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 >

FLEX by Fenwick is the only service created by an AmLaw 100 firm that provides flexible and cost-effective solutions for interim in-house legal needs to high-growth companies.  MORE >

Fenwick & West handles significant cross-border legal and business issues for a wide range of technology and life sciences who operate internationally..  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


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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5 Tips for Startups Facing ‘Patent Troll’ Suits

September 19, 2012

Darren Donnelly, a partner in Fenwick’s Litigation Group, was quoted in a Law360 article titled “5 Tips for Startups Facing ‘Patent Troll’ Suits.”

The article reports that while large technology companies have long been the targets of patent suits by non-practicing entities, commonly called “patent trolls,” start-up companies and their investors are now starting to see a rise in these suits as well. According to Donnelly, this is in part because major companies have been sued so often that they have become sophisticated in dealing with the suits, which "creates an incentive to diversify your targets," said Donnelly.

"The conventional wisdom of trolls was not to involve startups five years ago," he said. "That's no longer the case."

One strategy Donnelly outlines is for start-ups to join forces with other defendants. In Silicon Valley, many entrepreneurs and investors have experience in patent litigation, so they are more willing to make a sober economic assessment of the business risks and potential exposure of a patent suit, he said.

As a result, they may be inclined to join with possible rivals in an effort to defeat a non-practicing entity that has targeted all of them. "It's the idea of the enemy of my enemy is my friend," he said. "Even if startups are competing neck and neck in the market, they often make peace in order to mount a joint defense."

At some level, though, there's not much startups can do, since non-practicing entity suits are becoming a fact of life, Donnelly said. "It's difficult to avoid if your plan is to become a successful company," he said. "You're going get a certain number of troll suits no matter what."