Fenwick & West LLP > San Francisco, United States > Firm Profile
Fenwick & West LLP Offices
555 CALIFORNIA STREET
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94104
Fenwick & West LLP > The Legal 500 RankingsFenwick & West LLP, the team around lead trio Jennifer Stanley, Jonathan Millard, both in San Francisco, and Michael Farn in Mountain View, focuses on technology licensing agreements as befits the technology powerhouse's wider positioning. The group's outstanding track record attracts large international corporations and start-ups and emerging companies alike, but also appeals to prestigious research institutes and universities, for example, for agreements involving technology transfer offices. The practice is particularly visible in large-cap transactions, but is also extremely active in the venture and growth capital space, not the least because of its wide-ranging technical expertise, including specialist knowledge of cryptocurrency, blockchain, augmented and virtual reality, and autonomous vehicles. The firm grew its privacy and cybersecurity practice to offer a comprehensive legal, business and technical advice package, leading to a number of new clients joining the client roster, including several hi-tech unicorns. San Francisco-based duo David Hayes and Jake Handy enjoy an excellent reputation.
Jennifer Stanley; Jonathan Millard; Mike Farn
Amunix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Audentes Therapeutics, Inc.
BioAge Labs, Inc.
Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd
NortonLifeLock Inc. (fka Symantec)
Silver Peak Systems, Inc.
- Represented Amunix Pharmaceuticals in negotiations concerning an agreement to license its XTEN unstructured polypeptide technology platform to F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., a deal worth up to $1.5bn.
- Represented Second Genome in a strategic collaboration with Gilead Sciences, with a deal value of approximately $1.5 bn.
- Represented Audentes Therapeutics in its $3bn acquisition by Astellas Pharma Inc.
Intellectual property > Patents: prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings) Tier 1Fenwick & West LLP enjoys an excellent reputation for its prosecution work in the technology and life sciences sectors. The Californian powerhouse offers stellar technical and scientific expertise thanks to its many team members with advanced technical degrees, including in chemistry, electrical engineering, molecular biology, and computer science. Adept at assisting start-ups and growth companies with the development of their patent portfolios, the practice regularly accompanies its clients for years and is able to advise on major acquisitions or IPOs. Post-grant proceedings are another area of particular strength. Clients also benefit from the firm's portfolio management extranets, which are especially useful for the many international and multinational clients which can access and manage substantial patent portfolios from anywhere in the world. Another asset is the firm's Vermont-based patent operational office which ensures cost-efficient patent documentation handling and filing. Mountain View duo Michael Farn and Rajiv Patel share the lead of the practice.
Michael Farn; Rajiv Patel
Other key lawyers:
Robert Hulse; Antonia Sequeira; Jae Won Song
- Drafted and prosecuted next-generation patent families for Corvidia Therapeutics, as Corvidia repurposed Ziltivekimab from its original intended indication, treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, to treatment of inflammatory cardiovascular disease, and acted as company IP counsel for Corvidia in its acquisition by Novo Nordisk for $725m in cash, with future contingent payments of up to $1.4bn.
- Advising Facebook on the development and management of the bulk of Facebook’s patent portfolio.
- Assisting Ontera Inc. with filing patents for and managing the international portfolio of Ontera, Inc., the leader in silicon-based nanopore technology for precision molecular diagnostics in humans and in AgTech.
Kris Withrow; Douglas Cogen
‘Fenwick is at the core of the technology sector. They are able to see around corners because they do such a high volume of transactions that are directly analogous to the transactions we do. They act like true parts of the team and are fully integrated into our M&A program. Their partner leadership is strong, with their associate talent consistently top notch, with a great client touch. Instantly responsive, you can hop on calls with them at all times of the day on urgent, complex issues relevant to technology companies.’
‘They are extremely knowledgeable. I find their knowledge and experience is best in class. As a result their assessment of situations, and their recommendations, can be confidently relied on.’
‘Excellent lawyers who have experience across a broad range of M&A transactions and provide value add advice and work product. Truly exceptional work.’
