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


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
12th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104

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

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

Start-ups & Venture Capital


About Our Start-ups & Venture Capital Practice

Emerging Company Services

Fenwick & West provides a broad range of services to emerging companies in technology and life sciences. We currently represent more than 500 VC-backed companies, and are ranked by Dow Jones and Chambers USA as one of the top VC practices in the U.S.

  • Deep understanding of how technology companies are formed, financed, grown and taken public or merged
  • Guidance at all stages, from initial funding through IPOs and mergers
  • “Virtual general counsel” approach—provides company executives and managers with a single point of accountability for substantially all their legal needs
  • Guidance on business model issues, fundraising strategy and development of quality investor materials suitable for meaningful evaluation
  • Invest in off-the-clock meetings with management and the Board
  • Practice legal advice, delivered with sound business judgment
  • Earn the role of trusted advisor

Venture Capital Services

We also have one of the preeminent venture capital practices in the country and have long-standing relationships with the recognized leaders in the industry. Our Venture Capital Services (VCS) group helps to manage our relationships with investors and the entrepreneurial community. For investors, VCS facilitates intelligent introductions to clients raising venture capital. However, before we send introductions, we work with our clients to refine their business strategy and prepare quality investor materials suitable for meaningful evaluation. Our objective is to connect promising clients to appropriate sources of capital in the most efficient way for all stakeholders.

Because of our technology depth, broad practice and strong Silicon Valley presence, investors gain access to a high-quality pipeline of emerging companies.

In order to make properly matched client referrals, we develop profiles for each of the VC investors in our network based upon several characteristics including:

  • Sector of Focus
  • Company Stage of Development
  • Geographic Location
  • Round of Investment
  • Fundraising Amount

Fund Formation

Our experienced team of venture capital and private equity fund formation attorneys represent fund managers and sponsors at every stage of the fund formation life cycle, including structuring and forming:

  • Seed through late stage venture capital funds
  • Accelerators/Incubators
  • Venture capital funds
  • Private equity buy-out and distress funds
  • Hedge funds
  • Private equity real estate funds
  • Corporate Strategic Investors
  • Funds of funds
  • Family Office and Investment Management Platforms

Our services include the use of both domestic and offshore investment vehicles; negotiations with domestic and international investors from inception through wind-up; regulatory and tax planning and compliance; general partner entity and management company structuring, including governance; compensation and incentives programs; and changes in personnel and restructuring.

Our collaborative service approach also includes working closely with our tax attorneys to identify and resolve specific tax considerations that may arise, including those impacting offshore or tax-exempt investors, and offshore investment programs.