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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Mountain View, CA 94041

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Litigation Alert: Northern California District Court Expands Information Retention Requirements

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California has revised Civil Local Rule 16-9 and issued a new Standing Order for all Judges regarding the required contents of Joint Case Management Statements filed pursuant to recently-amended Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f).

Prior to this change, each Judge in the Northern District could (and often did) have his or her own standing order regarding Joint Case Management Statements. Effective for all civil cases filed on or after March 1, 2007, the new Standing Order will be standardized for all Judges and will require identical information in all Joint Case Management Statements.

Most importantly, paragraph 6 of the new Standing Order specifically addresses the issue of evidence preservation in civil cases and requires discussion of the following topics in the Joint Case Management Statement:

6. Evidence Preservation: Steps taken to preserve evidence relevant to the issues reasonably evident in this action, including interdiction of any document destruction program and any ongoing erasures of emails, voice mails, and other electronically-recorded material.

The requirement that routine record retention programs be suspended when litigation is reasonably anticipated or pending (commonly referred to as a "litigation hold") has been in place for some time. The express expansion of this requirement to include voice mails and other "electronically recorded material," however, represents an important development – particularly for corporate litigants that may encounter substantial technological and monetary challenges and limitations in stopping the erasure of voice mails. Indeed, for companies operating on older and/or proprietary voice mail systems, targeted stoppage of voice mail erasure may be impossible as a practical matter. Coupled with the December 1, 2006 expansion of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34(a) to cover "sound recordings… and other data or data compilations stored in any medium from which information can be obtained," the Northern District's new rules may present significant electronic information management challenges to companies.

The full text of the local rules changes and new Standing Order are available on the Public Announcements page of the Court's website at The Court has specified a public notice and comment period through March 30, 2007 regarding the new rules.

Our firm's overview of the December 1, 2006 FRCP changes is summarized at

If you have any questions about what next steps your company should be taking to ensure the proper handling of electronic information and to enable cost-effective responses to discovery requests, do not hesitate to contact us.

More information about our Electronic Information Management (EIM) Group is available on our Web site

Bob Brownstone, Director, Law and Technology, 650.335.7912

Bill Fenwick, Partner, Litigation Group, 650.335.7200

Mike Sands, Chair, EIM Group, 650.335.7279

©2007 Fenwick & West LLP. All Rights Reserved.

This update is intended by Fenwick & West LLP to summarize recent developments in the law. It is not intended, and should not be regarded, as legal advice. Readers who have particular questions about these issues should seek advice of counsel.​​​