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Rising Star: Fenwick & West's James Evans

April 25, 2014

​Fenwick & West corporate partner James Evans was profiled by Law360 as one its 2014 Rising Stars. The award honors the attorneys under 40 who are most accomplished in their practice areas. Evans is widely considered one of the country’s top technology attorneys and was one of only four attorneys selected for Law360’s Technology designation, along with fellow Fenwick partner Michael Brown.

Law360, a leading online media company publishing news and analysis on business law, spotlighted Evans’ work on a variety of significant technology transactions for companies including Facebook, King Digital Entertainment PLC and Rocket Fuel. In only his second year as a partner with Fenwick, Evans has already counseled numerous industry heavyweights and frequently leads or co-leads IPOs and other stock offerings for prominent Fenwick clients. In addition to this prestigious selection by Law360, Evans was recognized in 2012 as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine.

Over the past three years, Evans led or helped lead Fenwick teams on at least 17 offerings that have raised a combined $23 billion. He says that finding success relatively early in his legal career is a credit to the talented team of attorneys at Fenwick who mentored him— including former Fenwick chairman Gordon Davidson and Jeffrey Vetter, co-chair of the firm’s securities and corporate finance group—and to the firm’s culture of rewarding quality and consistent work regardless of a person’s age or title.

“Everyone, whether it be at the staff level or the associate level, has a role to play and is valuable,” Evans added. “There is a tremendous amount of respect for people at all levels within the firm, and that environment allows people who are motivated and work hard to succeed early.”

In January, Law360 named Fenwick Technology Group of the Year. “Fenwick has obviously been around for a very long time and enjoyed a fantastic reputation in advance of Facebook,” Evans told Law360. “It’s humbling to get those opportunities, and I think all of us as a group work hard to take advantage of those opportunities but also not to become complacent either.”

Evans’ practice focuses almost exclusively on corporate and securities law, with specific emphasis on capital market transactions, and representing issuers, underwriters and other parties in a variety of public and private offerings of both equity and debt securities. Evans also advises both private and public technology companies on general corporate compliance, SEC reporting and governance issues. Public and late-stage private companies for which he has provided ongoing advice include technology companies Facebook, Cray Inc., Green Dot, Redfin and Trupanion.

Among the many high-profile technology deals that Evans helped guide are Facebook’s $16 billion IPO, Candy Crush developer King Digital Entertainment’s $499.5 million IPO, Rocket Fuel’s $116 million IPO, Zillow’s $79 million IPO, Facebook’s $3.8 billion follow-on offering, Symantec’s $1.1 billion senior notes offering and Zillow’s $473 million follow-on offering.

“You get the opportunity to work with amazing companies like Facebook who have amazing people, so you get to learn from and be present with landscape-changing people and landscape-changing companies,” Evans says. “It’s a fantastic platform, especially for someone who likes to work with technology.”

The full article is available through the Law360 website (subscription required).