Fenwick's antitrust practice was prominently featured in a review of California law firms in the March 2006 issue of Global Competition Review.
Silicon Valley is known for its heavy concentration of high tech businesses. Thousands of cutting-edge companies make their home in the cluster of nondescript towns south of San Francisco – including global superstars Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems and Intel.
They need good antitrust advice, most of which is based in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Mountain View. Fenwick & West is arguably Silicon Valley's leading firm. Founded in 1972 to take advantage of the region's growing status as the epicentre of technology, today the firm is firmly established.
Fenwick's antitrust practice is led by Tyler Baker and Mark Ostrau. Baker, who started his career at the justice department, joined from Texan firm Carrington Coleman Sloman & Blumenthal a couple of years ago. He concentrates on litigation and is very well-respected. "Tyler Baker is first rate," says Stephen Bomse of Heller Ehrman. Ostrau focuses on merger work and counseling on licensing issues.
Although the firm has a substantial and growing office in San Francisco, the mothership is in Mountain View. Fenwick grew up alongside Silicon Valley and managed to foster some close relationships with many of region's stars.
"We have a lot of institutional history and understand how the agencies examine various high tech industries," Baker said.
Fenwick also boasts an impressive technical pedigree, including in-house specialists in life sciences, chemistry and electrical engineering. The firm has a strong client roster, including Symantec, Intuit and Cisco Systems.
Last year saw the firm pilot a series of notable deals, including Symantec's tie-up with Veritas, Nuance Communication's deal with Scansoft and Adobe's acquisition of Macromedia, which went to a second request.
"That deal was a great example of the kind of case you get out here," Ostrau said. "It involved getting the justice department to focus on the unique aspects of what drives development and pricing in what were evolving software markets, and looking beyond historical market shares to future competition."