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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 >

Mountain View Office
Silicon Valley Center
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
650.988.8500

San Francisco Office
555 California Street
13th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
415.875.2300

Seattle Office
1191 Second Avenue
10th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
206.389.4510

New York Office
1211 Avenue of the Americas
32nd Floor
New York, NY 10036
212.921.2001

Shanghai Office
Unit 908, 9/F, Kerry Parkside Office
No. 1155 Fang Dian Road
Pudong New Area, Shanghai 201204
P.R. China
+86 21 8017 1200


Christopher J. Steskal

Chair, White Collar & Regulatory Defense

Partner, Securities Litigation  

San Francisco 415.875.2439

Overview

Christopher Steskal is Chair of the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group. Chris is an experienced trial lawyer with nearly 25 years of experience litigating both criminal and civil matters. He has handled cases in the areas of securities fraud, unfair competition, trade secret theft, public corruption, FCPA, tax fraud, insider trading, stock option backdating, mail and wire fraud, antitrust, and money laundering, among others. Chris has represented audit committees and companies while leading internal investigations in cases involving accounting fraud, bribery, embezzlement, kick-backs, tax compliance, export compliance, and health and safety issues, among others. Chris also frequently represents companies and individuals before the DOJ, SEC, and other regulatory agencies.

Before joining Fenwick & West, Chris served as a federal prosecutor in San Francisco for six years and prosecuted a wide variety of white collar crimes. He was a member of the Securities Fraud Section and one of the founding members of the Northern District’s Stock Options Backdating Task Force. Chris worked closely with the SEC in San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere while conducting corporate fraud investigations. During his tenure as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chris represented the United States in numerous jury trials, evidentiary hearings and appeals before the Ninth Circuit. He was lead counsel in several stock option backdating investigations involving Silicon Valley companies, investigations of technology companies for revenue recognition fraud, and other corporate fraud investigations.

Recent Regulatory Representations

  • Internal investigations and related DOJ and SEC investigations on behalf of several multinational corporations into bribery and kick-back allegations in jurisdictions throughout the world, including China, India, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia
  • Internal investigations for several companies and boards into allegations relating to accounting and financial improprieties
  • DOJ investigation into whistle-blower allegations of accounting fraud on behalf of technology company
  • Internal investigation for airline into whistle-blower allegations regarding safety and FAA regulatory compliance
  • FTC investigation into privacy issues on behalf of social networking company
  • DOJ tax fraud investigation on behalf of multinational company

Recent Litigation Representations

  • Securities class action litigation for life sciences and technology companies
  • Insider trading case filed by the SEC against several alleged members of an insider trading ring
  • Business and Professions Code § 17200 litigation brought by the State of California against financial services company, as well as related class action litigation
  • Theft of trade secrets litigation for technology companies

Recent Individual Representations

  • CEOs, CFOs, and other executives in DOJ and SEC investigations relating to accounting fraud and stock option backdating, as well as related shareholder and derivative litigation
  • Several individuals in insider trading investigations by the DOJ and SEC
  • Hedge fund manager in fraud investigation by the DOJ
  • Board members in DOJ and SEC investigations of conduct by management
  • Employees of multi-national company in DOJ and SEC investigation into alleged accounting fraud and FCPA violations
  • Individuals in UBS tax fraud investigation

Judicial Clerkships

Honorable James R. Browning, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Honorable Harry L. Hupp, United States District Court for the Central District of California

Bar Activities

Chair, Securities Litigation Section, Bar Association of San Francisco

Executive Committee, Northern District of California Chapter, Federal Bar Association

Selected Publications

Developing the Next Generation of Leaders in the Securities Litigation Bar, The Bar Association of San Francisco, March 2010

Must A Corporation Disclose Privileged Information To Avoid Prosecution, And If It Does So, Will It Be At The Mercy Of The Plaintiffs' Bar? – Recent Developments In DOJ Policy And Case Law, Fenwick & West Securities Litigation Update, January 21, 2009

DOJ Targets Approximately 20,000 Investors as Co-Conspirators in Criminal Tax Fraud Investigation of UBS, Fenwick & West Litigation Alert, November 19, 2008

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: The Next Corporate Scandal?, Fenwick & West Securities Litigation Alert, January 28, 2008

Insider Trading Is Back, Fenwick & West Securities Litigation Alert, September 4, 2007

Selected Media References

Madoff Behind Bars, but Probe Grinds Forward, Associated Press, July 1, 2009

Peter John Schuller, Is Madoff the Tip of the Iceberg?, KQED Radio, June 30, 2009

Tough Post-Enron Regulations No Match for Satyam CEO, Investor's Business Daily, January 8, 2009

Thomas Bron, Greasy Palms: When bribery investigations become public, expect follow-on civil suits, California Lawyer, September 2008

Mid-year Report on Insider-Trading Enforcement, Compliance Week, July 25, 2008

Other

Chris started his law career in the litigation group at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York.