Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has become the first US firm to release its London office figures for 2014, boasting a 33% increase in revenues and 44% for profits and rebounding from the sharp drop in turnover experienced in 2013.
Revenue shot up to £26.2m last year, with profits coming in £5.5m higher at £17.9m. The results form a huge contrast to 2013’s results, when the firm’s City office posted its first ever decline in revenue and profit since launching in 2008, both down by around 30%.
But 2014 saw the firm work on a higher volume of medium-sized matters including bank-related and general commercial litigation, as opposed to the one-off big ticket disputes the firm was known to work on previously. The stellar results have put office figures back to 2012’s level when the firm posted record-revenues of £27.5m and total fee-earner headcount in the office averaged 27 in 2012.
‘We are back to 2012’s level but without depending on the one or two big disputes,’ London co-managing partner Richard East (pictured) told Legal Business. He added: ‘We have had a good financial year on the back of a large number of medium-sized matters that have come from all over. We have been doing more general commercial litigation and arbitration and this is where we want to be, which is not too dependent on any one case.’
When the firm’s London net profit fell by one third (33%) to £12.4m, and City revenues also dropped 28% to £19.8m in 2013, the firm said the decline was down to three major pieces of litigation for clients Oleg Deripaska, Unicredit and Derek Quinlan either coming to trial or ending in 2012.
Quinn Emanuel’s City base houses some 30 fee-earners and will have 13 partners by March this year after DLA Piper’s litigation partner Nick Marsh officially joins. This year, the disputes shop plans to bulk up further in its newly launch competition practice, following the hire of competition litigation partner Boris Bronfentrinker from claimant firm Hausfeld & Co in October last year. The firm is also considering launching a white-collar practice in London to serve its European corporate clients on regulatory issues, and to work more closely with the firm’s Washington DC practice that largely focuses on white-collar.