Disputes heavyweight Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has continued its impressive run of form in London as City revenues for 2018 shot up 16% to £83.6m.
The US-bred firm also saw profits rise 13% to £59.3m. As a result, Quinn’s London profit margin is consistent with the business globally at 70%. Quinn London co-managing partner Richard East told Legal Business: ‘We had a strong year last year after we added lateral partners and launched some key new practice areas, such as contentious tax and construction arbitration. To be up 16% with the same number of people was very pleasing.’
The firm unveiled an outstanding set of financial results last January, including a striking 61% growth in City revenues .
A number of key cases settled in Quinn’s favour in 2018, with the $3bn Court of Appeal Eurobonds dispute between Ukraine and Russia being a major highlight. Quinn successfully represented Ukraine in the case, instructing Fountain Court Chambers’ Bankim Thanki QC and Blackstone Chambers’ Ben Jaffey QC.
The firm also struck a big victory against Banco Popular in October 2018, representing a number of clients suing the bank for a loss of shares following its £1 sale to Santander in 2017.
The robust financial results come from a UK disputes market that appears to have softened somewhat in the last 12 to 18 months. As an example, after similarly above-trend revenues and profits in 2016/17, Stewarts saw turnover dip by over 20% to £62.4m after a swing in contingency fees.
However, 2018 was not an unmitigated success for Quinn in the UK. The firm took a substantial PR hit last May when London partner Mark Hastings was sacked following an investigation into ‘inappropriate behaviour’. Hastings was dismissed following an independent probe by Alison Levitt QC, instigated by allegations by two members of staff.