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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Life Science Financing Survey 2012


Trends in Terms of U.S. Life Science Venture Financings
(Full Year 2012)

Overview of Fenwick & West Results

Valuations for life science companies receiving venture capital financing during 2012 continued to trend modestly upward from 2011 levels. However, total investment into venture-backed life science companies declined during 2012, and our analysis of fundraising trends indicates that fundraising by life science venture capitalists has continued to decline as well.

Key observations and highlights from our survey include the following:

  • Up rounds outpaced down rounds 52% to 17% during 2012. This represents an improvement over results from 2011, which averaged 47% up rounds and 25% down rounds.

  • The average round-to-round price increase for 2012, as measured by the Fenwick & West Life Science Venture Capital Barometer™, increased to 23%. For comparison, Barometer results for 2011 were 14%.

  • Within life science industry sub-sectors, Barometer results for biopharmaceutical companies remained in line with 2011, averaging 16% for both 2011 and 2012. In contrast, Barometer results for medical device companies moved up from an average of 12% during 2011 to an average of 30% during 2012.

  • Fundraising by life science venture capitalists, which fell off markedly following the 2008 recession, has continued to decline during 2012. We estimate that the percentage of VC fundraising allocable to life sciences has declined from 19% of funds raised in 2009 to 12.5% of funds raised in 2012. In absolute dollar terms, we estimate that fundraising has fallen from an average of $7.8 billion/year in 2007 and 2008 to $2.5 billion in 2012.

  • Senior and participating liquidation preferences remained a common feature of 2012 life science venture financings, appearing in 51% (for senior preferences) and 66% (for participating preferences) of the financings we reviewed, which is in line with results observed during 2011.

Direction of Price Change, 2010-2012 Trend (Four Quarter Moving Average)
of Barometer Results, 2010-2012

Direction of Price Change


View the full version of the 2012 Life Science Survey (PDF).

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