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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Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’s Soft Parameters

December 09, 2008

Robert Brownstone, Law & Technology Director at Fenwick & West, was quoted in the article "The Computer Fraud Act: Bending a Law to Fit a Notorious Case," the E-Commerce Times examination of a set of statutes with broad parameters and its increasing level of applicability in courts.

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) was the basis for a prosecution of Lori Drew, a woman found guilty of a misdemeanor for creating a false identity though MySpace, and her resultant involvement with a young girl who committed suicide. Some argue that this case was a poor application of what the Act was written to protect.

The CFAA, first passed in 1986, was first designed to protect classified government information from computer hackers. In light of the increase in corporate hackers, the Act also includes protection for the private sector, including enabling a private organization to bring a civil lawsuit. Both prosecutors and private plaintiffs are often using the CFAA to protect intellectual property when a company's former employee took proprietary information while still working for the company. The Act encompasses an inclusive range of computer abuse. Therefore, it can be relatively easy for a private company to prove that a former employee, as soon as he or she developed an evil motive, abused his or her level of authorized access when obtaining certain information—whether confidential documents or a client list.

"There has been a growth in the number of cases in which companies have accused former employees either of exceeding their computer authorizations or doing things they were never authorized for in the first place," Brownstone stated. He noted that the current trend in case-law is to uphold the viability of such civil claims.

Read the complete E-Commerce Times article here.