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 >

FLEX by Fenwick is the only service created by an AmLaw 100 firm that provides flexible and cost-effective solutions for interim in-house legal needs to high-growth companies.  MORE >

Fenwick & West handles significant cross-border legal and business issues for a wide range of technology and life sciences who operate internationally..  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
12th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104

Seattle Office
1191 Second Avenue
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Seattle, WA 98101

New York Office
1211 Avenue of the Americas
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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

Technology – One Byte at a Time

June 10, 2009

Robert Brownstone, Law & Technology Director at Fenwick & West, was interviewed as an expert on electronic information and records retention during the Computer Outlook Radio Talk Show "Technology – One Byte at a Time."

For many an IT director, there is a disconnect between operating a company's systems and administering legally imposed requirements as to retention of certain information. Managing networks, updating virus protection software and troubleshooting IT glitches is enough to keep multiple IT leaders busy; and there is seldom the time or resources to understand the laws that govern the implications of a business' computer technology choices.

This disconnect between law and technology may not surface as a problem until a company is faced with a lawsuit that forces it to gather, review and produce electronically stored information (ESI), including emails, standalone documents such as contracts and database records as to a company's finances. Brownstone often sees a corporate leader and an IT director scramble as a reaction to litigation because the organization did not proactively establish a relevant process or point person.

For the smaller companies that cannot afford to keep a law firm on retainer, Brownstone suggests that they at least get advice as to key legal obligations to keep information regarding taxes, health and safety and employee records.

Even more important for risk management and litigation-preparedness is getting a handle on what a company has and where. Every organization should at least make a checklist of its ESI repositories, including its: e-mail system; databases; shared network drives; and internal and external websites, wikis and blogs.

A few principles of electronic information management these days include: less is more, i.e., the less information you have in fewer places, the better; wherever possible, require or at least incent the storage of information in central locations; and, for disaster-recovery/business-continuity purposes, back up all key data in two physical locations.