December 11, 2001 (Palo Alto, CA) - Fenwick & West LLP announced today a new governance structure and additional members of its leadership team as a result of a year-long strategic planning process. The principal feature of the new structure is the formation of an Executive Committee, which will consist of two Managing Partners and five other members, including the Firm Chair. The Executive Committee will be responsible for developing and implementing strategic plans on behalf of the firm. The two Managing Partners will be responsible for day-to-day management of the firm. The initial members of the new Executive Committee are Gordon K. Davidson, who has been re-elected as chair of the firm, managing partners John T. McNelis and Laird H. Simons III, and corporate partner Dennis R. DeBroeck, intellectual property partner David L. Hayes, tax partner Ronald B. Schrotenboer and litigation partner Claude M. Stern.
The previous governance structure of the firm consisted of a four-person Management Committee, charged with administrational aspects of management of the firm, a firm chairperson and an ad hoc strategic planning committee consisting of the Management Committee members, practice group leaders and certain other partners. The new structure for firm governance is designed to streamline day-to-day management of the firm as it grows beyond its current 300 lawyers, institutionalize strategic planning and develop more leadership and management opportunities to facilitate firm succession planning. Chairman Gordon Davidson commented, "The new management structure is one of a number of initiatives developed in the strategic planning process. We envision that the new Executive Committee will function much like the board of directors of a corporation and that the two managing partners will function much like the executive management of a corporation. Other initiatives, like the expansion of our Washington, DC office under the leadership of David Hayes, are also being implemented as we continue to pursue our mission to be the leading full-service high technology law firm."
In biennial practice group elections, Matthew P. Quilter was elected chair of the firm's corporate group and Timothy K. Roake was elected chair of the litigation group. Quilter succeeds Dennis R. DeBroeck and Roake succeeds Patricia M. Lucas. David L. Hayes will continue to serve as chair of the intellectual property group and James A. Fuller will continue to serve as chair of the tax group.
Mr. Quilter's practice emphasizes working with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to build emerging companies in the Internet, enterprise software and communications sectors of the high technology market. Mr. Roake focuses on corporate governance, and securities and trade secret litigation.
"The firm is very pleased that Matt and Tim have agreed to serve as practice group leaders," remarked Davidson. "Both have excellent judgment and strong leadership abilities. As part of the natural process of succession planning, we are committed to developing more leaders in the partnership to support our growth."
"We look very much forward to their contributions although they have big shoes to fill," he continued. "Dennis and Pat were both exemplary leaders of their practice groups. Dennis brought a strategic view to the corporate group as it grew to one of the leading IPO and M&A firms in the country. Pat grew our litigation group from less than 25 to more than 80 lawyers in five years using her powerful and persuasive recruiting skills to build world-class intellectual property and employment litigation practices."
Established in 1972, Fenwick & West LLP is one of the nation's premier law firms providing comprehensive legal services to national and international technology clients, particularly in the areas of intellectual property, the Internet, venture capital and other corporate finance, joint ventures, M&A and strategic relationships, litigation and dispute resolution, antitrust, taxation, and employment and labor law. The only law firm named to Fortune's 1999-2001 lists of the "100 Best Companies to Work For," Fenwick & West has offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco, CA as well as Washington, D.C. Fenwick & West's Website URL is www.fenwick.com.