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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SCOTUS Refuses to Sink Pay for Delay Settlements

June 18, 2013

​David Tellekson, a partner in Fenwick & West’s patent litigation group, is quoted in a BioWorld Today article titled “SCOTUS Refuses to Sink Pay-for-Delay Settlements.”

On June 18, the Supreme Court handed down their decision in the closely-watched case FTC v. Actavis, Inc., which dealt with the controversial issue of pay-for-delay settlements in the pharmaceutical industry.  In a 5-3 ruling, the Court held that lower courts should apply the “rule of reason” in evaluating the legality of pay-for-delay agreements, considering the full scope of the agreement instead of taking a “quick look” approach.

Tellekson told BioWorld Today that the ruling may not get rid of pay-for-delay settlements altogether, but it does make antitrust challenges by the FTC and third parties easier. He said that the ruling could also spurn class-action consumer lawsuits for existing settlements.

The Court also ruled that lower courts should be able to tell by the size of the settlement payment if the patent is weak. Tellekson said this raises the question of how big is too big for a payment. The court's only guidance is basically "you'll know it when you see it,” he continued. Tellekson said that the size of the payment isn't an adequate measure of the strength of the patent.

When asked how this could impact the future of these agreements, Tellekson is paraphrased in saying that “[s]ome drug makers are so risk averse that they'd rather pay to settle than take even a five percent chance that their patents could be overturned.” He said that the lower courts will need to look at patent validity because of other factors that could lead to a larger payment.