Fenwick Women Partners Recognized as Industry Leaders

In 2023, Fenwick is once again leading its peers in litigation, corporate, startup and venture capital, regulatory, trade and national security, IP, trademark, and capital markets. Widely lauded as the leading experts in their respective fields, 30 of Fenwick’s women partners have been honored by Chambers, The Legal 500, Managing Intellectual Property and other organizations in 2023. We are proud to be recognized for our long standing commitment to delivering stellar service to our technology and life sciences clients. Here’s what clients, news organizations and publications had to say:

Awards & Recognitions

Marie Bafus

Litigation, Securities

Marie’s fierce representation of companies, directors and officers in derivative litigation and shareholder class actions earned her recognition in The Legal 500 as a key lawyer for corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense.

Dawn Belt

Corporate, Startup & Venture Capital

Lauded among top women leaders in technology law, Dawn’s shepherding of emerging and high-growth companies through key moments in their lifecycles earned her a place in The Legal 500 as a top corporate and commercial lawyer serving venture capital and emerging companies.

Lawdragon also recognized Dawn in its list of the Leading Dealmakers in America for 2024.

Jennifer Bretan

Litigation, Securities

Jennifer’s critical success defending Cisco in a breach-of-fiduciary-duty case—and her defense of DocuSign in a first-of-its-kind suit related to Covid-19—earned her distinction as a key securities litigation defense lawyer in The Legal 500.

Allison Cooper

Corporate, Startup & Venture Capital

The breadth of Allison’s work supporting clients in the technology and life sciences industries earned her a place among Lawdragon’s inaugural 500X – The Next Generation, a list of lawyers who have “vaulted to the forefront of the legal profession.”

Melissa Duffy

Regulatory, Trade & National Security

Melissa has a formidable reputation as an “efficient,” “incisive and reliable adviser,” clients told Chambers USA, which ranked her as a leading international trade lawyer for export controls and economic sanctions.

Melissa was also recognized this year by Chambers Global in its Up-and-Coming list of leading export controls and economic sanctions lawyers.

Katherine Duncan

Corporate, Startup & Venture Capital

Kat’s sound advisement to high-growth companies on matters spanning corporate governance, financings, equity and employment issues, and licensing and commercial matters earned her recognition from The Legal 500 as a top finance lawyer for equity offerings in the U.S. capital markets.

One client praised Kat to The Legal 500, extolling her as a legal professional who isn’t afraid to “routinely go above and beyond” to make clients “feel as if I were their only client.”

Connie Ellerbach

Intellectual Property, Trademark

For 13 years running, Connie has earned recognition by World Trademark Review 1000 as a gold-tier lawyer in California—and for 13 years running, World Trademark Review has called the Fenwick trademark practice she steers a “go-to” resource. Not stopping there, World Trademark Review also placed her among the top lawyers nationally for prosecution and strategy.

Connie is also consistently recognized by The Legal 500 for her leadership as a trademark lawyer.

Julia Forbess

Corporate, Capital Markets

Lauded as “a real rising star with exceptional customer service” who is “extremely responsive and knowledgeable,” Julia was ranked by Chambers USA for her cutting-edge work in the debt and equity space, both in the Western United States and in California.

LMG Life Sciences Americas also named Julia a finalist for U.S. Rising Star in the financial and corporate space at its 2023 Americas Awards while Lawdragon included her in its 2024 Next Generation guide.

Kathryn Fritz

Litigation, Trademark

Kate has once again been ranked among the top lawyers in California for trademark enforcement and litigation by World Trademark Review, which cheered her penchant for “early resolution of disputes” and her long dedication to service as Fenwick’s general counsel and former managing partner. Lawdragon also recognized Kate in its guide of Leading Litigators in America for 2024.

Elizabeth Gartland

Corporate, Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits

For the third year, Liz’s formidable reputation as a strong communicator and “practical problem solver” netted her a Chambers USA ranking as one of the leading employee benefits and executive compensation lawyers.

She was also recognized in The Legal 500 for her stellar transactional work with respect to employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans.

