Nixon Peabody's Boston Office: Focusing On Clients And The Community

Thursday, March 1, 2007 - 01:00
Andrew I. Glincher

Editor: Would you tell us about your background and professional experience?

Glincher: I grew up in Massachusetts and I am a first-generation college graduate. For the past 20 plus years, I have been a practicing attorney specializing in business and real estate transactions, both locally and nationally, and during the same period, I have been an adjunct professor at Boston College's Carroll School of Management. I have been the Managing Partner of Nixon Peabody's Boston office for four years.

Editor: How did you come to Nixon Peabody?

Glincher: When I came to Nixon Peabody in 1987, the firm was then known as Peabody & Brown. I had a good friend here, but I turned down a number of opportunities with large firms because I thought I would not fit in. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and I can sometimes be outspoken.

My friend was persistent and kept calling. It was at that time I realized that it would be best for me to join a bigger firm that appreciated an entrepreneurial spirit where I could do the type of transactional work I enjoyed. I joined Peabody & Brown with the intention of staying for a year to gain experience. Once I got here, I determined that this was exactly the type of work culture I was looking for and I've been here ever since.

Editor: Would you tell us how your practice has evolved over the course of your career?

Glincher: When I started out, I gained considerable bankruptcy experience, and in the late 1980s, I became involved in many of the bank failures which were underway in New England. I represented lenders, developers and some borrowers. I also represented clients who purchased loan portfolios including non-performing loans. That work included asset management, with an eye towards enabling clients to add value and sell the assets off.

When the economic climate improved, I was approached by a number of corporations seeking legal counsel. Initially these clients included closely-held family businesses and some professional service firms, including both accounting and law firms. This enabled me to develop my skills in building consensus and solving problems - skills that enhance a business practice and expand to the industries and sectors I work in. They are also very helpful in running a law firm and providing strategic counsel to clients. At about this time, I started handling a considerable volume of real estate development work for national chain stores. I also became heavily involved with office buildings and the retail and hospitality industries.

Today my client base is typical of the range of clients Nixon Peabody services from small startups to multi-national companies. My clients are Fortune 100 companies and real estate investment trusts that own and manage real estate as well as local developers, asset managers and a number of professional service firms. I like the mix of clients because it presents an ever-changing variety of challenges. One of the biggest compliments I have received from clients is that I think like a businessman and can offer a broad depth of knowledge to my clients. If a lawyer understands a client's business, he or she is going to be able to understand what the client wishes to accomplish and how to accomplish those goals. A good lawyer will take the necessary time to better understand the client's issues and then provide counsel as to how to best accomplish a client's goal, given the law. Clients believe this is a skill that adds value to their business.

Editor: How does the Boston office fit into Nixon Peabody's firm-wide practice?

Glincher: Nationally, Nixon Peabody has 16 offices and more than 600 attorneys. Nixon Peabody operates cohesively as one team to best service client needs. We operate nationally with a network of on-the-ground resources. The Boston office is the firm's largest office. We have approximately 180 lawyers. The firm's New England roots date back to the mid-1800s. With locations in Manchester, New Hampshire and Providence, Rhode Island, our New England offices are a hub for everything from real estate and litigation to biotech and emerging growth companies.

Editor: Are there practice groups that are particularly strong in Boston?

Glincher: Since we operate as one team nationwide to best service our clients' needs, I have to say we are strong in just about every major practice area. Of particular note are our healthcare, intellectual property, real estate - which includes top-ranked syndication and affordable housing - litigation, corporate, public finance, products liability and estate planning practices. Our national network of attorneys puts us at an advantage as it gives us an opportunity to advise our clients on the full spectrum of business matters, such as private equity to venture capital, that affects all sorts of businesses from emerging companies to multi-national corporations.

Of all of the things I might say about the firm, I think the single most important attribute is its unconditional devotion to meeting its clients' needs with an extraordinary level of expertise.

Editor: Please tell us about the firm's involvement in the greater Boston community.

Glincher: Nixon Peabody believes that it is important to give back to the community, and we have a long history of pro bono work. As an adjunct professor at Boston College, I am able to mentor young people on the value of giving back to the community. I also sit on a number of boards that seek to enhance the quality of life for the elderly. For more than 20 years, I have been involved in Hebrew Senior Life, an organization that is committed to maximizing the quality of life of seniors. I am also engaged in senior housing initiatives. These are things that I consider important. There are many other important and very worthwhile endeavors. I tell our young associates that what matters is that they be involved in something that they are passionate about.

Editor: The fact that the Managing Partner is engaged in this activity must also encourage everyone else in the Boston office to look for community and pro bono opportunities.

Glincher: Not only is this type of activity of enormous benefit to the community, but it is also immensely rewarding for those engaged in using their talents to help others. It benefits our clients as well (often to the point where they will collaborate with us).

Editor: Speaking of which, would you tell us about the Mississippi Center for Justice undertaking?

Glincher: While much of the pro bono and community work takes place here in Boston, where possible we also try to coordinate such activities on a firm-wide basis. Our work with the rebuilding efforts in the Gulf Coast is a good example. This project - an outgrowth of the Hurricane Katrina tragedy - involved a group of attorneys, from across the firm, who worked together with Citigroup and the Mississippi Center for Justice to develop a set of materials to help Mississippi homeowners navigate the State's Homeowners Assistance Grant Program. The manual they put together is available at free legal clinics that the Mississippi Center for Justice operates. It is directed toward volunteers who have stepped forward to help people whose homes have been damaged, even lost, as a result of this event, and the people who have recourse to it range from lawyers and lawmakers to community leaders, real estate professionals and a whole range of people connected to the real estate industry. This is an area where Nixon Peabody can make a difference. One of the firm's major practice areas is in affordable housing, and we represent many of the national housing developers. We continue to be very active in this project. We have a number of seminars coming up on affordable housing and the whole reconstruction effort in the Gulf Coast area.

Editor: Tell us about going forward. Are there practice groups that you would like to see grow in the Boston office?

Glincher: I see Boston as a terrific opportunity for growth. It's a vibrant community for business, healthcare, real estate, technology and intellectual property and life sciences. Those are areas where we have top notch lawyers immediately available. We continue to seek talent to match those areas and ones where we are top-ranked nationally (such as private equity and mergers & acquisitions).

This approach has been of great value to us in the past. As an example, we recently expanded our public finance practice with the addition of Peter Johnson as a partner in Boston. Mr. Johnson is an established finance attorney with nearly twenty-four years' experience in both public and corporate finance. He is a great resource to us here in Boston and is a tremendous local resource within our national public finance practice, which is marked as the number one most active underwriters' counsel in the U.S. and the 8th most active bond counsel by Thomson Financial (2006).

We will continue to be committed to being a great place to work and progressing with this vision. Most recently, Nixon Peabody has been recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the "100 Best Companies To Work For " in 2007 for the second consecutive year. The firm has also been named to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2007 "Best Places To Work For GLBT Equality" list. Going forward, I see us moving into an even brighter future.

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