Women Leaders in Tech Law: Sally Abel

​Fenwick & West trademark group chair Sally Abel has been profiled by The Recorder, which named her to its 2014 Women Leaders in Tech Law list. The women lawyers who are given that honor are highly sought after by leading technology companies to advise the companies on their most important legal matters.

The Recorder noted that Abel not only started Fenwick's trademark group but also has made it "a powerhouse practice that counts 14 lawyers (11 of them women) and 10 paralegals (nine of them women)." Abel told the publication that she has always looked for ways to support gender diversity at Fenwick. She also noted the distance she and other women at the firm have traveled.

"From humble beginnings, such as keeping track of deadlines on index cards in a recipe box, together we now represent some of the world's most valuable and cutting-edge technology brands like Facebook, Twitter, Cisco, Square, Symantec and Uber, and hundreds of other leading tech innovators."

Abel also had advice for women who are just starting out as technology lawyers. "Know, and own, your personal power. Over the years, I have found that women have much more power in the workplace than they think."

Widely recognized as a preeminent trademark lawyer—including by the International Who’s Who of Trademark Lawyers, which recently ranked her among the top three trademark lawyers in the United States—Abel told The Recorder that the "rise of apps" is the latest development that has had the largest effect on her practice.

"More than one billion people currently use smartphones, and they have less and less need to access websites, whether by URL or otherwise," she said. "The URL—the domain name—is irrelevant. Regardless of whether any of the new 900+ gTLDs are competitive with or even overcome .com as the domain space of choice, domain names are not the future."

The profile of Abel is available through The Recorder website. Fenwick managing partner Kate Fritz and start-ups and venture capital group co-chair Cindy Hess also received the 2014 Women Leaders in Tech Law recognition.