Nixon Peabody and Stroock target summer merger deal, media report states

Talks follow team departures from New York-based Stroock as it seeks growth as 'number one priority'
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30, 2019: Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP - sign DC office location entrance

Stroock's Washington DC office

US law firms Nixon Peabody and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan are in merger talks with the ambition of announcing a tie-up in the summer, according to a media report. 

The news, reported by citing sources with independent knowledge of the negotiations, follows a series of team exits from Stroock since the start of 2022, including the departure of a market-leading 43-strong restructuring group to Paul Hastings last spring. 

A merger between New York-headquartered Stroock and the larger, Boston-based Nixon Peabody would create a firm with more than 800 lawyers and revenue in the region of $800m. Stroock currently has offices in Los Angeles, Miami and Washington DC as well as New York, while Nixon Peabody’s footprint covers 15 offices, including four international bases in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. 

Neither firm would confirm the talks, although a Stroock spokesperson commented: “As we have previously reported to the media, growth is our number one priority. Scale is undoubtedly important in the legal industry. We are talking to individuals, groups and firms every day. Should a strategic combination or other arrangement come to fruition, we would announce it as appropriate, but we have no comment on rumors or other speculation.” 

Stroock has already held discussions with firms including McGuireWoods, Steptoe & Johnson and Squire Patton Boggs, but the prospects of a deal have been hampered by pensions liabilities and Stroock's accruals accounting system, according to

In the immediate aftermath of the Paul Hastings departures, the firm conceded to Reuters that the team accounted for $80m (29%) of its 2021 revenue but claimed it was ‘siloed’ from other practices and the firm was in a strong position to grow. In July it secured a group of bankruptcy lawyers from New York restructuring boutique Luskin, Stern & Eisler.

However, further team departures in recent weeks have seen it lose five IP litigators to Schulte Roth & Zabel in April, 10 class action and regulatory lawyers to Morgan Lewis last week and, this week, a trio of private client lawyers for McDermott Will & Emery led by practice chair Anita Rosenbloom.

The talks come against the background of a flurry of mergers and large team moves in the US this year with consultants Fairfax Associates reporting a strong first quarter for law firm mergers, including two large firm tie ups, defined as between firms which both have 100 or more lawyers: between Holland & Knight (1,400) and Nashville-based firm Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis (257), and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe (1,050) and Washington, DC-based Buckley (100).

However, in March Shearman & Sterling and Hogan Lovells announced that they had halted talks for their potential mega merger, in a decision that underlined the complexity of big deals. 

A Nixon spokesperson commented: “We have discussions regularly with other law firms on matters relating to the profession and areas of mutual interest. In the ordinary course, we consider growth opportunities that are consistent with our strategic objectives and in the best interests of our clients.”

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