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


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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New York Office
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+86 21 8017 1200

12 Dos and Don’ts for Angel Investors

​Earlier in the summer, Fenwick hosted a program for new angel investors with RockHealth. As part of the event, Ash Fo​​ntana of AngelList presented a primer for new angel investors that included a dozen dos and don’ts that are worth repeating.

Don’t recommend a deal you wouldn’t invest in to another angel – not only will it hurt your reputation, it might hurt the entrepreneur’s ability to approach the investor from another point of entry.

Do look for teams of two to three founders, optimally one who can build and one who can sell. Avoid founders who have never sold anything.

Don’t be tempted by non-standard investment models by positioning yourself as a hybrid investor/consultant or investor/incubator. Your competitive advantage as an angel is that you are “first and fast” with capital.

Do beware of companies with outsourced development. The company should have control of the technology and the product.

Don’t bother asking a company for a business plan. No one does them anymore, and they are always based on guesswork even under the best of circumstances.

Do say “no” fast. It’s not wrong to stop an entrepreneur in the middle of a pitch if you know it’s not the right deal. Don’t be afraid to say “no” at a meeting, and when in doubt, say “no.”

Don’t spend longer than two weeks evaluating a deal. You should be able to close a deal within four to twelve weeks.

Do remember that the most probable outcome for any start-up is that the investors and founders will stop funding it, and it will just die.

Don’t expect to get a board seat as an angel investor. That’s not the role of angels.

Do invest with other angels whenever possible. It’s harder for a founder to run from 20 people than it is to run from one person.

Don’t invest in companies that are selling more than 20 percent of their equity in the seed stage. There’s going to be too much dilution down the line.

Do check out Venture Hacks’ write up from the Y Combinator AngelConf for more angel investing insights.

And most important of all, do assume that as soon as you write a check the money is gone. Angel investing is not about making money, it’s about being a patron.​