Legal Business Blogs

Quinn Emanuel lays down outstanding marker with 61% surge in City revenue and profit

Disputes powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has seen London revenues rise by a startling 61%, with net profit increasing by the same margin.

The US-based player’s revenue stands at £71.9m, up from last year’s figure of £44.8m. Net profit also rose from £32.6m to £52.6m. As a result, the firm’s profit margin is now a staggering 73%.

The results are even more impressive considering that the office’s headcount has expanded modestly since January 2017, with the number of partners remaining static at 18. However the number of other lawyers in the office has grown from 33 to 47.

Richard East, co-managing partner of Quinn’s London office (pictured), commented: ‘The results are very pleasing and represent serious and significant contributions from all our London partners, including the new joiners. We have also achieved these results despite recent (albeit unusual) partner losses and the fact that we have had overlapping lease obligations on two offices. But we are now focused on 2018 and the challenge for us now is to beat this and grow again.’

As alluded to by East, Quinn saw three partners leave during 2017, despite going the previous nine years with no partner exits. In January last year, Martin Davies joined rival US pace-setter Latham & Watkins. Davies had previously acted on the Royal Bank of Scotland’s £4bn rights issue litigation .

In May last year, Quinn saw litigation and arbitration specialist Paul Friedman join national firm Gunnercooke. Friedman, who spent the majority of his time at Quinn working in the Middle East, had previously spent nearly 13 years of head of banking disputes and commercial fraud at Clyde & Co.

The third departure of the year came in July, when Latham returned to Quinn for David Berman. Berman was appointed as head of Latham’s financial services and regulatory division.

Despite the exiting trio, 2017 did see Quinn hire Clifford Chance’s touted tax investigations head Liesl Fichardt.

The results represent an eye-catching return for the high-performing City practice of this bullish disputes firm, which posted 41% revenue growth in 2015 and 33% in 2014, although this growth slowed slightly in 2016 by its own very high standards, at 21%, while profits remained steady.