Nixon Peabody announces its 2020 partner class

January 29, 2020

Director of Media Relations
Nicholas Braude

Boston, MA. Nixon Peabody is proud to announce the firm’s 2020 new partner class. Our new partners work across industries, representing a range of practice areas, including corporate and tax, mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, commercial litigation, employer-sponsored benefit plans, government investigations and white-collar defense, labor relations, community development finance, project finance and public finance, and affordable housing and real estate.

These attorneys will be promoted to partner effective February 1, 2020. Echoing Nixon Peabody’s deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, more than 60% of this year’s class are women and attorneys of color.

“Our 2020 partner class represents the diverse pipeline of talent we have at our firm, and we embrace the unique qualities each of these attorneys bring to the table,” said Andrew Glincher, CEO and managing partner of Nixon Peabody. “These individuals are entrepreneurial and creative thinkers, talented advocates, and enthusiastic firm citizens who help our clients solve their most pressing challenges and make a lasting impact on their communities.”

Nixon Peabody’s 2020 Partner Class

Business & Finance Department

Brian Mahoney, Corporate, Rochester
Brian practices corporate and tax law, with an emphasis on commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and finance. He advises clients on local, state, and federal tax matters in connection with business formation and divestiture. He works with fund managers related to private equity funds, venture capital funds, credit and debt funds, real estate funds, and other investment partnerships. Brian also advises the firm’s nonprofit clients on securing and maintaining their tax-exempt status and sits on the board of the Rochester Legal Aid Society.

Rachel Pugliese, Corporate, New York City
Rachel is part of Nixon Peabody’s Private Equity & Investment Funds practice group, representing a wide variety of clients in mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, and general corporate matters, with a specific focus on the middle market. She advises buyers and sellers with respect to purchases and divestitures and represents private equity investors in connection with their portfolio company acquisitions, exits, and governance issues. Rachel also serves as outside general counsel for early- to late-stage companies.

Litigation Department

Laura Bacon, Complex Commercial Disputes, Chicago
Laura provides guidance on contractual and business disputes, representing clients in state and federal court, arbitration forums, and administrative venues across the country. She focuses her practice on three core areas: trade secrets and restrictive covenants, commercial litigation, and employment counseling.  Laura advises clients on developing policies, protocols, and employment agreements that protect their businesses. In the community, Laura serves on the board of the Sugar Beet Food Co-op and the executive committee for the Alliance for Women, a Chicago Bar Association subcommittee.

Robert Fisher, Government Investigations & White Collar Defense, Boston
Rob works with clients who are facing investigations or charges from the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, state attorneys general, and other government entities. In the past year, he has represented multiple clients involved in the college admissions investigation. Rob’s background as a state and federal prosecutor gives his clients crucial insights into the government’s thinking on these high-stakes matters. Rob is a committed pro bono practitioner, and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker recently appointed him to the Commonwealth’s Task Force on the Preservation and Storage of Evidence. Rob is also a member of the firm’s Cannabis and Cryptocurrency practice teams.

Kimberly Harding, Labor & Employment, Rochester
Kim’s practice is a hybrid of traditional labor relations (particularly in the health care and construction industries), employment litigation, and employment counseling. She has significant experience advising employers and training employees on harassment prevention in the workplace, particularly in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Within the community, Kim is the vice-chair of the board of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House and she is the director at large for programming of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Rochester affiliate.

Morgan Nighan, Complex Commercial Disputes, Boston
Morgan represents companies in connection with contract disputes, business torts, bankruptcy issues, government investigations, and employment matters. She is a tenacious litigator who has tried cases in bankruptcy court, Massachusetts state court, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Morgan’s experience includes extensive work in the health care industry on behalf of hospitals and other key players. She is active in the Boston Bar Association, serving on two steering committees, and is an active member of the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation.

Christopher Porzio, Complex Commercial Disputes, Long Island
Chris is a seasoned litigator and trial lawyer who represents clients across numerous industries, focusing primarily on the health care field. As a former general counsel in the financial services industry, Chris advises clients on managing litigation risk, mitigating exposure, and devising creative, cost-effective solutions to complex disputes. He is a key member of the Nixon Peabody team working on area Catholic diocesan matters and was integral to the formation of the firm’s Indian Law and Gaming team. In the community, Chris is an active fundraiser for the Huntington (NY) Special Education PTA and the Huntington Booster Club, and he is a leader in his local parish’s special needs social ministry.

Project Finance, Infrastructure & Real Estate Department

Shariff Barakat, Community Development Finance, Washington, DC
Shariff is a tax and transactional project finance attorney, with a particular focus on domestic renewable energy developments. His clients include developers, sponsor equity, tax equity, and lenders. Shariff’s experience spans billions of dollars in renewable energy investments, including utility-scale solar and wind projects, residential solar portfolios, community solar projects, C&I solar projects, geothermal projects, and biomass projects. He co-leads the firm’s Renewable Energy Tax Credit team and also provides pro bono services to New Partners Community Solar, the nonprofit formed through Nixon Peabody that helps low-income D.C. residents offset their energy bills.

Katherine Baynes, Project Finance & Public Finance, Rochester
Katie has a well-established finance practice, representing developers, lenders, and government authorities on project finance, infrastructure finance, public finance, and public-private partnership transactions. She has been involved in the development and financing of many complex projects throughout the country, including stadiums, college and university facilities, health care facilities, senior living facilities, fertilizer plants, methanol plants, and proton therapy centers. Katie does pro bono work representing women in matrimonial matters through the Volunteer Legal Services Project of Rochester.  She has also been a member of the board of the Rochester Public Library for ten years.

Dara Newman Histed, Affordable Housing & Real Estate, Washington, DC
Dara co-leads Nixon Peabody’s General Real Estate Transactions team and represents developers, landowners, and investors in commercial real estate transactions, ranging from complex tax credit and affordable housing deals to market-rate housing, senior housing, and land use matters. Her areas of focus include counseling clients through the acquisition, financing, and development of multifamily housing as well as negotiating joint venture agreements and navigating complex land use matters. Dara provides effective client service by combining detailed knowledge from a diverse selection of real estate practice areas. She also provides pro bono services to New Partners Community Solar.

Sonia Nayak, Community Development Finance, Los Angeles
Sonia’s practice centers on real estate development and financing, including new markets tax credits, affordable housing, and commercial lending. Much of Sonia’s work involves bringing private capital to high-impact community development projects in California and nationwide. These projects include affordable multifamily rental housing complexes, health care facilities, charter schools, cultural and community centers, and research and technology incubator facilities. Her recent pro bono work includes structuring dormitory financing for a San Francisco-area school serving vulnerable young adults.

Dana Roper, Affordable Housing & Real Estate, New York City
Dana represents nonprofit and for-profit owners in acquiring, constructing, developing, and preserving multifamily affordable and supportive housing. She works on all aspects of complex financing transactions, including acquisitions, tax exemptions, joint ventures, regulatory matters, and debt and equity financing. Dana’s experience as a former attorney for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gives her substantial knowledge and understanding of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) multifamily insurance programs. She also serves as a committee member of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Housing and Urban Development.

Peter Trimarchi, Affordable Housing & Real Estate, Albany
As part of the firm’s Energy and Environmental practice group, Pete advises clients on all aspects of environmental law, including regulatory, enforcement, and transactional matters. He also represents clients in connection with the purchase, sale, and development of renewable energy projects. Outside the office, Pete is involved in a number of community initiatives that complement his practice, including the New York League of Conservation Voters and a project aiming to bring solar power to low-income residents of New York City.

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