‘Strong IP and fintech capabilities. Best in class “big tech” experience.’
Audentes Therapeutics, Inc.
Cisco Systems, Inc.
Silver Peak Systems, Inc.
Accel Entertainment Gaming, Inc.
Lululemon Athletica Inc.
Packet Host, Inc.
Modis Therapeutics, Inc.
- Represented Audentes Therapeutics, Inc. in its acquisition by Astellas Pharma Inc. at an equity value of $3bn.
- Represented Symantec Corporation in the $10.7bn sale of its Enterprise Security assets to Broadcom Inc.
- Represented OSIsoft, a global leader in real-time industrial data software and services, in its $5bn acquisition by AVEVA, a global leader in industrial software.
Fenwick & West LLP fields a team that 'is absolutely at the top of their game' and is commended for being 'very in the know on tech: who matters, what to expect, and what's going on'. Highly rated co-chairs Cynthia Hess and Mark Leahy lead the team from the firm's Silicon Valley base. Its industry coverage skews towards the technology, with a client base of start-ups and established companies covering all corners of the market. Roughly a quarter of the client base is in life sciences, and digital health (Fitbit and Peloton being two high-profile examples of the latter type to have achieved "established" status). Other key partners in Silicon Valley include Gordon Davidson, Michael Esquivel, and Mark Stevens. Michael Brown and Samuel Angus are contacts in the San Francisco office.
Cynthia Hess; Mark Leahy
‘Michael Esquivel and his team are top notch in every way – from responsiveness to client needs to expertise relevant to our business as we grow. They are excellent partners around our table.’
‘Michael Esquivel and team: Ryan McRobert, Miriam dela Cruz-Rice, Noah Johnson, and Shawn Lampron on the corporate team are always available and ready to help, anytime, anywhere, when I need them. That knowledge is exceedingly reassuring and makes them all stand out for me, as one team. But beyond that, their expertise is reassuring, as it means they (we!) are always in a strong position versus the other side of the table.’
‘Very in the know on tech – who matters, what to expect, and what’s going on. Very good at personal relationships with founder and company. Capable of supporting huge enterprises with their own legal teams, and first time founders who are totally lost.’
‘Intimate understanding of the players and how we can expect things to go. Good understanding of my business stakeholders and creative at getting us to a solution. Practical – not a third party adviser but someone who actually thinks through what the company cares about and helps make it happen.’
‘The closeness of the partner and their interest in the actual business and well being of all major actors.’
‘Michael Esquivel and Stefano Quintini. Both go above and beyond and both are best in class.’
‘The team is absolutely at the top of their game. Fenwick’s extensive client base, from the Fortune 500 to cutting edge innovative tech companies, means that they are involved in many of the newsworthy transactions that occur in their unique backyard – Silicon Valley.’
‘I firmly believe in the adage that you hire lawyers not firms. Without the expert practitioners at Fenwick the firm would not be able to build the solid client relationships. What is clearly evident is the “service culture.” Not only do they say they they will handle a matter right away, they actually do it. Our corporate partner at Fenwick is Sam Angus. My needs often require immediate assistance by my outside counsel. It is that service orientation that I respect and rely on in Sam.’
Samsara Networks, Inc.
Apeel Technology, Inc. (dba Apeel Sciences)
Dream Sports, Inc.
- Represented Samsara Networks, Inc. in its latest $400m round of funding, bringing Samsara’s valuation to $5.4bn.
- Represented Databricks in its $400m Series F investment.
- Represented SentinelOne in its $267m Series F funding led by Tiger Global Management.
Fenwick & West LLP is firmly embedded in the technology sector, which accounts for roughly 70% of the firm's client base. This extends beyond IT, software, and the Internet, and includes life sciences, healthcare, media, financial services and retail. The firm has over 40 licensing and transactional attorneys devoted to this side of the practice, including sourcing, partnership and development agreements, as well as M&A, corporate finance, and related privacy and data security. Jennifer Stanley co-chairs the team with transactional partner Jonathan Millard. Other key partners include Mountain View-based Stefano Quintini, who co-heads the life sciences and health technology practice, and former co-chairs Ralph Pais and IP specialist Jake Handy, who divides his time between San Francisco and Seattle. Unless otherwise stated, all partners work in San Francisco
Jennifer Stanley; Jonathan Millard
Amunix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Audentes Therapeutics, Inc.
