Three Fenwick Partners Named Women Leaders in Tech Law for Third Straight Year

​Mountain View, CA (October 5, 2015)– Fenwick & West is pleased to announce managing partner Kate Fritz, trademark group chair Sally M. Abel and startup and venture capital co-chair Cindy Hess have been honored as Women Leaders in Tech Law by The Recorder for the third straight year. They are among 37 women lawyers from California law firms and 67 women attorneys overall recognized for their leadership and achievements.

“From data security and IP strategy to mega-mergers and workplace policies, these lawyers are handling—and often solving—the most crucial problems tech companies face,” The Recorder noted.

Managing partner Kate Fritz also received special recognition on The Recorder’s inaugural Power Player list, which recognizes 10 women who “stand out as trailblazers, mentors and advocates for women in tech,” according to The Recorder.

As Fenwick’s managing partner, Fritz is a leading force behind the firm’s culture of innovation, client service, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“Kathryn Fritz, who has been firmwide managing partner firm for nearly a decade, can be credited with helping solidify Fenwick's position as a sought-after firm for high-dollar deals and IPOs,” noted The Recorder.

In addition to achieving great business success, Fritz has also led the firm in giving back to the community and supporting diversity. Under her leadership, Fenwick has received many accolades for its pro bono work, including being named to The National Law Journal's Pro Bono Hot List and recognized by Euromoney as having the best pro bono program in North America two years-in-a-row, and the firm is continually ranked by The American Lawyer as one of the top 10 most diverse law firms in the U.S. In 2013, Fenwick launched the first gender diversity survey of Silicon Valley 150 Index companies. Fritz herself has been honored for her outstanding pro bono work representing a broad range of clients, including capital defendants, political asylum applicants and documentary filmmakers. This year, she received OneJustice’s Opening Doors to Justice Award, which recognizes outstanding accomplishments moving the needle on legal services, pro bono and access to justice.

For more than 25 years, honoree Sally Abel, founder and chair of Fenwick’s trademark group, has been at the forefront of international trademark policy and brand enforcement and enhancement, providing innovative and strategic counseling, prosecution and policing services, including online, paperless management of international trademark portfolios, to brand name technology companies, such as Cisco Systems, Facebook, NVIDIA, Symantec and Virgin America.

Reflecting on her work in the tech industry, Abel told The Recorder that she most enjoys, “the pace, the nuance and being involved on the ground floor of life changing, disruptive technologies that don't quite exist yet.”

Included by The National Law Journal last year on its list of IP Trailblazers and Pioneers, Abel is well recognized as a pioneer in the international debate over trademark rights on the Internet, having served as the International Trademark Association’s representative on the 11-member International Ad Hoc Committee, the international body charged with restructuring the domain name system. She’s been recognized by Chambers USA and Chambers Global for excellence in trademark law for more than a decade, and this year, Who’s Who Legal Trademarks ranked Abel as the top trademark lawyer in the United States.

Startup and venture capital co-chair Cindy Hess has counseled some of the hottest emerging and established technology companies including GoPro, Lending Club, Fitbit, Nextdoor, Hightail, Zoosk, Prezi and WeWork. Companies look to Cindy’s deep technology and legal experience for their corporate transactional matters from formation and venture capital financing to mergers, acquisitions and public offerings.

Under Hess’ leadership, the startup group handled five of the top 10 venture capital-backed technology exits of 2014, including both the largest venture-backed IPO and acquisition. In 2014, The Recorder recognized the firm as having California's Emerging Companies Group of the Year, and The Legal 500 awarded Fenwick its inaugural United States Award for Venture Capital and Emerging Markets. Hess herself is recognized by both Best Lawyers and The Legal 500, which noted that she’s “well reputed with a range of prominent clients including Lending Club and WeWork.”

Like Fritz and Abel, Hess is passionate about supporting women and their success in the tech industry. The industry should “keep promoting women whenever possible,” she told The Recorder. “Look for qualified women to fill positions in tech, both in operating roles and on boards.”

The 2015 honorees were profiled in The Recorder on September 25 and recognized at an awards reception on September 29.

About Fenwick & West
Fenwick & West provides comprehensive legal services to ground-breaking technology and life sciences companies – at every stage of their lifecycle – and the investors that partner with them. We craft innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions on issues ranging from venture capital, public offerings, joint ventures, M&A and strategic relationships, to intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution, taxation, antitrust, and employment and labor law. For more than four decades, Fenwick has helped some of the world's most recognized companies become and remain market leaders. For information about a career at Fenwick visit us at