Cynthia Hess

Corporate, Startup & Venture Capital

Extolled as a “a super collaborative, smart lawyer,” Chambers USA ranked Cindy as a leading venture capital lawyer for the sixth year—and as a premiere advisor to startups and emerging companies for the eighth year. Recognizing a career of triumphs, she was inducted into The Legal 500 Hall of Fame this year for her work in the venture capital and emerging companies space.

And, acknowledging Cindy’s strong contributions as co-chair of the startup and venture capital practice at Fenwick, The Recorder named her among its “Women Leaders in Tech Law” as part the 2023 California Legal Awards. Lawdragon also named Cindy to its list of 2024 Leading Dealmakers.

Jennifer Hitchcock

Corporate, Capital Markets

Jen’s collaborative advisement of technology and life sciences clients gained her recognition in The Legal 500 as a top finance lawyer handling equity offerings.

In a testimonial provided to The Legal 500, one client gave Jen a special shoutout as one of the many “client-focused” Fenwick lawyers who will “routinely go above and beyond” for her clients.

Catherine Kevane

Litigation, Securities

Catherine is ranked as a top securities litigator by Chambers USA where clients praise her “sound advice” and ability to pull it back, focus and drive towards solutions.

The Legal 500, highlighted Catherine as a key lawyer for corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense for “bet-the-company issues,” as well as securities litigation defense.

Shawn Lampron

Corporate, Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits

Shawn is “among the best lawyers with whom I’ve ever worked,” raved one client to The Legal 500, which lauded her “vast experience of handling equity and cash compensation arrangements and employment agreements” as it recognized her as a top transactional lawyer for employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans.

Bomi Lee

Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions

Heralded by one client as a “fantastic M&A leader,” Bomi was ranked in Chambers USA’s 2023 guide for Corporate/M&A for the third year.

The Legal 500 called Bomi “highly experienced” when it listed her in its 2023 U.S. guide for fintech and middle-market M&A.

Melanie Mayer

Litigation, Patent

Melanie’s background in molecular biology and genetics is a central feature of her cutting-edge life-sciences litigation practice—one that earned her recognition from The Legal 500 in life sciences, as well as a top-tier Washington litigator ranking from Intellectual Asset Management Patent 1000.

Managing Intellectual Property also named Melanie a 2023 Patent Star—and a finalist for Washington Litigator of the Year at the publication’s Americas Awards.

Einat Meisel

Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions

Einat’s thriving cross-border practice and solid reputation as legal counsel to companies straddling the California-Israel technology ecosystems landed her on Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Dealmakers in America, which honors lawyers known for their “swagger beyond belief” while “creating multi-billion-dollar mergers and other deals that change the course of industries.”

Laura Moran

Litigation, Patent

Laura is “proactive” and “accessible” while remaining “very pleasant to work with,” one client explained to The Legal 500, which recognized her among the nation’s leading patent litigators.

She also notched rankings in Patexia’s 2023 Abbreviated New Drug Application Intelligence Report—which placed her among the top 100 ANDA lawyers in four categories: most active overall, most active representing plaintiffs, best performing overall and best performing representing plaintiffs.

Larissa Neumann


Lauded by clients as “an incredible mind” who “solves challenging matters with clarity and incisiveness,” Larissa has been ranked as a leading tax lawyer in Chambers USA for five years.

She also took home “Transfer Pricing Lawyer of the Year” at Euromoney’s Women in Business Law Americas Awards, further cementing her position as one of the nation’s top tax advisors.

Amanda Rose

Corporate, Capital Markets

Lauded as an “exceptional attorney and adviser who can tackle the most complex of matters,” Amanda was ranked for the fourth year by Chambers Global as a leading capital markets lawyer handling debt and equity in the Western United States—and by Chambers USA for handling complex debt financings and equity offerings.

Amanda was recognized in The Legal 500 for her work on equity offerings and in the life sciences sector—with one testimonial noting her as a Fenwick lawyer who will “routinely go above and beyond.”

She was also named a Young Corporate Lawyer of the Year finalist as part of The American Lawyer’s Industry Awards 2023.