BioAge Labs, Inc.
Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd
Silver Peak Systems, Inc.
- Represented Amunix Pharmaceuticals in a $1.5bn agreement to license its XTEN unstructured polypeptide technology platform to F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.
- Represented Second Genome in a $1.5bn strategic collaboration with Gilead Sciences.
- Represented Audentes Therapeutics in its $3bn acquisition by Astellas Pharma Inc., a Japanese multinational pharma company.
Based in Los Angeles, Fenwick & West LLP has broad expertise in copyright law in digital domains, including issues related to open source and DMCA safe harbours, as well as fair use and secondary liability. In addition to handling myriad portfolio issues for tech companies, including those in the gaming industry, the team also stands out in high-stakes copyright litigation. Copyright practice chair Jennifer Stanley, who also leads the firm's games industry group, is a name to note for tech transactions and related copyright protection and risk management issues. Copyright litigation co-chair Andrew Bridges has extensive experience at trial and appeals, and David Hayes handles IP counseling matters and litigation for software companies and other new technologies companies. Also recommended is Laurence Pulgram, another name to note for IP litigation.
Jennifer Stanley; Andrew Bridges; Laurence Pulgram
Other key lawyers:
- Acted pro bono on behalf of Public.Resource.Org regarding long-standing litigation involving important questions having to do with the online publication of safety and other standards.
- Represented Scopely in its acquisition of FoxNext Games Los Angeles and Cold Iron Studios in San Jose from The Walt Disney Company.
Tax > International tax Tier 2
The team at Fenwick & West LLP handles international tax planning for a variety of corporate entities, including Fortune 500 companies. Contacts in the Mountain View office include Larissa Neumann and James Fuller.
Robert Freedman; James Evans
‘Effie Toshav and Rob Freedman bring a combination that provides both technical legal insights, as well as valued strategic thought partnership.’
‘Effie Toshav is an extremely strategic thinker who has advised us on multiple decisions that has helped shaped the path for our company for the better. Rob Freedman is extremely responsive and has a tremendous technical understanding for the law. The combination of these two partners have provided us incredible legal support.’
‘Great collaborators, very deep industry specific knowledge, practical approach which fits with in-house thinking. Always deliver high quality product and never miss deadlines. Extremely knowledgeable in the life sciences space; can readily handle complex financial transactions.’
‘Excellent group of partners including; Amanda Rose, Stephen Graham, and Robert Freedman. Able to handle all responsibilities that would typically be handled by in-house counsel. Very creative on Finance Structuring and have great relationships within the Life Sciences industry and as a result can provide tailored advice.’
Aeglea BioTherapeutics, Inc.
Arcutis Biotherapeutics, Inc.
Glu Mobile, Inc.
Morphic Holding, Inc.
Nurix Therapeutics, Inc.
Passage Bio, Inc.
Peloton Interactive, Inc.
Prelude Therapeutics, Inc.
Stoke Therapeutics, Inc.
Sutro Biopharma, Inc.
- Represented Peloton Interactive in its $1.2bn IPO.
- Represented Dexcom in its private offering of $1.05bn of convertible senior notes.
- Represented Alteryx in its private offering of $800m convertible senior notes.
Intellectual property > Trademarks: non-contentious (including prosecution, portfolio management and licensing) Tier 3
The 'top-notch' trademark counseling and protection team at Fenwick & West LLP provides a full range of trademark advice to multinational corporations and household names in the areas of entertainment, data analytics, advertising, and digital and mobile gaming. Headed by Connie Ellerbach in Mountain View, the team frequently advises on trademark registration and enforcement, and domain name issues, as well as international trademark registration and transactional due diligence. Also recommended in Mountain View are Sally Abel, who specializes in international trademark management, and Karen Webb, a name to note for social media trademark law. In recent years its client list has expanded to include notable Silicon Valley companies operating in software, blockchain, and cryptocurrency.
