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Fenwick & West LLP

Work +1 206 389 4510
Mountain View, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Shanghai

Alan Smith

Fenwick & West LLP

Work Department



Alan Smith focuses his practice on representing emerging and public companies in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets offerings and venture capital and strategic investments. Alan has represented many leading public technology and life sciences companies, for which he has advised on corporate governance and securities matters and has numerous private and public financing transactions and mergers and acquisitions. He also has an active venture capital financing practice, having represented many leading start-ups and venture capital firms. Alan is the current Chair of the Corporate Group of Fenwick & West.


Alan has been recognized as one of the top corporate and mergers and acquisitions lawyers in Washington by Chambers USA annually since 2008, as a Washington Super Lawyer annually since 2003, as one of The Best Lawyers in America, and as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by the Puget Sound Business Journal. He is a frequent speaker on corporate finance topics, including the initial public offering process, venture capital and angel financing and mergers and acquisitions. He was a law clerk to Judge Stephen S. Trott of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1996-1997.

United States: Finance

Capital markets: equity offerings

Within: Capital markets: equity offerings

Practical, knowledgeable and experiencedFenwick & West LLP is ‘a leader in its niche’. The Silicon Valley-headquartered firm sets itself apart through its focus on representing issuers from the technology and life sciences sectors on equity deals, and its client roster is dominated by venture capital and private equity-backed companies. Silicon Valley-based securities co-chair Jeffrey Vetter provides ‘real-world advice’; he teamed up with Seattle-based corporate lead Alan Smith and James Evans, who operates from the Seattle, Silicon Valley and New York offices, to advise Redfin on its $159m IPO. Robert Freedman co-heads the department from San Francisco and acted with Smith and Effie Toshav, who divides her time between Seattle and San Francisco, to advise Cascadian Therapeutics on its $94m public offering. Gordon Davidson is also a key name in Silicon Valley.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m)

Within: M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m)

Fenwick & West LLP’s ‘team is incredibly expeditious and thorough, and should be recommended for any client looking for legal solutions during M&A deals’. The practice serves as lead corporate and M&A counsel for many of the world’s top technology companies. The M&A co-chairs are San Francisco-based Douglas Cogen, whose transactional experience includes over $100bn of completed domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, and David Healy in Mountain View, who represents a wide range of high-tech companies in M&A, joint ventures, strategic partnerships and spin-offs. Cogen acted for Cisco in one of the largest technology deals in 2017, the $3.7bn acquisition of AppDynamics; and Healy advised Hewlett Packard Enterprise on its acquisition of SimpliVity. Additional matters included Kris Withrow advising Intacct Corporation, a provider of cloud financial management solutions, on its $850m sale to The Sage Group. Other notable Mountain View advisers include Scott Joachim, who advises private equity, growth capital and venture capital investors, public and emerging companies, and entrepreneurs on technology sector deals; Gregory Roussel, who has extensive experience with clients in the social networking, software, electronic gaming, and mobile application sectors, and ‘has deep knowledge and deal-making expertise’; and David Michaels. Elsewhere, the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Mark Stevens, who ‘drives M&A deals forward’, divides his time between Mountain View and New York, while in San Francisco, Ralph Pais has worked on numerous Dropbox acquisitions and over 50 Facebook acquisitions; Stephen Gillespie and Lynda Twomey are also highly rated. Stephen Graham and Alan Smith in Seattle and New York-based Ethan Skerry are additional key contacts.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Technology: transactions

Within: Technology: transactions

Fenwick & West LLP focuses on advising technology and life sciences companies. The firm is highly rated for its work with start-ups in emerging technologies, such as the sharing economy, fintech, augmented and virtual reality, social networks, and gaming - and has a leading M&A practice in advising technology serial acquirers. It also has a robust venture capital practice. It acted for Facebook in its serial acquisition program, including the acquisitions of Ozlo, Source3, FacioMetric and CrowdTangle; and advised Cisco Systems on the $3.7bn acquisition of AppDynamics and its $1.9bn acquisition of BroadSoft. Other key deals included the team assisting American software company Symantec Corporation with its acquisition of LifeLock, advising Nimble Storage on its sale to Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and serving as primary corporate counsel to Unity, a cross-platform game engine, in its $400m financing from American private equity firm Silver Lake. San Francisco-based Jake Handy is technology transactions chair; Douglas Cogen is co-M&A chair; Stephen Gillespie manages the IP aspects of M&A deals; and Ralph Pais and Seattle-based corporate group chair Alan Smith are also highly rated. Mountain View’s Gregory Roussel is ‘extremely good at driving M&A transactions’; and technology and life sciences deal lawyer Ethan Skerry was hired in New York from Lowenstein Sandler LLP.

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