Mountain View, CA (May 18, 2015) – Fenwick & West is pleased to announce that Fenwick's managing partner, Kate Fritz and litigation partner Jennifer Kelly have been named Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times (SFBT). The annual list singles out business leaders in the Bay Area who have contributed to business growth and also make noteworthy efforts to improve their communities.
In addition to her leadership position at Fenwick, Fritz is a business and intellectual property litigator whose practice emphasizes trademark, right of publicity and copyright, especially in regard to new technologies.
"What I’m most proud of [professionally] is how Fenwick is always innovating to meet client needs and my role in implementing those changes as managing partner of the firm," Fritz told the SFBT.
As for the importance of mentoring other women, she said: "We can support women in business by helping them be fearless. I highly encourage my colleagues to find and then pursue what motivates and inspires them."
In its profile of Fritz, the SFBT noted the reach and diversity of her pro bono efforts, from representing documentary filmmakers on IP issues to co-chairing both the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Pro Bono Committee and the Technology Subcommittee at the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. According to Fritz, her pro bono activities are her proudest personal accomplishment.
"I’ve worked on a number of pro bono cases where I have truly made a difference in a person’s life," she said. "In two cases I was able to secure political asylum for pro bono clients and in a third case, reverse the death penalty."
Kelly, a commercial and IP litigator, is a leading authority on IP issues pertinent to video games and mobile apps. She told the SFBT that her proudest professional accomplishment has been "[m]aking partner while working part time, which many (including me) thought couldn’t be done at a large law firm."
Kelly noted that she didn't do it alone. "Kate [Fritz] has been an extremely valuable mentor to me throughout my entire time at Fenwick, particularly in connection with my decision to go for partnership, which I had been completely sure I did not want. She’s been remarkably effective at pushing me beyond my comfort zone," she said.
Kelly's advice for helping other women to advance in business is to "provide lots of mentoring, with the understanding that virtually any issue, personal or professional, is open for discussion; give them opportunities to shine and encourage them to let go of their fears and take those opportunities; and encourage them to figure out what their best strengths are, and showcase them at every possible opportunity."
What about Fritz and Kelly might surprise colleagues and clients? For Fritz, it's being "a descendant of cowboys, frontier women, farmers and coal miners." For Kelly, it's something linked to her Fenwick practice. "I’m a huge gamer, and play all those video games I litigate — and a whole bunch of other ones." ]
The full profiles of Kate Fritz and Jennifer Kelly are available on the San Francisco Business Times website (subscription required).
About Fenwick & West
Fenwick & West provides comprehensive legal services to ground-breaking technology and life sciences companies at every stage of their lifecycle. We craft innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions for established and emerging companies on issues ranging from venture capital, public offerings, 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 fenwick.com/careers.