‘The trademarks team at Fenwick is top-notch. They excel in managing complex clearance projects, negotiating creative but practical resolutions to trademark disputes, and providing clear and actionable guidance on a range of trademark matters. They make it easy for our in-house team to provide value to our clients with legal solutions that take into account the evolving realities of our business. Beyond the excellent quality of legal work they provide, they also employ a team of all around great human beings. They are kind, honest, trustworthy, and value diversity and inclusion.’
‘There are a number of individuals at the firm that stand out with continuous efforts to meet the pressing demands of our business and legal teams. Notable partners include Sally Abel and Karen Webb. Each of these individuals has contributed substantial value to our brand protection efforts over the years. As noted above, they each think critically and creatively to develop tailored solutions to our trademark disputes and issues. They put in the effort to stay up to date on developments not only in the trademark legal practice, but also with updates specific to our business — and this is evident in the way their strategies evolve with the needs of our business.’
Prime Trust, LLC
Facebook Reality Labs (Oculus)
- Represented Tanium in its lawsuit against Onica, a cloud consulting and managed services company that is a subsidiary of Rackspace.
Andrew Albertson; Michael Dicke; Can Sun
Seal Software Limited
Alameda Research LLC
Eden Technologies, Inc.
Binance Holdings Limited
Prime Trust LLC.
Bolt Financial, Inc.
Coinbase Global, Inc.
- Representing Seal Software in its $188m acquisition by DocuSign.
- Represented Alameda Research in a federal district court suit brought by Bitcoin Manipulation Abatement LLC. The suit sought over $150m in damages.
- Represented Carta in its $180m financing.
Tax > US taxes: contentious Tier 3
Fenwick & West LLP handles contentious tax matters and litigation for domestic and international corporates, covering issues ranging from federal tax audits and appeals to disputes arising from M&A transactions and transfer pricing arrangements. Key names in the Mountain View office include practice chair Adam Halpern, Larissa Neumann and James Fuller.
Fenwick & West LLP has a strong transactional tax practice, which is a key component of the firm's broader ability to service its corporate client base. Contacts in the team include David Forst, and James Fuller, both of whom are based in Mountain View, California.
Litigators at Fenwick & West LLP are rated by clients for their ability to 'communicate in an informal business language rather than legalese which sets them apart from many other law firms'. Based in California, the firm frequently acts for leading companies and individuals in the technology sector. Its recent work includes securing the dismissal of a securities fraud class action against Tesla and Elon Musk that alleged they misrepresented the company's ability to meet anticipated production capacity. In September 2020, former lead partners Susan Muck and Kevin Muck joined WilmerHale's San Francisco office. Dean Kristy in San Francisco and Felix Lee in Mountain View now lead the practice group.
Dean Kristy; Felix Lee
‘The team I work with is very candid and logical in their assessment, explanation, as well as approaches to litigation defense. They are able to communicate in an informal business language rather than legalese which sets them apart from many other law firms. They don’t leave you to deal with junior lawyers.’
‘Dean Kristy has supported me on my most recent case. He has been a pleasure to work with. He is very approachable and available anytime you need him.’
‘Very smart and practical lawyers who understand our business and industry.’
‘Dean Kristy and Felix Lee are outstanding securities lawyers.’
Other key lawyers:
Jeffrey Oelke; James Trainor; Robert Counihan; David Hadden; Saina Shamilov; Bryan Kohm; Kevin McGann; David Tellekson; Laura Moran
LTS Lohmann Therapie-Systeme
Meril Life Sciences
Quest Diagnostics Investments
- Represented UCB in connection with a Hatch-Waxman litigation involving Apotex’s proposed generic version of Xyzal Allergy 24HR, securing a win for the client at the PTAB upholding a UCB patent that covers liquid levocetirizine formations substantially free of bacteria.
- Acted for Supercell Oy in a multi-jurisdictional patent dispute.
