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


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

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

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

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

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

About Our Open Source Practice

Based in Silicon Valley and having significant market share of software company clients, Fenwick & West was one of the first law firms in the world to confront Open Source issues. Nearly two decades later, our attorneys now have vast experience in guiding clients of all sizes—from Open Source start-ups to Fortune 500 companies—on navigating the complex issues of Open Source and IP ownership.

Our effective guidance on Open Source stems beyond our legal expertise; it is deeply informed by our attorneys' technical backgrounds and active involvement in the Open Source community. Many of our attorneys have programming and engineering backgrounds, including direct Open Source programming experience. This deep technical knowledge is often a key requirement for effective counseling on the more complicated Open Source issues, because our attorneys fully understand the Open Source components being used and how they relate to other software/firmware components in the system being analyzed.

In addition, Fenwick attorneys have contributed comments to the various GPL versions, including significant contributions to the current version, GPLv3, released in June 2007. Therefore, we are fully versed in the nuances of complying with the GPL, as well as how to create IP value while still incorporating Open Source solutions into company products.

Our wide range of Open Source expertise includes:

  • More than 40 attorneys with computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering degrees, a number with direct programming experience involving Open Source code and on Open Source projects such as threading libraries and the GNU Standard C++ Library
  • Deep knowledge of the different Open Source licensing regimes, including weekly (if not daily) counseling on compliance with Open Source license requirements
  • Negotiating Open Source issues as part of in-bound and out-bound technology transactions for clients of all sizes
  • Patent prosecution for clients whose primary products and services are Open Source related, as well as patent prosecution for large companies whose products may incorporate Open Source elements
  • Avoiding "taint" of proprietary software by Open Source
  • Developing Open Source policies for leading technology companies, including decision tree models to determine risk/benefit analysis of incorporating Open Source into company products and, when incorporated, the most appropriate licensing regime
  • Handling Open Source issues on literally hundreds of M&A transactions: Fenwick attorneys have developed a proprietary Open Source Due Diligence Questionnaire that allows us to efficiently identify, analyze and resolve Open Source issues without delay to the transaction, as well as to assist with management of Open Source issues during post-closing integration