Ralph Pais has extensive experience counseling clients at all stages of their growth in the commercialization of their intellectual property and associated business transactions. He has helped develop model agreements and negotiated complex licensing, distribution, and other commercial agreements for software, SaaS, media, semiconductor, life sciences, and medical device companies. Ralph is also deeply involved in the intellectual property and commercial contract aspects of the firm’s M&A practice. He has worked on numerous Dropbox acquisitions, more than 50 Facebook acquisitions, as well as other buy-side transactions, as well as numerous sell-side matters, including the sale of Cepheid to Danaher, sale of Jet.com to WalMart, sale of Quip to salesforce.com and sale of Responsys to Oracle.

In addition to his legal practice, Ralph founded and ran the firm's interim staffing business FLEXbyFenwick for more than 5 years, as well as developed the firm’s DMR program, an internal discovery and diligence team that has evolved into an expanded staff attorney program. He is involved in other aspects of innovation within the firm focusing on means to develop new or improved ways of delivering clients services to address their needs.

Ralph is also responsible for the firm’s professional development program and coordinating and expanding its international activities. Ralph served as one of the firm’s managing partners in 2004 and 2005.

He has been repeatedly ranked as a leading practitioner by publications including The Legal 500 ,IAM Patent 1000 and Northern California Super Lawyers. In the most recent guide, The Legal 500 named Ralph to the Leading Lawyers list of the top 13 technology transactions lawyers in the United States, also highlighting him among the nation's best lawyers for M&A. IAM Patent 1000 also named Ralph among California's top lawyers for transactions, noting that he is "an M&A support pro and service-delivery innovator."

Ralph previously served as Consul of the Netherlands for Northern California for 16 years, was general counsel to a privately-owned food supplement and cosmetics company, and taught courses on negotiations and advanced negotiations at Stanford Law School from 2001 to 2011 and a course on legal issues for entrepreneurs at the San Francisco campus of the Wharton School in 2011.

Representative Clients

  • ASML
  • Corium
  • Cray
  • Facebook
  • Intacct
  • SpinMedia
  • Ustream

Education & Admissions

J.D., Santa Clara University, 1975

B.A., Colorado College, 1970

Admitted to practice in California

Admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts in California


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