Revenue per lawyer at the firm, which as a result of a 1999 merger has its roots in Boston and Rochester, New York, grew 6.4 percent in 2017, to $787,000, up from $740,000 the year before. Profits per partner jumped 13.4 percent, to $1.1 million, up from $980,000 in 2016.
Glincher attributed the firm’s bolstered top line to organic growth fueled by a commitment to a strategy designed to deliver better value to clients.
“We had a great year because of strategic investments we’ve been making in our talent, in our focus on the marketplace, [making] our collaborations better,” Glincher said. “We’re providing newer and better value to our clients in different ways.”
Part of that investment was setting up an office in Raleigh, North Carolina, in October with the addition of four partners from K&L Gates. The opening of the outpost, Nixon Peabody’s 13th office nationally and first in the southeastern U.S., was not initially a part of the firm’s strategic plan, but a relationship with a $10 billion corporate client who wanted to use the firm more and more fueled its move to North Carolina’s Research Triangle.
“That’s how we want to grow … by client demand,” said Glincher, who declined to name the entity that lured Nixon Peabody to Tobacco Road. “Our best growth has been our clients wanting to increase their business and trust in us and that’s worked out fabulously.”
Many of Nixon Peabody’s offices had good years in 2017, said Glincher, noting specifically those in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. (Nixon Peabody’s Chicago office expanded three years ago after the firm absorbed local shop Ungaretti & Harris.) The firm saw growth across all of its practices, but most notably in corporate, real estate, M&A and litigation, the latter of which includes its white-collar and government investigations group, Glincher said.
Nixon Peabody had a role in representing Dutch soft drink bottler Refresco Group NV in its $1.25 billion purchase of Toronto-based soda manufacturer Cott Corp. The firm also advised longtime client Constellation Brands Inc., the spirits giant and owner of the Corona beer brand, on its $200 million purchase of a 9.9 percent stake in Smith Falls, Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corp., the world’s largest publicly traded cannabis company.
Despite growth in its financials, the firm’s total head count decreased 2.7 percent, to 602. The total number of equity partners also decreased 7 percent, to 133 in 2017, down from 143 the year before.
One of the firm’s few lateral departures included the national leader of its intellectual property litigation practice, Russell Genet, who early last year decamped for a position as director for litigation financier Longford Capital Management LP.
Glincher said that Nixon Peabody has also worked over the last year to promote diversity initiatives across the firm.
“Diversity has also been at the top of my list—there’s no goal that’s more important,” said Glincher, noting that 40 percent of the firm’s office managing partners are diverse, a group that includes its new Washington, D.C., managing partner Colette Dafoe.
In October, Nixon Peabody’s San Francisco office donated 2,300 square feet of its 16th floor and partnered with nonprofit LGBT business accelerator StartOut to launch the StartOut Growth Lab, where aspiring entrepreneurs can receive free legal advice and business know-how from the firm’s lawyers.