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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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SEC Ramps Up Regulation of Pre IPO Securities Market

July 10, 2015

Mike Dicke, co-chair of Fenwick & West's securities enforcement group, was quoted in The Recorder in an article on the SEC’s increasing regulation of the growing pre-IPO securities market.

The possibility of unethical action in the pre-IPO securities market presents potential dangers for investors, as well as stockholders within a company. 

Dicke told The Recorder that he expects the SEC to continue to watch the private sector closely for concerns attempting to sell illiquid private stock to investors. He predicted that the SEC will conduct many more investigations related to these issues.

“I think the SEC Enforcement Division is looking to get the word out more broadly […] that the market for pre-IPO securities carries very real risks that the average investor needs to understand before participating,” said Dicke, who up until last year was the head of enforcement in the SEC’s San Francisco office.

Despite the risks, pre-IPO stocks are growing in appeal, because companies now stay private longer and therefore have more time to gain funding and increase in value. More than 80 venture-backed startups are currently valued at more than $1 billion, The Recorder noted, citing Fortune Magazine.

Everybody wants to be in on the ground floor of something that's going to be worth a lot of money in the future," Dicke said.

The full article is available through The Recorder’s website (subscription required).