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Fenwick Bolsters Executive Compensation and Benefits Practice

May 8, 2019, 7:19 PM

Fenwick & West LLP is bolstering its executive compensation and benefits practice with the addition of Nancy Chen to its Silicon Valley office. She had been a partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in Palo Alto.

Chen advises companies at various stages of growth, from startups to public companies, on executive compensation and employee benefits. She has more than two decades of experience advising clients on tax and securities issues that are involved in equity-based compensation, including stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units, employment agreements and deferred compensation arrangements.

She also helps businesses handle these issues during initial public offerings and acquisitions.

Fenwick’s executive compensation and employee benefits group also added Matthew Cantor as a partner in New York last year for East Coast clients.

Both Chen, who also was a partner at Gunderson Dettmer, and Cantor handle employee compensation and benefits issues for clients involved in mergers, acquisitions, public offerings, hiring and termination.

“Nancy’s approach to providing practical, actionable guidance is a great fit for the firm,” said Alan Smith, Fenwick’s corporate chair. “We sought out Nancy’s expertise due to the tremendous growth of our corporate practice which has driven the need for additional executive compensation bandwidth. Nancy adds additional depth to our sophisticated and differentiated offering in this specialty, which is important to technology and life sciences companies at all stages of growth.”

Chen, in a statement, noted that Fenwick’s experience with technology and life sciences companies were a draw for her to join the firm.

“I’m excited to join Fenwick and to work closely with the startup and M&A practices at a time when executive compensation and employee benefits are especially significant issues for clients.”

Fenwick, with some 350 lawyers, has six offices, including San Francisco, Seattle, Shanghai, New York, and Santa Monica in addition to Silicon Valley.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Olson at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at; Rebekah Mintzer at