2023 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“The best part of Fenwick is the amazing clients, cutting edge work, and free market system that allows you to explore different practice areas.”
“Fenwick respects junior associates and cares about their development, has interesting and challenging projects in the technology and life science spaces, and feels like a family. Interactions feel genuine and substantial.”
“Staffing deals can be difficult during busy times because of the free market system.”
“Not specific to Fenwick, but the hours of BigLaw and the unpredictability of legal work.”
Well known for its innovative work with technology and life sciences companies, Fenwick is home to nearly 500 attorneys across seven offices. The firm has grown beyond its Silicon Valley roots, with three thriving offices in California, an established office in Seattle, a rapidly growing office in New York, an international office in China, and a newly opened office in Washington, DC.
In 1972, four attorneys left New York City and headed to Palo Alto, California, to launch their own firm based on their vision that the newly named Silicon Valley would become a future tech epicenter of the world. They were right.
Just four years after its founding, Fenwick retained future tech icons Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak as clients, eventually helping them incorporate Apple Computer—today the world’s most valuable company by market cap. Fenwick has grown to become a leading destination law firm for preeminent tech and life sciences companies, with other notable clients including Amazon, Cisco Systems, Coinbase, Meta, Google, and Peloton Interactive.
Innovators in Tech and Life Sciences
Fenwick represents more than 3,000 startup clients, of which more than 200 are unicorns (companies valued at $1 billion or more), and more than 375 public company clients located in business and financial hubs around the world. Clients span numerous established as well as nascent industries, including autonomous transportation, blockchain, communications, consumer goods and retail, digital health, fintech, games, hardware, life sciences, semiconductors, and software.
The firm—which is among the top five firms in Vault’s Emerging Companies & Venture Capital ranking—continues to lead in the technology sector, handling a number of the largest venture capital financings including for Databricks, Outreach, GOAT Group, Faire, TripActions, Relativity Space, and Aurora Solar. In 2021, Fenwick represented Coinbase in its historic direct listing as the first major crypto company to go public.
Fenwick has also remained firmly in place among Vault’s Best Law Firms for Intellectual Property for more than a decade. Its intellectual property group represents many of the world’s most cutting-edge companies in important prosecution and transactional matters for clients such as Day One Biopharmaceuticals, Epic Games, Intuit, Numenta, and Salesforce. The litigation practice, also centered on tech and life sciences, has achieved numerous victories for Amazon (including summary judgments, jury trial verdicts, and Federal Circuit wins); Ninth Circuit decisions for Fitbit and Intuit; and successes for Peloton Interactive, GoPro, Netflix, and Loxo Oncology.
The firm’s M&A practice is recognized consistently as one of the best in the nation. Recently, the firm has advised such high-profile companies as Buzzfeed, Bill.com, Twilio, Stripe, and Veracyte in notable M&A transactions, both domestic and global. Fenwick’s tax group has also been intimately involved in the strategy of multinational brands such as Dover Corp., Meta, and Limited Brands, and in supporting the heavy stream of corporate transactions run by the firm over the past year.
Independent but Not Alone
Fenwick’s free market system empowers associates to sit in the driver’s seat of their careers by seeking out the work opportunities within their practice group they are most interested in across offices. The firm prides itself on encouraging associates to play an active role in their career and to shape their work experiences. Increasing opportunities for each associate, matters are staffed across offices, giving associates opportunities to work with teams firmwide.
This autonomy is not without support, as each associate has a dedicated practice management professional who serves as a trusted advisor in helping them find the right opportunities and workload balance to achieve their career goals.
News & Awards
- Incorporated Apple Computer in 1976 and pioneered the first shrink-wrap license agreement that same year.
- Successfully defended Amazon’s 1-Click® patent just in time for the 1999 holiday shopping season.
- Handled many of the largest and most significant M&A transactions in the history of the technology industry, including Symantec's $13B acquisition of VERITAS.
- Guided Facebook in its IPO and worked on Facebook’s $19B acquisition of WhatsApp and its approximately $1B acquisition of Instagram.
- Represented Coinbase in a first-of-its-kind public listing on Nasdaq, valued at opening trade at $99b.
- National Public Service Award, 2022 – American Bar Association Business Law Section
- Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality, 2022 – Corporate Equality Index, Human Rights Campaign Foundation
- Best Place to Work in the Bay Area, 2022 – Silicon Valley Business Journal
- Top 100 Best Places to Work in New York, 2021 – Crain’s New York
- Law Firm of the Year finalist, 2021 – The American Lawyer
- #1 law firm, 2021 – Corporate Ranking Index, The American Lawyer
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
Phone: (650) 988-8500
Managing Partner: Rodger Cole
Hiring Partners: Lara Foster (Mountain View); Saina Shamilov (Mountain View); Robert Counihan (New York)
Total No. Attorneys (2022):
500 - 750
No. of Partners Named 2021:
1st year: $215,000
2nd year: $225,000
3rd year: $250,000
4th year: $295,000
5th year: $345,000
6th year: $370,000
7th year: $400,000
8th year: $415,000
Summer Associate: $215,000
General Recruiting Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
No. of U.S. Offices: 6
No. of International Offices: 1
Mountain View, CA
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Santa Monica, CA
Washington, DC I Shanghai
Antitrust & Trade Regulation
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
Capital Markets & Public Companies
Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits
Mergers & Acquisitions
Patent Post-Grant Proceedings
Privacy & Cybersecurity
Startup & Venture Capital
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.