United States: Fenwick West Adds Three Prominent Corporate Partners In Seattle; Expands Life Sciences Practice
Last Updated: February 8 2008
Fenwick West Adds Three Prominent Corporate Partners In Seattle; Expands Life Sciences Practice

Stephen Graham, Roger Tolbert and Alan Smith to Launch Fenwick’s Seattle Office

Press Contacts:

San Francisco/Silicon Valley:
Gordon Davidson, gdavidson@fenwick.com
Kate Fritz, kfritz@fenwick.com

Stephen Graham, sgraham@fenwick.com
Alan Smith, asmith@fenwick.com

February 8, 2008 (Seattle, WA) – Fenwick & West LLP, a leading technology and life sciences law firm with offices in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, announced today that three prominent Seattle corporate lawyers, Stephen M. Graham, Roger M. Tolbert and Alan C. Smith, have joined the firm and will launch its Seattle office.

Fenwick’s Chairman Gordon K. Davidson stated "We have been very interested in the Seattle market for some time because we have some key clients there and the legal practice is similar to our practice in Northern California. When the opportunity to add this stellar group of lawyers appeared, we knew we had the nucleus for building the preeminent technology and life sciences practice in Seattle.

"Steve Graham is a trusted corporate counselor with a high profile and an impeccable reputation in the Seattle business community. Roger Tolbert is an exceptionally talented licensing attorney with deep expertise in life sciences, and Alan Smith is a recognized young star with a substantial and rapidly growing corporate practice. They are exactly what we were looking for to launch an office in Seattle and expand our global technology and life sciences practice.

"We think Seattle presents a very attractive growth opportunity for us; it is a vibrant center of innovation in technology and life sciences and a gateway for international commerce with many similarities to Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. Initially, we expect to have 8 to 10 lawyers in Seattle but plan to grow the office to 20 to 30 lawyers over the next few years."

Graham, who will head Fenwick & West’s Seattle office and serve as Co-Chair of the firmwide Life Sciences Group, said "In Fenwick, we see a platform that matches our strategy perfectly and will enable us to grow our practice in Seattle rapidly. Fenwick & West is widely recognized as one of the leading technology and life sciences law firms in the country.

"It is one of the most active venture capital, IPO and M&A law firms in the country. In addition to its impressive emerging company and public company corporate practice, Fenwick has deep intellectual property expertise, a powerhouse litigation group and an elite international tax practice. It represents not only leading technology and life sciences companies like Abbott Labs, Amazon, Cisco Systems, Concur Technologies, Facebook, Google, Intuit and Symantec, but also prominent companies in other industries like Barclays Global Investors, Diamond Foods, Eaton, Nike and Virgin America Airlines."

Stephen M. Graham. Steve’s practice focuses on corporate governance advice, internal and audit committee investigations, mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, investment bank representations, venture capital and strategic investments, and representing emerging companies. He has been recognized as one of the top corporate and mergers and acquisitions lawyers in Washington by Chambers USA, as a Top 100 Super Lawyer by Washington Law & Politics, and as a Top Lawyer by Seattle Magazine. He received a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1976 and a B.S. from Iowa State University in 1973.

Representative clients include: Becton, Dickinson and Company, Nastech Pharmaceutical, SonoSite Inc., Targeted Genetics, Acucela, Cardiac Dimensions, LipoSonix, MyoScience, Sealaska, Sound Pharmaceuticals, Spaltudaq, Symetra Financial and VLST. In addition, Steve has represented the following public companies: Corixa, ICOS, Immunex, InControl and WatchGuard Technologies. Prior to joining Fenwick & West, Steve was a partner at Orrick.

Roger M. Tolbert. Roger’s practice focuses on technology and life sciences licensing, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, and venture capital and strategic investments. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyer by Washington Law & Politics Magazine, named a Top Lawyer by Seattle Magazine, and listed in Best Lawyers in America for over ten years. He received a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1978 and a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1974.

Representative transactions include: domestic and international collaborations for developers of gene therapies, cell therapies, therapeutic proteins, pharmaceutical products, medical devices, agricultural biotech, semiconductors and software; mergers, acquisitions, spin-outs and asset divestures in a wide range of industries; technology transfers from universities and other nonprofit research institutions; manufacturing and distribution agreements, technical assistance agreements, clinical trial agreements and rights clearances. He has served as Program Chair and Speaker in Biotechnology Conferences sponsored by Law Seminars International in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005. Prior to joining Fenwick & West, Roger was a partner at Orrick.

