Conference, October 4, 2011
  • AMA Speaker Series - Life Sciences, Asia America MultiTechnology Association, June 26, 2007
  • Life Science Entrepreneurs' Forum, FountainBlue Consulting Services, September 18, 2006
  • A Life Scientist's Guide to Intellectual Property: Drafting Patent Applications, UCSF, April 25, 2006
  • A Life Scientist'' Guide to Intellectual Property: Life and Death of a Patent, UCSF, April 18, 2006
  • 6th Advanced Forum on Biotech Patents: Constructing The Plan For The Future, American Conference Institute, February 16, 2006
  • Radio Interview on World Talk Radio's Biotech Today, September 24, 2003