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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

Shanghai Office
36/F, Room 3690, Tower 2
Shanghai IFC
8 Century Avenue, Pudong
Shanghai 200120, China
+86 21 6062 6104

William A. Fenwick

Partner Emeritus, Litigation

icon partner 650.335.7200  

William Fenwick is one of the founding partners of Fenwick & West and is currently Partner Emeritus at the Firm.

In the early 1970's, when computer handling of personal information generated sufficient concern to coalesce libertarians, academicians and politicians, Bill traveled, spoke and wrote extensively on the need for rationality and caution in the flood of legislative proposals to regulate privacy and information handling. He appeared before various federal and state legislative committees to testify about proposed "privacy legislation," including the Privacy Act of 1974. He contributed to drafting changes to proposed legislation to eliminate undesirable side effects of the rush to regulate what were as yet uncharacterized activities involving information. He worked with WEMA (now AEA) to prevent the permanent retardation of the developing automation of information handling through the use of computers.

Bill has served as Chairman, EFT Transfer Committee, American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. and was one of the initial members of the Committee on Electronic Legal Research, New York Bar Association. He has served as Chairman, Committee on Law Relating to Computers, Section on Science & Technology. He was Chairman of the Practicing Law Institute's program on Computer Litigation for three years during which he was the editor of three volumes of working papers on various subjects related to law and technology.

He co-authored the report on the use of technology in the courts for the California Future of the Courts Commission and was a member of the Judicial Council of California’s Court Technology Advisory Committee from its creation in 1992 to 2002. He received the 2001 Bernard E. Witkin Award from the Judicial Council for his efforts assisting the courts in adopting information technology and in moving into electronic filing. In 2011, he received the Southern Illinois University Distinguished Alumni Award for his outstanding career accomplishments and commitment to his alma mater and community.

Bill first began litigating technology disputes in 1968. Technology transfer, development contracts, taxation, licenses, copyright, trademark, trade dress, trade secrets, distribution and antitrust disputes have been the priority of his practice for over 30 years. Since 1992 he has been involved in a number of Internet-related matters as well as online commerce and communications.

 

About William