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‘Packed to the rafters’: Quinn to move to Olswang’s office after outgrowing London space

Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan will increase its office space by half with a move into a floor of Olswang’s 90 High Holborn premises as the TMT player heads toward its merger.

The US firm only had until October 2017 on its Dentons lease, but decided to make the move early after outgrowing its One Fleet Place location. Quinn’s move to 90 High Holborn on 27 March this year will increase the amount of space it occupies from 18,000 sq ft to 27,000 sq ft.

The litigation specialist’s office has grown by 20 lawyers in the past year, counting 55 lawyers at the beginning of 2017. Partner headcount has increased from 15 to 20.

London co-managing partner Richard East told Legal Business: ‘We need more space. We’re 55 lawyers, soon to be 60 by second quarter and we’re absolutely packed to the rafters. The new space gives us potential to have around 80 to 90 lawyers.’

The news comes after it was confirmed Olswang had signed a lease with its merger partners Nabarro and CMS Cameron McKenna to move into the latter firm’s offices at Cannon Place. The merged firm will be on two additional floors in the building.

Quinn welcomed four new City based partner last year, launching both a long awaited corporate crime practice with Covington & Burling partner and former Serious Fraud Office prosecutor Robert Amaee and a UK construction disputes practice with Herbert Smith Freehills’ James Bremen. Competition partner Kate Vernon joined from DLA Piper and litigation and arbitration Paul Friedman arrived from Clyde & Co. Partner and fraud specialist Mark Hastings will join the office from Addleshaw Goddard after leaving late last year.

In September 2016 it was revealed the firm was in talks to hire a team from Shearman & Sterling’s Brussels arm, including office head Stephen Mavroghenis. It emerged competition partner Trevor Soames would join Quinn in December.

However the firm was dealt a blow late last year as it lost Moscow-based arbitration partners Ivan Marisin and Vasily Kuznetsov to US rival Baker Botts, leaving Quinn’s ten-lawyer Russia outpost with one full-time partner.

Quinn is not the only US firm which continues to expand in the City, as Goodwin Procter moved into its new 100 Cheapside London office in January taking up over 40,000 sq ft, which more than doubled its size. The firm’s Europe chair David Evans said the office would support the firm’s continued growth across key practice areas.
Most recently Goodwin picked up King & Wood Mallesons’ influential funds team following their former group head Michael Halford’s decision to join the US firm. The firm took on 26 lawyers including six partners as KWM dropped litigation against Goodwin Procter and its former corporate partner Richard Lever.