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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.