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Fenwick & West Adds Government Contracts Duo in Washington

June 16, 2022, 7:32 PM

Fenwick & West is growing its new Washington office with the addition of government contracts and public procurement partners Joyce Tong Oelrich and Zohra Tejani.

Tong Oelrich and Tejani, two former in-house lawyers with Microsoft Corp. and Meta Platforms Inc.'s Facebook, are joining Fenwick’s corporate regulatory practice from their boutique firm Tong Tejani.

“We are committed to providing expansive services to our tech clients,” Fenwick chair Richard Dickson said in a statement. “Joyce’s and Zohra’s arrival helps us accomplish just that.”

The Silicon Valley-founded Fenwick opened its office in Washington in August, seeking growth in the antitrust, trade regulation and regulatory space.

Tong Oelrich, a former Bryan Cave associate, spent over four years as a senior attorney in the public sector procurement compliance program at Microsoft before jumping to Facebook in 2017. She was an associate general counsel on the government contract compliance team, overseeing worldwide government contracts.

Tejani, a former attorney at Womble Bond Dickinson predecessor Womble Carlyle Sandridge Rice, joined Microsoft in 2002 as a senior attorney in its U.S. public sector and became director in 2013. She joined VMware Inc. in 2016 as an assistant general counsel and director.

In late 2019, the pair launched Tong Tejani, which advised Fortune 100 companies on all aspects of government contracting.

The pair had worked on government contracts for Fenwick, so there were synergies with the firm, Tejani said. “It just started to make a lot of sense when Fenwick approached us,” she said in an interview.

Tong Oelrich added, “It was not something that we had actively planned, but it was definitely a happy surprise that there was such a good fit.”

Tech companies are asking questions about how to implement the growing number of regulations, executive orders and statutes related to cybersecurity under the Biden administration, Tong Oelrich said.

On the flip side, the public sector doesn’t always understand the business, legal and financial motivations—and constraints—of commercial technology.

“What Joyce and I bring to our tech clients is really that deep understanding of both sides, and being able to help bridge the gaps and help them work together,” Tejani said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com