Nixon Peabody on Thursday unveiled its long-planned London arm, handing the firm its first foreign outpost.
The new seven-lawyer branch will be overseen by New York-qualified financial services specialist Stavros Adamidis, with four partners to be based permanently in the U.K.
The firm launches the practice with three U.K.-qualified partners -- Paul Biggs, Simon Norris and Patrick Leece -- and one U.K. associate, plus three U.S. associates. The three U,K. partners had previously practiced at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft's London arm before leaving the U.S. firm last year to set up a project boutique, Trinity International.
In a highly unusual move, Biggs, Norris and Leece will remain as partners in Trinity while also being partners in Nixon Peabody International, which the firm describes as an "affiliated entity."
Adamidis said that the three would split their work between Trinity and Nixon Peabody.
Nixon Peabody said the London practice will focus primarily on leverage and project finance and corporate trust work, as well as acting as an international hub for the firm's arbitration practice.
Nixon Peabody Chairman Harry Trueheart said: "More and more of our U.S.-based investor clients, from institutional owners and banks to hedge funds, are investing in the European markets. We're also seeing more finance clients start operations in London."
He added: "We recognize the importance of London as a world financial center. We have opened an office in London in response to our clients' needs and see this as the right time to extend our client-centered approach to the London market."
The London launch is the latest in a series of expansionary moves for the Boston-based national, which generated revenues of $392.5 million in 2006. The firm, which was previously reported to be searching for a merger with a U.K. practice, is ranked 78th in the latest Global 100 ranking from The American Lawyer and Legal Week.
The London outpost will add to the firm's existing 16 offices across the U.S., which include New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Nixon Peabody had operated a representative office in London since last year but obtained Law Society approval as of Oct. 1, to coincide with the recruitment of the three projects partners.
The move reflects U.S. firms' continuing push to launch in London, with San Francisco giant Heller Ehrman this year securing a high-profile U.K. launch after recruiting three partners from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.