Sean Pavone/

Nixon Peabody is moving into Raleigh, North Carolina, after hiring four partners away from K&L Gates, the firm announced Monday.

K&L Gates corporate life sciences partners John Erwin, Brian Brown, Angela Cottrell and Isabelle De Smedt are all joining Nixon Peabody as partners in its M&A and corporate transactions practice and will open the firm’s new Raleigh office. The outpost is in the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, an area anchored by Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“We’re proud to open and be in Raleigh, North Carolina, but for us it’s really about the people and, in this case, we’re fortunate to have some extremely strong talent joining us who we think will immediately benefit our clients,” said Andrew Glincher, Nixon Peabody’s CEO and managing partner.

Erwin, Brown, Cottrell and De Smedt specialize in representing public and private companies in the healthcare and life sciences industries. They began discussing a possible move to Nixon Peabody several months ago, when the Boston-based firm became aware of the quartet through a mutual client, said Glincher, who declined to name the client.

Amid surging client demand for more corporate talent in the state, particularly within the health care and life sciences industries, Glincher said Nixon Peabody moved quickly on the opportunity to expand its offerings and practice in North Carolina.

Nixon Peabody’s new Raleigh office will be the 13th nationally for the firm and its first in the southeastern United States.

“We thought it was exciting to be able to set a new office up for them down here,” said Brown, who joined K&L Gates in alongside Erwin in 2010 from Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein. “We thought this would be a really good opportunity and it would also give us an ability to grow a couple of our common clients that both firms had.”

As opposed to Charlotte and other cities in North Carolina that are centered around the banking industry, Raleigh and the Research Triangle region serve as incubators for life sciences and health care companies, Brown said.

In 2015, Polsinelli opened an office in Raleigh with five partners from Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough that included its national health care group chair, Barry Alexander.

While there are no immediate plans to expand beyond the four partners in Raleigh, Glincher said the firm will follow client demand, whether that is in North Carolina or another one of its offices.

“You don’t know sometimes where your next great opportunity comes from,” Glincher said.