Co-Founder & Partner
San Francisco | San Jose
Co-Founder & Partner
San Francisco | San Jose
After being a partner in two of California’s most prestigious law firms, Ray Hixson co-founded Hixson Nagatani LLP with his long-time colleague Brian Nagatani in 2008.
Mr. Hixson is a seasoned employment law advisor, who has advised hundreds of Silicon Valley technology companies. He is also an experienced litigator who regularly represents employers before state and federal courts, arbitrators, and governmental agencies.
Mr. Hixson provides strategic advice to employers on a wide range of employment-related matters including terminations, hiring, investigations, compensation, employment agreements, and personnel policies. His counseling and litigation experience cover a wide variety of employment law matters, including laws dealing with employment discrimination, wage and hour requirements, employee raiding, unfair competition, trade secrets, disability accommodation, leaves of absence, and workforce reductions.
Mr. Hixson is retained frequently to present legal compliance training programs, including programs regarding prevention of sexual harassment and “employment law 101” courses for managers. Numerous publications have quoted Mr. Hixson on employment law issues, including The San Jose Mercury News, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, Computer World Magazine, and Infoworld. He frequently presents legal seminars sponsored by the Northern California Human Resources Association and various bar associations.
After practicing employment law in Tennessee for four years, Mr. Hixson moved to Silicon Valley in 1998. His vision was to put his engineering background to use by becoming a “go to” employment lawyer for technology companies. Mr. Hixson quickly developed a strong following of technology company clients, and was promoted to partner at Fenwick & West in 2002 after less than four years with the firm. In 2005, Mr. Hixson joined Heller Ehrman as a partner, where he continued to expand his client base and supported clients of the firm’s Venture Law Group.
Mr. Hixson graduated 2nd in his class in law school in 1994 from the University of Tennessee, and earned a B.S. degree with Highest Honors in Industrial Engineering in 1991. He was a member of the Law Review of the University of Tennessee, and the Constitutional Law Moot Court Team. He received numerous academic awards, including Order of the Coif, two Chancellor’s Citations for Extraordinary Academic Achievement, Order of the Barristers, and numerous highest-grade awards for law school classes.
State Bar of California; Santa Clara County Bar Association. Mr. Hixson served as the Chair of the Executive Committee for the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Santa Clara County Bar Association in 2002. Mr. Hixson also previously served as a member of the Judiciary Committee of the Santa Clara County Bar Association.
The 2021 edition of Northern California Super Lawyers magazine, published by Law & Politics, recognized, Mr. Hixson as a “Super Lawyer” in Northern California in employment and labor law. This honor is limited to those evaluated to be within the top 5% of lawyers practicing in the jurisdiction. The magazine evaluates attorneys based on variety of criteria, including verdicts, settlements, transactions, representative clients, experience, honors and awards, scholarly lectures and writings, education, employment background, and other achievements. Mr. Hixson has received the same Super Laywer recognition every year since 2009.
Mr. Hixson has received the highest Martindale-Hubbell peer rating, “AV” preeminent (5.0 out of 5.0). Martindale-Hubbell describes this as “a significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.”
Mr. Hixson currently serves on the Board of Directors of the United States Tennis Association of Northern California (“NorCal”), the Chair of NorCal’s Constitution & Rules Committee, and as served as NorCal’s Vice President in 2021. Mr. Hixson served as the Co-Chair for the Santa Clara County Chapter of Marriage Equality USA from 2008-13, and on the speakers bureau of PFLAG for several years. Mr. Hixson also has served as a prior Chair of the Executive Committee for the Labor & Employment Law Section of the Santa Clara County Bar Association.
“Ray is meticulous in his legal research and drafting, incredibly responsive in returning calls and emails, and possibly the most charming attorney we’ve ever worked with here at Siemens. Not only is his memory voluminous and his speech and writing skills highly articulate, he has real compassion for the people involved in the difficult employment situations which give rise to the need for legal counseling and litigation. Ray is the perfect blend of genuine Southern charm and Bay Area incisive thinking and decision-making.”
Carolyn Garnaas, Senior Counsel, Siemens
“Ray and his firm have been handling our Employee Relations issues for several years now. They manage to take a practical view of situations and apply logic to the legal ramifications of decisions. Ray has also handled our Sexual Harassment Training. He managed to bring humor and interesting examples into his presentation, while at the same time, educating our management on the subtleties of what might constitute harassment and how to handle these types of situations. He received high praise for making a “required” training pleasant and interesting.”
Darlene Harper, Director, Human Resources at Alexza Pharmaceuticals
“Ray provided outstanding support to Openet as a legal advisor – on a sensitive matter than required skill and discretion and resulted in a very satisfactory outcome for Openet. I recommend Ray without reservation.”
Niall Norton, CEO at Openet Telecom
“I attended one of Ray’s seminars and was very impressed with his employment law knowledge and the quality of his legal advice. I hired Ray as my employment counsel and brought him along to my new company as well. Ray always gives me fair, well-thought out legal advice. He is always available to take my calls and has advised me well in some very challenging HR scenarios. Ray never just quotes the law to me, he makes recommendations based on experience and based on the specific needs of the company. It is a pleasure working with Ray.”
Lynn Herrick, Vice President and General Counsel Continue Reading
Disclaimer: None of the testimonials or endorsements on our website constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.
11/16/21—Webinar: Changes California Employers Need to Make by January 1, 2022
10/28/21—Webinar: Non-Supervisor Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
10/27/21—Webinar: Supervisor Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
8/26/21—Webinar: Employment 101 for Supervisors: Performance Management & Terminations
7/29/21—Webinar: Supervisor Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
7/28/21—Webinar: Non-Supervisor Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
6/29/21—Webinar: Employment 101 for Supervisors: Hiring, Discrimination & the Pandemic
6/18/21—Webinar: 2021 Mid-Year California Employment Law Update
2/23/21—Webinar: Supervisor Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
2/19/21—Webinar: Non-Supervisor Sexual Harassment Prevention Training