Legal Business Blogs

‘Stunning achievement’: revenue and profit surge at Quinn’s London office

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan posted an impressive set of 2023 financial results for its London office today (10 January), with revenue up 47% to £196.6m and profit up a staggering 60% to £153.6m, with a profit margin of 78%.

London senior partner Richard East (pictured), who founded the office in 2008, said: ‘We are extremely pleased with our 2023 results. It is a stunning achievement for a “disputes only” practice to approach £200m in revenue, especially taking into account the number of partners we have in London. This year’s results were boosted by a material one-off success fee, but even without this fee the office has very significantly improved revenue and profit as against 2022.’

The results see significant growth again after a flat 2021. Profits increased by 10% and revenue by 5% in 2022 – but this was still below the rates of increase in 2020, when profit rose by 34% and revenue by 27%. The picture is even more striking on a five-year time horizon: revenue has increased by 135% (from £83.6m) and profit by 159% (from £59.3m) since 2018.

The London office increased its partner headcount by three in 2023, to 29, with the hires of Pinsent Masons IP litigator David Lancaster in May, Cadwalader arbitrator Melis Acuner in September, and Morrison Foerster privacy and data protection litigator Gemma Anderson in December. This headcount increase did not stop the office’s PEP figure jumping by 45% 2022-23, to $5.3m from $3.6m. The firm also added 18 new associates and one new counsel, for a total headcount of 114, up from 92 last year. These headcount figures give an office RPL increase of 19% year-on-year, to $1.7m from $1.5m.

Speaking to Legal Business, East explained the firm’s strategy around lateral hires: ‘We try to hire great people, and sometimes great people come along who are in practice areas we already cover, and sometimes they come along in practice areas we don’t yet cover. I wouldn’t say we’ve ever focused on one area over another. If a big name in commercial litigation came to us, I wouldn’t turn them down because we already have people in commercial litigation. I very rarely turn down an opportunity to meet someone who’s interested in joining us.’

The firm has a number of major cases lined up for the year ahead, including acting for AT1 bondholders who saw their holdings written down to zero amid the collapse of Credit Suisse, defending SoftBank in Credit Suisse’s $440m high court claim over Greensill Capital’s collapse, and representing prospective class representative Liza Gormsen in her Competition Appeals Tribunal claim against Meta, which was heard for a collective proceedings order on Monday 8 January.