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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Understanding the Impact of New State Data Protection Laws

February 26, 2009

Robert Brownstone, Law & Technology Director at Fenwick & West, was quoted extensively throughout the Compliance and Governance Digest article "Understanding the Impact of New State Data Protection Laws."

States are increasing their role in regulating data security for businesses that hold sensitive data. Some states are requiring encryption of data stored on portable devices, data in transit and data at rest. Compliance is difficult with moving information, as reflected by Brownstone's metaphor of a duck that flies from pond to pond.

Brownstone helps his clients assess and calibrate their current security measures. His goal is to help each client come up with a practical, realistic approach that will enable across-the-board compliance with the many applicable statutes and regulations regarding information-security, privacy and data breaches. Given that compliance with some of the new regulatory schemes can be costly, Brownstone helps clients evaluate which measures are appropriate according to company culture and security risks.

He and his colleagues recommend that clients break down their data security compliance protocols into two categories: 1) proactive, namely managing risk and doing their best to preventing breaches; and 2) reactive, namely following incident-response procedures to notify customers of a breach and strive to prevent similar problem prospectively. A given company can decide on a wide range of security measure levels based upon its budget parameters and risk-management goals. Then, it can seek out vendors and tools accordingly.

Brownstone has found that some organizations, both large and small, are still unaware of full range of risks inherent in mobile electronically stored information. When advising about regulatory compliance, Brownstone reminds his clients that their various types of data are sensitive, including not only the company's trade secrets and intellectual property but also information about business partners, customers and employees.

Read the complete Compliance and Governance Digest article here (free registration required).