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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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Fenwick's longtime chairman to step aside

May 26, 2013

The Daily Journal featured Fenwick & West in an article titled "Fenwick's longtime chairman to step aside" on the firm’s announcement that chairman Gordon Davidson will step down on January 1, 2014 and Richard Dickson will assume the role of firm-wide chairman. Davidson, who has served as Fenwick’s leader for the past 18 years, will continue his active corporate practice on a full-time basis and will be an ongoing resource to the firm’s leadership.

"[Dickson] has chaired our corporate group for the last few years, has been on the executive committee, and is representative of several generations of leaders who we've groomed over the past 10 years," Davidson said.

"I genuinely enjoy working with [Davidson]," Dickson said. "And in my capacity as chair of the corporate practice, I enjoyed carrying on the tradition to empower other partners.” He says that he is “very enthusiastic to do that across the entire partnership.”

The article paraphrases Fenwick client Cisco Systems Inc.’s general counsel, Mark Chandler, saying that “the smooth transition from Davidson to Dickson shows the firm is both stable and mature” and the he “anticipates the change will only strengthen the relationship between the company and the firm."

"There can be an impression that some Valley firms are dependent on one person," Chandler said. "Fenwick isn't in that category.”

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC chairman Larry W. Sonsini calls the upcoming transition "good succession planning and management." 

“This is a normal succession move by someone who is planning for the future stability and longevity of their enterprise," Sonsini said.

In the article, Davidson, whose clients include “technology giants” like Oracle Corp., Facebook Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Amyris Inc. and Electronic Arts Inc., said that he is looking forward to returning to his corporate practice full time. "My first love is working with the client," he said.

Since Davidson became chair, the firm’s attorney count has doubled and revenue has grown from under $100 million to more than $260 million in 2012. Over the past 10 years, Davidson has built the infrastructure necessary for his succession by empowering other partners in the firm in management roles. With three consecutive years of revenue growth, he says that now is an ideal time to step down because of the growing momentum.

Kenton J. King, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates partner-incharge in Palo Alto is quoted saying that "[Davidson is] the sort of person that would want to leave behind a stronger institution and have institutional interests at the forefront of what he's thinking about and the actions he's taking.”

"In our firm you don't aspire to leadership," Davidson said. "You get drafted."