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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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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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E-discovery Ruling Gives Insight on Errors, Sanctions

February 24, 2010

February 24, 2010 (Mountain View, CA) – Robert Brownstone, Law & Technology Director at Fenwick & West LLP, was recently quoted in the Lawyers USA Online article, "E-discovery ruling gives insight on errors, sanctions."

In January, Judge Schira Scheindlin, U. S. District Court in New York, issued a decision in The Pension Committee of the University of Montreal Pension Plan v. Banc of America Securities. This decision is significant because it takes the ground rules for e-discovery—which were laid out in Zubulake v UBS Warburg—and establishes a guide to the proper sanctions for e-discovery errors, something that has been lacking since the Zubulake ruling six years ago.

The issue of sanctions began when the defendant, Banc of America Securities, discovered that 13 of the plaintiffs had not only failed to produce documents during discovery, but had also submitted false declarations regarding their document and preservation efforts. The defendants moved for sanctions and requested the complaint be dismissed. Judge Scheindlin did not dismiss the case, but did agree to sanctions. As a result, Judge Scheindlin established the framework for sanctions with regard to e-discovery errors.

Robert Brownstone, Law & Technology Director at Fenwick & West and an Adjunct Professor of e-discovery at the University of San Francisco Law School, said "Judge Scheindlin's expertise in the e-discovery world and the lack of existing case law on the issue means that judges and practitioners in all jurisdictions will look to this decision for guidance."

Brownstone also took note of a portion of the opinion dealing with one party's failure to collect electronically stored information from an ex-employee. "Not making sure that preservation and collection reaches a key player who is an ex-employee, or failing to follow up with an ex-employee, could [lead to] sanctions for gross negligence purposes," Brownstone said. "It is very helpful for any organization to have a 'time out' window whenever anyone leaves the employ," where that person's hard drive and e-mails are stored for a set time period, like 30 or 60 days.

The article may be viewed in its entirety here.