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


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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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Why Confidential Filings are the New Normal for IPOs

September 24, 2013

Securities and corporate finance co-chair Jeffrey Vetter is quoted in the Silicon Valley Business Journal article “Why Twitter’s secret IPO process is the new normal” on Twitter’s confidential filing under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act.

Vetter, who says he’s worked on about 16 confidential initial public offerings since the law went into effect, tells the Business Journal that because confidential filing allows companies to keep confidential information under wraps, he expects confidential filing to replace the old system.

“Before, in the worst-case scenario, you could file and then have your company’s information out there in public for the entire time you were waiting for the market to look good for you to go public," he said. "We’re talking three years in some cases. It hurts your business because your customers start to think there’s something wrong because you haven’t gone public yet, and it gives your competitors a lot of data about your operations that you probably don’t want them to have.”

Vetter says companies filing publicly will likely be those seeking publicity around an IPO whether for marketing purposes or as part of a “dual tracking” effort, getting ready for an IPO while also shopping the company around to potential buyers. He notes that over the past year many of the companies who chose not to file confidentially were life sciences companies, where historically dual tracking has been common.

Nevertheless, Vetter tells the Business Journal that the JOBS Act has not encouraged more companies to go public than already would have done so.

“The issue is, it’s still a lot of work and a lot of expense even to do a confidential filing,” he said. “You have audited financials, due diligence, you still need outside counsel. It’s not any cheaper necessarily. So most of the companies I’ve worked with that have chosen that route are companies I’d say would have probably gone public anyway.”