- Secured a win for Almirall in an IPR relating to a US patent that covers topical drug formulations containing dapsone for treatment of acne and rosacea.
The California-based team at Fenwick & West LLP has experience in large-scale domestic and international IP management, and is recognized here for representing companies in the technology and life sciences sectors in federal and state courts, as well as at the TTAB. It is particularly experienced in pursuing and defending against time-sensitive requests for temporary restraining orders and injunctive relief. The team is also rated for its ability to obtain early settlements. Based in San Fransisco, chair of the trademark litigation group Jedediah Wakefield has handled cases in both trial and appellate courts, as well as in arbitration forums. Operating out of Mountain View, Eric Ball is strong on priority disputes, reverse confusion matters for start-ups, and trademark enforcement.
Other key lawyers:
‘Fenwick’s Trademark Litigation Team has very deep knowledge and expertise in all trademark disputes, from TTAB disputes to federal court litigation. They have an excellent understanding of where TTAB rules deviate from the standard FRCP. Fenwick’s team also has a great understanding of where the Board’s interpretation of particular rules differs from the general interpretations of Federal Courts.’
‘Eric Ball has a very in-depth understanding of the state of the law with regard to trademark enforcement matters. Eric has always given high-quality, practical advice at every stage of any litigation matter he has handled for us. Eric knows we are extremely cost-conscious and will often suggest approaches that will limit our costs, yet achieve the same strategy goals. Eric also goes the extra mile by regularly following our company in the news so he is always up to date with public expansion plans, acquisitions or disputes. I find it highly valuable to have an outside counsel who does that sort of research on his or her own time.’
- Successfully defended Loxo Oncology, an Eli Lilly company, in a trade secret misappropriation action related to allegations that former employees of Array Biopharma stole trade secrets on Loxo’s behalf involving the development of medicines for genomically-defined cancers.
- Successfully defended Peloton, the well-known home fitness company that provides indoor exercise bikes and streamed workout classes, in a trademark infringement action in US District Court for the Central District of California.
- Won a precedent-setting summary judgment in a TTAB proceeding for Delphix; also represented the company in a closely watched trademark case at the Ninth Circuit on unique personal jurisdiction grounds in the declaratory judgment and trademark enforcement context.
Labor and employment > Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional Tier 4
With a reputation for acting 'at the cutting edge of the tech industry', Fenwick & West LLP's employee benefits and executive compensation group provides transactional support to an established base of start-ups and global corporations. Practice head Shawn Lampron 'consistently provides cutting edge, practical advice on some of the trickiest compensation issues'. Scott Spector is noted for his expertise in 409A and golden parachute plans, while Gerald Audant handles a range of equity compensation arrangements, including deferred compensation plans. New York-based Matthew Cantor has particular strength in advising on IPOs and other exit transactions. Apart from Cantor, all named lawyers are based in the Mountain View office.
‘Shawn Lampron has a great client touch‘.
Accel Entertainment Group
- Acted for Audentes Therapeutics in its $3bn acquisition by Astellas Pharma.
- Assisting Cisco Systems with its multibillion-dollar acquisition of Acacia Communications.
- Represented Fitbit in its $2.1bn acquisition by Google.
James Koenig; Tyler Newby
Otsuka America Pharmaceutical
- Worked with Uber to develop, enhance and/or assess its privacy and security controls in support of its second FTC independent audit required by it FTC consent decree and settlement with all 50 states.
- Helped InMobi, based in India, enhance and further develop it privacy program controls and ad-tech compliance under the CCPA, the Interactive Advertising Bureau standards and other industry guidelines.
- Conducted the third biennial independent assessment required by Credit Karma’s FTC consent decree, and worked with the company to contour the FTC Assessment to cover areas of Intuit that will integrate with Credit Karma.
Fenwick & West LLP leverages a strong nationwide multi-disciplinary team led by Melanie Mayer (Seattle), Stefano Quintini (Mountain View) and Matthew Rossiter (San Francisco), who together have a wealth of experience assisting early- and late-stage companies in patent infringement suits, and commercialization through licensing, joint ventures and collaboration agreements. San Francisco-based Jake Handy, Effie Toshav and Robert Freedman act for life sciences clients in the full spectrum of transactional and capital market issues. In New York, James Trainor, Jeffrey Oelke and Robert Counihan are recommended for patent and commercial litigation.
