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For more than four decades, Fenwick & West LLP has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become, and remain, market leaders. From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, our clients are leaders in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors and are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation.  MORE >

Fenwick & West was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley—before “Silicon Valley” existed—by four visionary lawyers who left a top-tier New York law firm to pursue their shared belief that technology would revolutionize the business world and to pioneer the legal work for those technological innovations. In order to be most effective, they decided they needed to move to a location close to primary research and technology development. These four attorneys opened their first office in downtown Palo Alto, and Fenwick became one of the first technology law firms in the world.  MORE >

From our founding in 1972, Fenwick has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion both within our firm and throughout the legal profession. For almost four decades, the firm has actively promoted an open and inclusive work environment and committed significant resources towards improving our diversity efforts at every level.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we are proud of our commitment to the community and to our culture of making a difference in the lives of individuals and organizations in the communities where we live and work. We recognize that providing legal services is not only an essential part of our professional responsibility, but also an excellent opportunity for our attorneys to gain valuable practical experience, learn new areas of the law and contribute to the community.  MORE >

Year after year, Fenwick & West is honored for excellence in the legal profession. Many of our attorneys are recognized as leaders in their respective fields, and our Corporate, Tax, Litigation and Intellectual Property Practice Groups consistently receive top national and international rankings, including:

  • Named Technology Group of the Year by Law360
  • Ranked #1 in the Americas for number of technology deals in 2015 by Mergermarket
  • Nearly 20 percent of Fenwick partners are ranked by Chambers
  • Consistently ranked among the top 10 law firms in the U.S. for diversity
  • Recognized as having top mentoring and pro bono programs by Euromoney

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We take sustainability very seriously at Fenwick. Like many of our clients, we are adopting policies that reduce consumption and waste, and improve efficiency. By using technologies developed by a number of our cleantech clients, we are at the forefront of implementing sustainable policies and practices that minimize environmental impact. In fact, Fenwick has earned recognition in several areas as one of the top US law firms for implementing sustainable business practices.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we have a passion for excellence and innovation that mirrors our client base. Our firm is making revolutionary changes to the practice of law through substantial investments in proprietary technology tools and processes—allowing us to deliver best-in-class legal services more effectively.   MORE >

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"The improvement in financing terms for a second straight quarter in Q3, although less pronounced than Q2, seems to indicate that the venture financing environment is exiting the post-Internet bubble doldrums and is returning to a more stable and optimistic outlook" said Barry J. Kramer, co-author of the survey.

Fenwick & West LLP analyzed the terms of venture financings for 85 technology companies headquartered in Silicon Valley that reported raising capital in the second quarter of 2003. The Survey, which focuses on trends in venture financing terms, complements economic data presented in the Ernst & Young/Venture One U.S. Venture Capital Survey and the PricewaterhouseCoopers/Thomson Venture Economics/National Venture Capital Association /Money Tree Survey.

"On the valuation front, we found little change from Q2, with the number of down rounds, flat rounds and up rounds in Q3 tracking close to the results for Q2," said Kramer. "However, the use of tougher deal terms such as multiple liquidation preferences, ratchet antidilution and pay-to-play provisions decreased noticeable during the quarter."

"It appears that as more companies work through their legacy capitalization issues there is less need for tough terms such as multiple liquidation preferences," said Michael J. Patrick, Survey co-author. "The reduced use of ratchet antidilution and pay-to-play provisions seems to indicate an increased optimism on the part of venture capitalists as to the ability of the companies they fund to obtain future financing on reasonable terms."

"There are reasons to be encouraged," said Kramer. "The volume of venture investment held steady in Q3, financing terms and M&A valuations improved modestly, and the number of IPOs and companies in registration is increasing. Investor confidence and appears to be slowly returning. That said, we are still in a situation where there were more down rounds than uprounds in the current quarter."

The latest Fenwick & West Survey includes the following findings:

  • The increase in the percentage of Series A financings, which began in 2Q03, continued into Q303.
  • The percentage of Series B financings also increased, with a corresponding decrease in Series C financings.
  • The direction of price changes in Q303 is similar to 2Q03, although down rounds continue to outpace up rounds.
  • The lowest use of multiple liquidation preferences in any quarter since 1Q02 is particularly notable.
  • The trend toward reduced use of ratchet antidilution protection continued in 3Q03.
  • The use of pay-to-play provisions also decreased in 3Q03.

For complete survey results, please visit www.fenwick.com/vctrends.htm.


About the Fenwick & West Survey

The Fenwick & West Venture Capital Survey, co-authored by Barry J. Kramer and Michael J. Patrick, offers a unique view of the venture capital market in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay Area by providing insight to the changes in venture capital terms. About Fenwick & West LLP Established in 1972, Fenwick & West LLP is one of the nation's premier law firms providing comprehensive legal services to national and international high technology and biotechnology clients, particularly in the areas of venture capital and other corporate finance, joint ventures, M&A and strategic relationships, intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution, taxation, antitrust and employment and labor law. The only law firm included in Fortune's 1999-2002 list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For," Fenwick & West has offices in Mountain View and San Francisco, California. Fenwick & West's Website is found at www.fenwick.com.

Contacts:

Barry J. Kramer
Fenwick & West LLP
Phone: 650.335.7278
Email: bkramer@fenwick.com

Michael J. Patrick
Fenwick & West LLP
Phone: 650.335.7273
Email: mpatrick@fenwick.com

Richard Wood
Sand Hill Partners for Fenwick & West
Phone: 650.631.0123
Email: partners@sandhillroad.com