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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More firms requiring non-compete agreements

July 08, 2013

Fenwick & West employment practice co-chair Dan McCoy is featured in an article in The Wall Street Journal's Marketwatch titled “More Firms Requiring Non-Compete Agreements,” which focuses on shifting regulations and enforcement issues surrounding non-compete agreements between firms and employees.

The article asserts that many employees who remained in their jobs during the recession might be considering jumping ship as the economy’s health improves – but they would be wise to consider non-compete agreements that they might not even remember signing, since those documents could hold them back from switching to a job at a competing organization or position. Recommendations include carefully reviewing – and even negotiating – non-compete agreements before accepting new employment. The article goes on to imply that, although many states broadly enforce non-compete agreements, many are also introducing limitations on when contacts can be applied – and how these limitations may negatively impact organizations when an employee seeks work with a competing firm.

With technology making it ever easier to store, and share, sensitive information, non-compete agreements are increasingly considered a necessity to locking down valuable trade secrets and intellectual property. But counter-arguments claim that sweeping interpretations of non-competes stifle competition and hold back economic growth by preventing workers from moving on to bigger and better salaries, titles and responsibilities.

Fenwick’s Dan McCoy underscores the value in transparency about existing non-compete agreements when employees look at taking a new position with a potentially competitive organization. In the article, McCoy notes that “a company may be more willing to challenge the agreement on behalf of the person they want to hire if they’re aware of the issue from the start,” adding, “otherwise, the worker could be hit with a legal injunction and fees, leaving them without a job at either company.”

The full article is available through the Marketwatch website.