November 17, 2010
McGuireWoods LLP announced today that it has finalized an agreement to combine operations with the Houston-based firm of Nickens Keeton Lawless Farrell & Flack LLP (Nickens Keeton). The agreement, pending final approval of the partnerships of both firms, will become effective Jan. 1, 2011. Nickens Keeton will operate under the McGuireWoods name.
Founded in 2002, Nickens Keeton focuses on civil litigation, with preeminent Texas litigator JC Nickens as its lead name partner. Nickens and partners Richard Keeton, Tom Farrell and Paul Flack are among the most respected trial lawyers in Houston. Ron Franklin, currently with the Houston firm of Franklin Cardwell & Jones, will join Nickens Keeton on Dec. 1, thus becoming part of McGuireWoods once the transaction is complete. Franklin has handled high profile civil cases for more than 30 years and is also an esteemed Houston trial lawyer.
Collectively, the five partners who will practice out of the Houston office will bring more than 160 years of combined experience handling complex civil cases of all types in Texas and across the country.
“Establishing an office in Texas is a key part of the firm’s strategic plan, as our clients and McGuireWoods Consulting’s clients frequently have needs there,” said Richard Cullen, chairman of McGuireWoods. “But expansion is never a decision we make lightly. We first wanted to find the right firm to partner with. In Nickens Keeton and Ron Franklin, we not only found a group with incredibly talented lawyers, but one with similar values and culture.”
“We have had a good run practicing in a small firm environment, and are energized by the opportunity to continue representing clients from the enhanced platform that McGuireWoods provides,” Nickens said. “The partnership with McGuireWoods gives us the ability and capacity to represent clients in any litigation, regardless of size, complexity, or urgency. We are especially pleased to be able to pursue this opportunity with our long-time friend and colleague, Ron Franklin, who adds yet another person clients can confidently turn to with their most difficult problems.”
“I’m excited about our new Houston office, and the opportunities it provides to our clients and our firm,” said Terry Bagley, McGuireWoods’ deputy managing partner and head of litigation. “The addition of these very talented and highly regarded trial lawyers will greatly enhance our national trial practice.”
This announcement continues a trend of growth for McGuireWoods, as this is the firm’s fifth expansion in as many years. In 2009, the firm expanded its international presence by partnering with Grundberg, Mocatta & Rakison in London; in Charlotte in 2008 by merging with Helms, Mulliss & Wicker; and in 2006 by expanding its offices in Chicago and Los Angeles, after mergers with two separate law firms.