Andrew Glincher of Nixon Peabody. (Handout)
While gross revenue remained flat at Nixon Peabody in 2016, profits per partner and revenue per lawyer continued to grow at the firm.
Gross revenue fell less than one percent, to $458 million in 2016, down from $461 million the year prior. Revenue per lawyer increased 2.1 percent last year, to $740,000, while profits per partner jumped 8.3 percent, to $980,000.
“We’ve got really good momentum going into the year,” said Nixon Peabody’s CEO and managing partner Andrew Glincher, who took the firm’s leadership reins in early 2011 after a scuttled merger with Locke Lord.
Head count at Nixon Peabody dipped 2.4 percent, from 634 in 2015, to 619 in 2016. The firm’s total number of equity partners dropped 4.7 percent, to 143. Despite the decrease, the firm, which has its roots in Boston and Rochester, New York, made strides last year to expand its national and international footprint.
In April, Nixon Peabody opened its new space in Los Angeles, which features an outdoor terrace with work stations. And after a tie-up with Hong Kong’s CWL Partners in late 2015, Nixon Peabody furthered its Asian footprint by launching an association last August with Singapore boutique Angeline Suparto Law Corp.
Later this year, Nixon Peabody plans to open up a new office in New York that will mirror what the firm has done in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.—exchanging paneling for glass walls and trading corner offices for open work spaces.
“We’re really trying to have a people first environment and show that,” Glincher said.
Glincher attributed Nixon Peabody’s growth to strong performances in 2016 by its white-collar defense, commercial litigation, energy, M&A and real estate practices.
The firm represented longtime client China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. in several transactions over 2016, including a $390 million deal for a development site near New York City’s South Seaport Street. The firm also advised Constellation Brands Inc., owner of Corona and other Mexican beers on its $285 million acquisition of The Prisoner Wine Co. (In October, Nixon Peabody hired Ron Fondiller, a former general counsel of Constellation’s wine and spirits division, as counsel in Rochester.)
Following Nixon Peabody’s merger with Chicago’s Ungaretti & Harris in 2015, the firm benefited from strong performances by its health care and public finance practices.
“Through our merger [with Ungaretti & Harris], we’ve been able to become a true national firm in both health care and public finance,” Glincher said.
Nixon Peabody picked up several lateral hires through the year. The firm brought on corporate partner Jonathan Lee from King & Wood Mallesons in Hong Kong and nabbed trusts and estates partner Michelle Canerday in Chicago from Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg. Nixon Peabody also added project development and finance partner Ernest Chung in New York from Blank Rome, a firm that Nixon Peabody held merger talks with several years ago.
Glincher said that his firm will continue to look to add lawyers that add to Nixon Peabody’s strengths and help the firm expand into new practice areas and geographic regions based on client demand.
“We’re interested in adding lawyers if we have client demand and if it’s in a practice that we do really well and can provide value for our clients,” Glincher said.