Thomas E. Gaynor

Thomas Gaynor is a co-leader of our M&A and Corporate Transactions team, and the office managing partner of our San Francisco office. Thomas represents clients from a wide range of industries in complex international corporate and finance transactions. In addition, he provides strategic legal and business counsel to his clients located around the world. Thomas has offices in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

What do you focus on?

I handle public and private international company mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations, corporate governance, venture and private equity debt and equity financings, LLC and corporate formations and joint ventures, and domestic/offshore investment fund creation.

I have worked with clients across the spectrum, including digital media and technology start-ups, manufacturing, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, life sciences, real estate, financial services, durable consumer goods, retail appliance and electronics products, wireless and remote technology solutions and clean-tech energy and solar companies. I have also worked with real estate fund portfolios, cross-border finance and various other general business and commercial services. 

International Practice

Many of my clients are based outside of the United States. I provide these multinational entities with a broad range of legal services and practical business strategy and advice. This practice focuses on Australia and Europe generally, and Italy and France specifically, where I have presented at a variety of technology conferences and spoken at several university and incubator programs.

Recent Transactions

My recent transactions include cross-border financings for technology and consumer-related companies, the sale of an energy storage solutions start-up, the purchase of several strategic portfolio companies, a major global licensing deal for a consumer goods company, and a public company acquisition for a global technology company.

Unique Perspective

I bring unique insights to the law from my stints in other careers as a former marketing director for a major DC-based trade association and a former political fundraiser for a DC-based political action committee. I work with clients to create business solutions to suit their immediate needs and long-term solutions.

What do you see on the horizon?

I believe that a variety of traditional and more consumer focused companies will continue to augment their core growth and market share capture strategies, given challenging global market conditions, by more creatively focusing on and using their technology and intellectual property assets both offensively and defensively.

Nixon Peabody beefs up corporate practice with new hire

PE Hub | December 11, 2018

The arrival of San Francisco Corporate partner Lior Zorea is covered in this article by PE Hub, a top publication covering venture capital and private equity fundraising. Lior is quoted in the piece, along with San Francisco Office Managing Partner Tom Gaynor and Corporate practice group leader David Martland of Boston.

The 1993 March on Washington remembered (photo essay)

Los Angeles Blade | September 23, 2018

Nixon Peabody last week co-sponsored a bicoastal celebration of the 25th anniversary of the 1993 March on Washington, a watershed event in the LGBTQ equality movement. San Francisco Office Managing Partner Tom Gaynor is pictured and quoted in this photo essay looking back at the March.

The new civil right: How the LGBTQ community can knock down barriers to economic empowerment

San Francisco Business Times | June 15, 2018

Nixon Peabody and San Francisco office managing partner Tom Gaynor is featured in this article about the importance of making economic empowerment the next goal of the LGBTQ rights movement.

LGBT pride: Weighing the state of equality in the law

Law360 | June 01, 2018

San Francisco office managing partner Tom Gaynor and Los Angeles intellectual property partner Seth Levy are quoted in this story on the strides LGBT attorneys have made in the legal industry.

Nixon Peabody opens tech incubator for LGBTQ entrepreneurs

ABA Journal | December 01, 2017

This article features Nixon Peabody San Francisco office’s StartOut Growth Lab, an incubator for LGBTQ entrepreneurs. Office managing partner Tom Gaynor is quoted for launching the initiative.

Nixon Peabody's on-site incubator a boost for LGBT entrepreneurs

American Lawyer, National Law Journal, Law.com | September 14, 2017

San Francisco office managing partner Tom Gaynor and IP counseling and transactions partner On Lu are quoted in this feature article about the StartOut Growth Lab, an LGBT startup accelerator based in Nixon Peabody’s San Francisco office.

Here's how businesses are welcoming nonprofits to share their space

San Francisco Business Times | July 20, 2017

San Francisco office managing partner Tom Gaynor is quoted extensively in this feature on the San Francisco office’s StartOut Growth Lab. The article highlights the program, the inspiration behind how it got started, and the synergies between Nixon Peabody and StartOut.

Law firm lends office space support to new LGBTQ startout lab

San Francisco Chronicle | June 25, 2017

San Francisco M&A and corporate transactions partner Tom Gaynor is quoted throughout this feature about the San Francisco office’s StartOut Growth Lab. The article highlights the program, the reasons behind it, and the collaboration between Nixon Peabody and StartOut.

Start Out partners with Nixon Peabody for first-ever diversity-focused law accelerator

Nibletz: The Voice of Startups Everywhere Else | April 26, 2017

San Francisco office managing partner Tom Gaynor is quoted in this article about the new StartOut Growth Lab in Nixon Peabody’s San Francisco office.

These Work-Life Balance Strategies Help Even in the Most Demanding Jobs

Fast Company | September 28, 2016

San Francisco office managing partner Tom Gaynor is quoted throughout this feature article on tips and best practices from people in many time demanding professions about how they best manage their time.

Nixon Peabody’s New San Francisco Managing Partner Talks the Firm, Bringing and Growing Talent

The Recorder | September 19, 2016

This feature story highlights a conversation with San Francisco office managing partner Tom Gaynor. The article notes the firm’s willingness to let lateral partners take on leadership positions, how Tom has kept his M&A practice growing, and why he objects to Nixon Peabody being called an out-of-town firm.

Career Tracker: Lawyers on the move

Reuters Legal | July 20, 2016

This coverage notes that Los Angeles health care partner Jill Gordon has been elected to the firm’s management committee, and that M&A and corporate transactions partner Tom Gaynor has been tapped as the San Francisco office managing partner.


Thomas E. Gaynor

Office Managing Partner, San Francisco
West Coast Corporate Group Leader
Co-Leader, M&A and Corporate Transactions Team

San Francisco

Phone: 415-984-8322

Los Angeles

Phone: 213-629-6052

Fax: 855-900-9163

Boston College Law School, J.D.

Georgetown University, B.S.F.S.


District of Columbia


U.S. District Court, Central District of California

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

U.S. Supreme Court

Tom has been recommended in The Legal 500 United States 2017 editorial for M&A/corporate and commercial—M&A: Middle-market (sub-$500m).
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