McGuireWoods beefs up in Texas with Nickens Keeton bolt-on

US firm McGuireWoods has announced plans to acquire five-partner Texan civil litigation outfit Nickens Keeton Lawless Farrell & Flack.

The deal will see Houston-based Nickens Keeton, which was established eight years ago and features high-profile lawyers such as Texas litigator JC Nickens and trial lawyers Richard Keeton, Tom Farrell and Paul Flack operate under the McGuireWoods brand. If the tie-up is approved it will go live on 1 January 2011.

Separately Ron Franklin, currently with the Houston firm of Franklin Cardwell & Jones, will join Nickens Keeton on 1 December and will therefore become part of McGuireWoods once the transaction is complete.

McGuireWoods chairman Richard Cullen said establishing an office in Texas was a key part of his firm’s strategic plan.

“Our clients and McGuireWoods Consulting’s clients frequently have needs there,” added Cullen. “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.”

Nickens said: “The partnership with McGuireWoods gives us the ability and capacity to represent clients in any litigation, regardless of size, complexity, or urgency.”

If the deal goes ahead, the expansion into Texas will be McGuireWoods’ fifth new office since 2005. In 2009 the firm acquired London firm Grundberg Mocatta & Rakison (25 March 2009).