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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Avoiding Security Breaches While Talking Business in Flight

May 02, 2012

Robert Brownstone, Technology and eDiscovery Counsel and co-chair of the Electronic Information Management Practice with Fenwick & West, was recently quoted in the New York Times article, "Talking Business in Flight? Be Careful."

Mr. Brownstone was interviewed regarding the security breaches that can occur during business travel. These breaches could be in the form of an overheard phone conversation on a train, a misplaced laptop or mobile device in an airport, or a nosy neighbor on the subway snapping a cell phone picture of a laptop screen or document.

These kinds of disclosures can be particularly common at business conferences, a point that does not surprise Mr. Brownstone. At an employment law conference he attended, he used a computer reserved for registrants. A file entitled "Severance.doc" was on the desktop.

"Just by hovering on the icon on the desktop, a yellow bubble came up with the name of the law firm," said Mr. Brownstone. "I opened it up and saw a final or prior draft of a severance agreement. Here's someone at a conference, learning to be a better employment lawyer and they obviously went into their work e-mail or their computer and dropped something onto the drive and left it sitting there."

When traveling, Mr. Brownstone adheres to a strict protocol to protect confidential information. He uses a software program, Better File Rename, to make documents seem innocuous, and carries a portable scanner to digitize documents. "I just don’t want to have stuff that anybody could eyeball."

He also avoids using his mobile phone to speak with clients when on the road. "I've been a lawyer 25 years; I can only remember one [public] phone call with a client."

When he needs to discuss a client matter with colleagues outside the office, Mr. Brownstone practices verbal encryption. For instance, in the 1980s and 1990s, he was working in New York City on prominent cases such as the defense of Michael R. Milken, who was eventually convicted of securities fraud, and the civil case filed against Claus von Bulow by his stepchildren.

"If we were going to court, the senior partner and I would be hopping in a cab to go to the federal courthouse," said Mr. Brownstone. "We would use code names for the key players in the case. You don't know who the cabdriver just drove or is about to drive."

While he regularly lectures on information security, Mr. Brownstone does admit that he fails to use a privacy filter on his laptop. “Shame on me,” he said.