Fenwick’s Top 10: Our Most Popular Articles of 2016

From the watershed Brexit vote that put the United Kingdom on course to leave the European Union to the hottest developments in venture financing, SEC enforcement and IP law, our readers clicked to learn more about major changes in 2016. Each year, Fenwick lawyers create a variety of content with an eye toward helping our tech and life sciences clients navigate the challenging and fast-changing global markets where they do business. We analyzed the articles and surveys that were the most viewed on our website and most popular on other platforms. This is our best-read content from 2016 providing context and insight for the year ahead. We hope you enjoy the read.

No. 10
Client Alert: Brexit – What Silicon Valley Needs to Know
The vote of the UK Electorate to leave the EU has had politicians, economists, lawyers and commentators from all sectors speculating about what would happen next. In this article, tech transactions partners Ralph Pais and Jonathan Millard spell out the key considerations for Silicon Valley businesses—from funding and operations to intellectual property law—so leaders are ready for whatever the new environment may bring.

No. 9
Corporate Governance Survey - 2016 Proxy Season Results
Fenwick’s annual survey of large public companies and Silicon Valley businesses draws on information dating back to 2003, offering a unique perspective on corporate governance practices and industry norms. This survey reveals developments related to duel-class voting stock structures, classified boards, majority voting, board diversity and more.

No. 8
Securities Litigation and Enforcement Newsletter - March 2016
In this newsletter, securities litigation partners Michael Dicke and Catherine Kevane look at SEC enforcement trends in 2016, building on insights about SEC enforcement developments from 2015—a record-breaking year of activity. Our lawyers tackled notable trends, including those related to financial reporting and accounting matters, developments in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement, and actions involving regulated entities.

No. 7
Intellectual Property Bulletin - Fall 2016
Spearheaded by partner Stuart Meyer and associates Christopher Joslyn and Emily Bullis, Fenwick’s team of intellectual property, tech transactions, privacy and IP litigation lawyers regularly round up the most important developments in IP law and provide analysis in our quarterly Intellectual Property Bulletin. The fall issue, this year’s most popular, looked at Mean Girls and the right of publicity, Section 101, and more.

No. 6
Technology and Life Sciences IPO Survey - 2015, Full Year
This annual report published in early 2016 by corporate partner Dan Winnike analyzes key aspects of initial public offerings (IPOs) for 94 technology and life sciences companies that went public in 2015. We shared findings on overall IPO activity, including a breakdown by sector, deal size trends from red herring to pricing, and insider participation.

No. 5
Advanced Copyright Issues on the Internet
Continuing to grow at a phenomenal rate, the internet has moved from a quiet means of communication among academic and scientific research circles into ubiquity in both the commercial arena and private homes. IP partner David Hayes explores important intellectual property protection issues for the material available on and through the internet in an updated version of this popular in-depth treatise.

No. 4
Securities Enforcement Alert: SEC Increases Scrutiny of “Unicorns” and Other Private Companies and Secondary Market Trading of Pre-IPO Shares
When senior U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission officials in spring 2016 announced the “Silicon Valley Initiative,” entrepreneurs, investors, companies and their advisers in the region took notice. In this article, securities litigation partner Michael Dicke explores what the SEC’s increased scrutiny means for Bay Area companies.

No. 3
Section 385 Proposed Regulations
Tax partner Adam Halpern discusses the regulations under § 385 of the Internal Revenue Code (proposed in April 2016 by the U.S. Treasury and the IRS) and the tax planning implications for large U.S. and foreign owned multinationals.

No. 2
Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey - Fourth Quarter 2015
We kicked off 2016 with an in-depth analysis of venture financings. Barry Kramer and the team analyze the terms of venture financings closed by Silicon Valley-based companies in each quarter of the year. Our survey closing out 2015’s results and published in early 2016 yielded the highest readership. Among our findings: It was the first time since we began tracking data by industry in Q1 2010 that the software industry was not in our top two industries (from a valuation perspective). We also invite you to check out our most recent VC survey: Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey - Third Quarter 2016.

No. 1
The Terms Behind Unicorn Valuations
Our second unicorn survey covers financings undertaken by U.S.-based unicorns—private technology and life sciences companies with a market value of $1 billion or more—during the nine month period ended December 31, 2015. Covering the full set of unicorn financings during the period, the survey identifies trends in the deal terms venture capitalists, other investors, startup co-founders and board members agree to over time.