Alan C. Smith. Alan’s practice focuses on emerging companies, public companies, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets offerings and venture capital and strategic investments. He has been recognized as one of the top corporate and mergers and acquisitions lawyers in Washington by Chambers USA in 2007, as a Super Lawyer by Seattle Magazine from 2003 through 2007 and as one of the "Top 40 Under 40" by Puget Sound Business Journal in 2004. He received a J.D., Order of the Coif, from Stanford Law School in 1996 and a B.A. from Stanford in 1993. He was a law clerk to Judge Stephen S. Trott of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1996-1997.

Representative clients include: Exbiblio, Hidden City Games, Infinia, Insightful, Neurovista, Redfin, Smartsheet.com, Teligence Communications, Trubion Pharmaceuticals, Winshuttle and Xeround Corporation. In addition, Alan has represented many of the Pacific Northwest’s leading public companies, including Corixa, ICOS, Immunex, Onyx Software, Sonosite and Watchguard Technologies, for which he has advised on corporate governance and securities matters and has led a variety of private and public financing transactions and mergers and acquisitions. He also has an active venture capital financing practice, having represented many West Coast venture capital firms, including Clarus Ventures, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, Madrona Venture Group, MPM Capital, Rustic Canyon Ventures and Voyager Capital. Prior to joining Fenwick & West, Alan was a partner at Orrick.

Fenwick & West

Fenwick & West, with over 250 attorneys in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, has a leading technology and life sciences practice with a national reputation and international reach. It is a full service law firm with leading practices in mergers and acquisitions, public securities offerings, venture capital financing, intellectual property prosecution and counseling, intellectual property litigation, securities litigation, tax planning and tax litigation. Recent highlights of the firm’s practice include:

  • Client Service: One of the top U.S. law firms for client service, as ranked in each of the past six years (2001-2007) by BTI Consulting’s survey of Fortune 1000 companies

  • IPOs: Ranked by American Lawyer Media and Global Securities as one of the top IPO issuers’ counsel in the United States, with top 10 rankings in multiple years

  • Public Companies: Ranked by Corporate Board Member as one of the top five corporate law firms in northern California for publicly traded companies

  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Ranked by MergerMarket as one of the top 5 technology M&A practices in the U.S., with #1 rankings in multiple quarters

  • Private Equity: Ranked by Private Equity Analyst as the #8 most active U.S. law firm for private equity deals in 2006

  • Trial Practice: The firm’s $74.7 million verdict in a patent jury trial on behalf of Asyst Technologies was cited by The Daily Journal as the largest IP litigation verdict in Northern California in 2007 and by American Lawyer in April 2007 as one of the Top Five largest patent litigation verdicts during the prior 18 months. Many notable complete defense wins in litigation both before juries or in pretrial proceedings.

  • Intellectual Property Litigation and Protection: Ranked by Managing Intellectual Property as one of the top five West Coast firms in both IP litigation and IP protection

  • IP Litigation and Counseling: Ranked by IP Worldwide as one of the top dozen firms that Fortune 500 companies rely on for IP litigation and counseling

  • Securities Litigation and Special Investigations: Successfully defended some of the largest securities class actions in the country. Handled dozens of special investigations of alleged accounting irregularities, stock option backdating and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

  • Antitrust Litigation: Overturned an antitrust verdict against our client Leegin Creative Leather Products by persuading the United States Supreme Court to overrule its 96 year old precedent making vertical price agreements per se illegal.

  • Tax: Awarded First Tier status by International Tax Review, one of only eight law firms in the U.S. to receive this rating in 2008 and recognized by ITR as the Tax Litigation Firm of the Year in 2007.

  • National and International Recognition: The firm’s attorneys are routinely lauded for their achievements by American Lawyer, Best Lawyers, Chambers, Corporate Legal Times, Daily Journal, Intellectual Property Worldwide, International Tax Review, Managing Intellectual Property, Northern California Super Lawyers and Woodward White.

  • Use of Technology: Awarded "Most Innovative Use of Technology by a Law Firm" in 2005 by American Lawyer Media for the firm’s proprietary electronic discovery and due diligence system

  • Diversity: Ranked by Minority Law Journal as one of the top five most diverse law firms in the U.S.

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