A modest increase in gross revenue combined with a 5.1 percent decline in the firm’s equity partnership ranks helped boost Nixon Peabody’s profits per partner 9.9 percent in 2012, according to The American Lawyer’s reporting.

The firm’s gross revenue grew 3.2 percent, to $436 million, while its equity partnership ranks dipped from 320 in 2011 to 314 in 2012. Overall, the firm’s head count shrank 2.2 percent, from 626 in 2011 to 612 in 2012.

"Our firm had a very strong year despite the challenging economy.  Our revenue and profitability improved, and we are pleased with our results for fiscal year 2012," CEO and managing partner Andrew Glincher said in a statement provided to The American Lawyer. "As we look forward to 2013, our continued focus will be to manage our business in a way that brings the most value to our clients."
In terms of transactional work, the firm’s most significant assignment last year was its representation of Constellation Brands Inc. in a sidecar deal connected to Anheuser-Busch InBev’s proposed acquisition of the 50 percent stake in Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo it doesn’t already own for $20.1 billion. In connection with the larger deal, Constellation agreed to pay $1.85 billion to acquire the 50 percent of Crown Imports LLC owned by Modelo.

Driven by antitrust concerns, the U.S. Department of Justice moved to block AB InBev’s proposed Grupo Modelo acquisition earlier this month. InBev responded by negotiating a second sidecar transaction under which Constellation, again represented by Nixon Peabody, is to acquire the U.S. rights to Corona and other Grupo Modelo brands and a brewery near the U.S.–Mexico border in Piedras Negras, Mexico, for $2.9 billion. The original $1.85 billion bid for Crown Imports remains in effect. Taken together, the two deals would establish Constellation as the number three producer and marketer of beer in the United States.

Other firm highlights in 2012 included: advising global cloud computing company Wyse Technology Inc. in connection with its sale to Dell Inc. in a deal whose terms were not disclosed; persuading the federal Securities and Exchange Commission to drop its case against former GSC Capital Corp. executive Edward Steffelin, who had been accused of withholding details about a failed JPMorgan collateralized debt obligation; winning a four-year battle over Joint Underwriting Association funds for more than 6,000 New Hampshire health care providers; and representing Wells Fargo on a $621 million refinancing of a mortgage on a large cooperative housing complex in New York City.

This report is part of The Am Law Daily‘s early coverage of 2012 financial results of The Am Law 100/200. Click here to see an interactive chart comparing this firm’s 2012 finances to those of other Am Law 100 and Second Hundred firms that The Am Law Daily and its sibling publications have reported on to date. Final rankings and full results for The Am Law 100 will be published in The American Lawyer‘s May 2013 issue and on AmericanLawyer.com. The Am Law Second Hundred will be published in the June issue.