Alan C. Smith
Fenwick & West's Private Equity practice combines a team of experienced private equity "purist" lawyers with the firm's more than 300 lawyers whose practice is dedicated to serving technology and life sciences clients in transformative transactions and day-to-day legal matters. This combination uniquely enables us to deliver the technical skills, experience and thought leadership earned through our disciplined focus in representing the world's most reputable technology companies over the last 40 years to complement the resources and expertise of our private equity transactional lawyers. As a result, we provide a holistic solution to the legal services needs of our private equity sponsor clients investing in the technology industry—without compromise and with maximum value.
While our private equity lawyers often represent sponsors investing across a wide spectrum of industries (including, among others, consumer, apparel, business services, healthcare services and manufacturing), our Private Equity practice is particularly distinguished by its expertise in representing sponsors in connection with technology transactions. We have substantial experience representing sponsors in transactions across various growth sectors within the broader technology industry, including, among other sectors, software (enterprise/consumer and SaaS/traditional licensing models), e-commerce, social media, networking and communications, gaming and Internet content.
We regularly represent private equity sponsors (including buyout funds, growth equity funds, venture capital funds and hedge funds) and the companies partnering with those sponsors in connection with buyouts, "going private" transactions, carve-out acquisitions, add-on acquisitions, divestitures, recapitalizations, growth equity/structured minority equity financings, debt financings, joint ventures and other strategic transactions. We also deploy the broad resources of our firm—including patent and trademark prosecution, licensing, patent and commercial litigation, copyright, employment counseling and executive compensation lawyers, all of whom handle some of the most trusted assignments from many of Silicon Valley's most prominent technology companies, to solve the day-to-day legal issues of the portfolio companies of our private equity sponsor clients.
Some of our prominent private equity sponsors include:
More broadly, our M&A practice consistently earns accolades as a leader in technology M&A. Fenwick was recently ranked #1 in technology, media and telecommunication transactions worldwide by Mergermarket for the first three quarters of 2014, and honored by Global M&A Network with the “2014 Technology Deal of the Year” for representation of Cisco in its $2.7B acquisition of SourceFire. As a result of our disciplined focus on the technology industry with a particular emphasis on strategic transactions, we are able to achieve the successes that are behind these accolades with less than one-third the number of lawyers of many firms within our peer group of competitors.
While our firm has a proven track record of representing parties to multi-billion dollar M&A transactions, our Private Equity practice is also routinely retained for its ability to deliver extraordinary value in "middle-market" private equity transactions. Notably, two of the six private equity sponsors recently recognized by Buyouts magazine as the "Top 6 Emerging Private Equity Funds" nationwide—and the only two sponsors on that list headquartered on the West Coast—are Fenwick clients.
Our Private Equity practice is supported by, among other disciplines, what has been recognized as one of the country's elite tax practices. Our Tax practice includes partner Jim Fuller who, among other accolades, is recognized as the only U.S. tax advisor to receive the Chambers coveted "star performer" rating. In addition, our tax practice is the only law firm headquartered in California recognized by International Tax Review as a "Tier 1" tax practice.