Melanie Mayer; Matthew Rossiter; Stefano Quintini
BioAge Labs, Inc.
Passage Bio, Inc.
Seattle Genetics, Inc.
- Advised Audentes Therapeutics, Inc., an AAV-based (adeno-associated virus) genetic medicines company, on its acquisition by Astellas Pharma Inc., a Japanese multinational pharma company.
- Advised Second Genome, a biotechnology start-up providing microbial profiling services designed to improved health, in an innovative strategic collaboration with Gilead Sciences.
- Representing Novo Nordisk Healthcare AG before the USPTO in an IPR in which a petitioner challenged Novo Nordisk’s patent concerning a virus filtration process used for the company’s hemophilia Factor VIIa drug.
Fenwick & West LLP > Firm Profile
Fenwick provides comprehensive legal services to ground-breaking technology and life sciences companies – at every stage of their lifecycle – and the investors that partner with them. We craft innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions on issues ranging from venture capital, public offerings, joint ventures, M&A and strategic relationships, to intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution, taxation, antitrust, and employment law. Fenwick has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become and remain market leaders.
Fenwick was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley by four visionary lawyers who wanted to pioneer legal work for the technological innovations they believed would revolutionize the business world. The firm’s history is inextricably entwined with the growth of technology in Silicon Valley. Fenwick incorporated Apple and took Oracle, eBay and Facebook public.
Main areas of practice
In recent years, our corporate group has completed approximately $500 billion worth of M&A transactions. Fenwick has also handled more than 200 IPOs. The firm has represented hundreds of growth-oriented companies from inception through maturity and has over 600 venture capital and private-equity backed clients. The group is ranked by Dow Jones and Chambers among the United States’ top five venture capital practices.
Fenwick’s IP group delivers comprehensive, integrated advice regarding all aspects of IP protection and exploitation. Our lawyers advise clients concerning novel issues under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, domestic and international privacy issues, software and business method patents, evaluating and implementing new business models around open source software, crafting novel technology distribution arrangements and implementing IP audits.
The Fenwick litigation group regularly handles significant cases involving IP, corporate governance, securities, antitrust and general commercial litigation. Corporate Counsel has recognized Fenwick among the Top 10 “Go-To” litigation firms in the U.S. for Fortune 100 companies and the firm’s IP litigation practice receives regularly recognition from organizations such as Chambers and U.S News & World Report.
Additionally, Fenwick has one of the nation’s leading domestic and international tax practices. The dynamic and sophisticated practice stems from a global client base that has included over 100 Fortune 500 companies and over 50 Fortune 100 companies. In 2016, Fenwick was named San Francisco and Silicon Valley’s Tax Firm of the Year and US West Coast Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year by International Tax Review. Two Fenwick tax partners are honored in The Legal 500 Hall of Fame.
|Corporate||Alan C Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Intellectual property||Rajiv Patel (email@example.com)|
|Litigation||Jedediah Wakefield (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Tax||Adam S Halpern (email@example.com)|
Staff FiguresNumber of Partners : 115 Number of Lawyers : 240
OtherChairman : Richard L Dickson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Managing Partner : Rodger R Cole (email@example.com) Other Offices : Shanghai
- Intellectual property > Patents: licensing
- Intellectual property > Patents: prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings)
- M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m)
- M&A/corporate and commercial > Venture capital and emerging companies
- > Technology transactions
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Finance > Capital markets: equity offerings
- Intellectual property > Trademarks: non-contentious (including prosecution, portfolio management and licensing)
- Media, technology and telecoms > Fintech
- Tax > US taxes: contentious
- Tax > US taxes: non-contentious
- Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense
- Intellectual property > Patents: litigation (full coverage)
- Intellectual property > Trademarks: litigation
- Labor and employment > Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
- Media, technology and telecoms > Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)