Morgan Sawchuk

Corporate, Startup & Venture Capital

Morgan was recognized for her frequent successes providing strategic counselling to emerging and high-growth technology companies when The Recorder named her among its “Lawyers on the Fast Track” during this year’s California Legal Awards.

Antonia Sequeira

Intellectual Property, Patents & Emerging Technologies

International Asset Management Patent 1000 called Antonia a “masterful strategist,” in a resounding recommendation of her patent prosecution prowess.

Her strategic and innovative counsel landed her among Managing Intellectual Property’s 2023 Patent Stars, and she was also named a finalist for National Patent Prosecution Practitioner of the Year at the 2023 Managing IP Americas Awards.

Antonia was also ranked in Chambers USA as a top patent prosecution lawyer for the fifth year.

And The Legal 500 recognized her as a key lawyer for patent prosecution work.

Saina Shamilov

Litigation, Patent

Heralded by one client as a “smart and talented IP attorney” adept at “keeping the cases running,” Saina was ranked a top patent litigator in Chambers USA. Her courtroom prowess and penchant for finding early resolutions earned her plaudits in Patexia’s Patent Litigation Report as the No. 3 best performing patent litigator in the defense category. The report also ranked Saina among the top 100 best performing patent litigators overall, the most active patent lawyers representing defendants and the most active patent lawyers overall.

International Asset Management Patent 1000 highlighted Saina’s uncanny ability to “work excellently under pressure and handle disputes for some of the world’s biggest brands” as it ranked her among the top patent litigators in California. The Legal 500 also commended Saina as a “successful trial lawyer” for patent litigation.

Jennifer Stanley

Intellectual Property, Technology Transactions

Esteemed as a “primary care” advisor for intellectual property and commercial matters, Jennifer was recognized by The Legal 500 as a leading lawyer handling copyright, patent licensing and technology transactions.

The San Francisco Business Times honored Jennifer with its “Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business” award, and she was also named a “National IP Transactions Practitioner of the Year” finalist by Managing Intellectual Property.

Zohra Tejani

Regulatory, Government Contracts & Public Sector Procurement

Zohra was named by Lawyers of Color to its 2023 Wonderful Women list in recognition of her strong commitment to advancing diversity in the legal profession. She practices at the intersection of technology and the public sector, where she helps technology and life science companies traverse legal and regulatory issues and achieve business objectives with their government grantors and public sector customers.

Effie Toshav


Effie was ranked in Chambers USA for Corporate/M&A, with the guide applauding her as “well-versed in the life-sciences industry.”

Her ability to handle the full spectrum of transactions for clients earned her recognition in The Legal 500 as a top advisor for equity offerings and life sciences.

Shannon Turner


Shannon’s bustling practice representing technology companies in a variety of high-stakes litigation matters landed her among the top 100 most active patent lawyers representing defendants in Patexia’s Patent Litigation Report.

Shannon was also individually recognized as a Rising Star in Managing Intellectual Propertys 2023 IP Stars guide and was selected to Lawdragon’s Next Generation list.

Julia Headshot

Julia Ushakova-Stein


Julia’s “great service” advising clients in technology, healthcare and financial services on transactional matters earned her a ranking as a leading tax lawyer in Chambers USA.

Julia’s representation of clients from diverse industries and geographic areas in complex tax litigation matters also secured her recognition as a finalist for International Tax Review’s 2023 “Tax Disputes & Litigation Practice Leader of the Year.”

Karen Webb

Intellectual Property, Trademark

Karen is an “essential contact for top companies,” according to World Trademark Review 1000, which once again ranked her a top lawyer nationally—and as one of only three in California granted gold tier status for both the patent prosecution and strategy and enforcement and litigation categories. Chambers USA ranked Karen for her work in trademark, copyright and trade secrets, as well as related transactions, with one client hailing her as “a great thought partner.”

The Legal 500 highlighted Karen’s expertise in internet and social media matters, naming her a key lawyer for non-contentious trademarks, including prosecution, portfolio management and licensing. Karen was also recognized as a Trademark Star in Managing Intellectual Property’s 2023 IP Stars guide.


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