Fenwick & West in Seattle Becomes the First Law Firm in the United States to Gain LEED-CI Platinum Designation – Fenwick & West also received LEED-EB Gold for its Silicon Valley Office

July 27, 2009 (Seattle, WA) – Fenwick & West LLP today announced that it became the first law firm in the United States to be awarded LEED-CI Platinum Designation by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is the USGBC's leading rating system for designing and constructing the world's greenest, most energy efficient, and high performing buildings. LEED Platinum is the highest possible certification.

Fenwick & West Senior Director of Facilities and Operations Julie O'Loughlin said, "When we first started out on the journey to find a new location for our Seattle office in February of 2007, we made a commitment to the firm that not only would Fenwick find attractive office space, but that we would do everything in our power to design and build a LEED Certified space; a sustainable environment that would help distinguish us from our competition and make a positive statement to our clients, staff and attorneys. As of yesterday, we not only achieved our goal of LEED-CI certification, we actually surpassed it with a certification of LEED Platinum."

Certainly not to be understated, Fenwick and West also achieved LEED Gold for its Silicon Valley Office last week making it not just the first law firm to attain a Platinum rating but also making it one of the first law firms in the nation to have 2 LEED certified offices. This groundbreaking achievement underscores Fenwick & West's commitment both to its employees and to the environment.

The Seattle office was designed to attain LEED for Commercial Interiors certification. LEED CI focuses on tenant improvements in interior spaces in single and multi-tenant buildings. The Silicon Valley office was designed to attain LEED for Existing Buildings certification. LEED EB establishes a set of performance standards for the sustainable upgrades and operation of existing buildings. Both spaces were designed to achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. LEED verifies environmental performance, occupant health and financial return. LEED was established for market leaders to design and construct buildings that protect and save precious resources while also making good economic sense.

Seattle office Managing Partner Stephen Graham said, "We are committed to running our firm as good corporate citizens. We believe that we must not only be outstanding lawyers, but we must be leaders in our communities. Fenwick has worked to revolutionize energy usage and improve sustainable practices on a daily basis. We are pleased that these efforts have been recognized."

Fenwick & West Managing Partner Kate Fritz said, "Over a year and a half ago, Fenwick & West was the first law firm certified by Santa Clara County as an environmentally sustainable 'Green Business' for the steps we had taken to employ sustainable practices to conserve natural resources. We thoroughly reviewed our day-to-day operations in order and assessed the ways Fenwick could and did conserve energy and reduce pollution, waste and water use."

Some of the conservation practices utilized by Fenwick include: Energy consumption reduced year over year by 50,000 kwh by implementing the following:

  • Energy consumption reduced year over year by 50,000 kwh by implementing the following:
    • Employing server virtualization
    • Purchasing energy efficient equipment
    • Maximizing natural light to reduce dependency on artificial light as well as replacing all light fixtures with T-8 bulbs while installing lighting sensors to reduce energy use
  • Use of technology to further reduce energy usage:
    • Using Wikis, share rooms and fax servers to reduce paper consumption
    • Implementing double sided printing and copying as defaults
    • Instituting paperless policies in various practice groups
  • Instituting sustainable purchasing practices by instituting the following:
    • Sustainable language inserted into all RFPs, RFQs and purchasing agreements
    • Purchasing furniture, office supplies, ceiling and carpet tiles with highest possible recycled content
    • Converted to biodegradable utensils and tableware
  • Encourage use of public transportation through use of employee incentives; installed bike cages and showers for those who bike or walk to work
  • Recycling a broad variety of office items and construction waste. 72% of trash diverted from waste stream
  • Achieved a 34% reduction in water use by Installation of low flow toilets, motion sensor faucets and drought resistant landscaping
  • Selected office locations based on access to public transportation, shopping and dining

Fenwick & West Media Contacts

Julie O'Loughlin

Stephen Graham

Tory Frol

About Fenwick & West

Established in 1972, Fenwick & West works closely with clean technology, life sciences and other technology companies that are changing the world through innovation. The firm has more than 30 years of experience crafting innovative solutions to the business challenges that arise at the intersection of technology and the law. Fenwick & West clients, who range from start-up ventures to global enterprises, value our attorneys' deep industry experience and understanding of their technologies.

About the U.S. Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is a sustainable built environment within a generation. Its membership includes corporations, builders, universities, government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations. Since UGSBC's founding in 1993, the Council has grown to more than 17,000 member companies and organizations, a comprehensive family of LEED© green building rating systems, an expansive educational offering, the industry's popular Green build International Conference and Expo (, and a network of 78 local chapters, affiliates, and organizing groups. For more information, visit

About LEED©

The LEED© (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria. The six major environmental categories of review include: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation and Design. Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of LEED green building certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within each LEED category. LEED can be applied to all building types including new construction, commercial interiors, core & shell developments, existing buildings, homes, neighborhood developments, schools and retail facilities.

Incentives for LEED are available at the state and local level and LEED has also been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments.​