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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 >

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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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New Anti Piracy System Likely To Draw Legal Challenges

February 26, 2013

Andrew Bridges, a partner Fenwick's copyright litigation group, was quoted in a Law360 article titled “New Anti-Piracy System Likely to Draw Legal Challenges (password required).”

The film and music industries recently launched an anti-piracy campaign known as the Copyright Alert System, designed to slow the Internet connections of users who repeatedly download content illegally. The newly-developed system, also called “Six Strikes,” will send notices to users downloading copyrighted content and reduce the connectivity speed of users given multiple warnings. Many attorneys think this move will spur litigation over Internet service providers' authority to impinge on users' Internet access.

Critics of the Copyright Alert System, like Bridges, say the warnings will be ineffective and that slowing down Internet speed is a draconian punishment.

"High-speed Internet is as important today as mail service, phone service or roads," he said.

Users who do challenge the actions will be facing the entire entertainment and ISP industries, Bridges said.

"The people backing this are going to have a hell of a lot more money than the people they're targeting."

Bridges said the system is "wrongheaded from the get-go" and "the copyright equivalent of security theater," the term used to describe airport security measures by critics who say they don’t improve safety.

"The punishment is disproportionate; it's guilty until proven innocent and there are no penalties for false claims," he said.

Bridges pointed to instances where content owners have wrongly asserted a copyright interest in order to get legal content taken down from YouTube and other sites.

"There are definitely instances of companies using copyright to suppress free speech," he said. "This system can be a dangerous private precedent to restrict free speech, since the First Amendment only binds the government."