Fenwick’s Top 10: Our Most Popular Articles of 2019

In 2019, we published analysis to help tech and life sciences companies navigate U.S. tax law changes, an evolving IP landscape and new privacy regulations such as the California Consumer Privacy Act. We also tracked venture financing trends, direct listings and more topics critical to our readers’ businesses. As we launch into 2020, check out our most popular articles and research from the last 12 months to gain context and insight for the year ahead.

  1. Intellectual Property Bulletin - Winter 2019
  2. Led by lawyers Stuart Meyer, Christopher Joslyn and Emily Bullis, Fenwick’s team of intellectual property, tech transactions, privacy and IP litigation attorneys provide analysis of the most important developments in IP law for our quarterly Intellectual Property Bulletin. The winter issue, 2019’s most popular, looked at the increasingly complex regulation of the technology industry, viral smartphone snaps, the Boy Scouts rebrand and more.

  3. Gender Diversity Survey—2018 Proxy Season Results
  4. Authored by Fenwick partners David Bell and Dawn Belt, Fenwick’s Gender Diversity Survey provides unique insight into women’s participation at the most senior levels of public technology and life sciences companies in Silicon Valley and the country as a whole. Notably, our latest report found that women’s representation on boards continued to increase and that women are increasingly securing general counsel positions at major U.S. and Silicon Valley companies.

  5. The Rise of Direct Listings: Understanding the Trend, Separating Fact from Fiction
  6. Many late-stage private technology companies are reported to be seriously considering direct listings. Should yours? In this article series, Fenwick partners Ran Ben-Tzur and James Evans discuss why direct listings are all the rage, common misconceptions, and best practices to follow when preparing for one.

  7. What California’s New AB 5 Law Means for Employers
  8. In September 2019, California signed into law Assembly Bill 5, landmark legislation which codifies, and significantly expands, the reach of the California Supreme Court’s restrictive “ABC” test for determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor. Fenwick’s Daniel McCoy and Minal Haymond explored how the new law will impact employers, noting that it is a wake-up call for businesses to examine/re-examine their contractor classifications carefully.

  9. Convertible Debt Terms – Survey of Market Trends 2019
  10. Convertible debt financing continues to be an enormously popular method of fundraising for startups. In this report, Fenwick’s Evan Bienstock, Alicia Ryan and Emily Lippincott analyzed more than 100 of our issuer-side convertible debt transactions from January 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019.

  11. IRS Issues New Guidance on Section 83(i)
  12. On the eve of 2019, the IRS issued new guidance on Section 83(i) of the Internal Revenue Code enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Fenwick’s Gerald Audant provided an overview of the notice, which addressed guidance on the 80 percent requirement under the act, a new mandatory withholding tax mechanism and an opt-out opportunity for employers.

  13. Corporate Governance Survey - 2018 Proxy Season Results
  14. Authored by Fenwick’s David Bell, this report provides insight on the latest in corporate governance, covering dual-class voting stock structures, stock ownership guidelines, the new California board diversity requirement, and more.

  15. Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey
  16. In 2019, Fenwick’s Cynthia Clarfield Hess, Mark Leahy and Khang Tran continued their quarterly analysis of venture financings closed by Silicon Valley-based companies, with three editions placing among Fenwick’s most popular publications in the last 12 months. Check out our most recent VC survey which found that Q3 2019 reported the highest average price increase since mid-2015, and that the software and internet/digital media industries were again the industries with the two strongest valuation results.

  17. Countdown to CCPA Compliance: Preparing for the Strictest US Privacy Law
  18. Privacy was very much on our readers’ minds, with the California Consumer Privacy Act going into effect on January 1, 2020. Two CCPA-focused articles placed in the top Fenwick publications of 2019, offering actionable steps for companies seeking to prepare. Read on for insights from the Fenwick privacy group, led by co-chairs Jim Koenig and Tyler Newby:

    CCPA vs. GDPR: 10 Things to Do Now to Prepare for the Strictest US Privacy Law

    Countdown to CCPA Compliance: 10 Essential Things to Do Now Despite the Uncertainty

  19. The New Foreign Tax Credit Proposed Regulations – An Executive Summary
  20. As we prepared to launch into 2019, U.S.-based companies faced new proposed regulations that provided a comprehensive framework for the post-TCJA foreign tax credit. To help companies get up to speed, Fenwick tax partners David Forst, Adam Halpern, Idan Netser, Larissa Neumann and William Skinner summarized key points relevant to U.S. multinational companies planning to use foreign tax credits in the new regime.


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