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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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Women Leaders in Tech Law: Cynthia Hess

September 18, 2014

​Fenwick & West start-ups and venture capital co-chair Cynthia (Cindy) Hess has been profiled by The Recorder, which named her to its 2014 Women Leaders in Tech Law list. The honor acknowledges both legal excellence and professional leadership.

The Recorder—which also recognized Hess earlier this month when it named Fenwick California's Emerging Companies Corporate Group of the Year—notes that she has "worked with some of the area's hottest start-ups and established companies in her 25 years as a dealmaker." It also cited significant transactions Hess handled during the past year for such companies as WeWork, Nextdoor and Lending Club, as well as her key role on the Fenwick team that handled GoPro's initial public offering.

"It felt very satisfying to take GoPro public after having incorporated the company and helped it grow over 10 years," Hess told the publication. "Being in New York Nasdaq headquarters for their first day of trading was so exciting and energizing; it makes all of the hard work pay off."

Asked what she would say to women starting out in tech law, Hess said it is "often easy to feel intimidated when you are the only woman in the room. Speak up, participate in the discussion and make your presence known."

As for guidance she received early on, she expressed gratitude for lessons she learned from her late father, who also was a lawyer. "He taught me how to approach problems in a thoughtful way. I often think of what he would do when I face a challenging situation."

Ironically, for someone who works with cutting-edge technology firms, Hess said that while her favorite gadget is the Fitbit, she still doesn't use an e-reader. "I like good, old-fashioned books and magazines," she noted.

The profile of Hess is available through The Recorder website. Fenwick managing partner Kathryn Fritz and trademark chair Sally Abel also received the 2014 Women Leaders in Tech Law recognition.