Legal Business

Disputes revival has huge implications for City law

Disputes revival has huge implications for City law

A few years ago – during what in retrospect turned out to be a boom – you knew where you stood with City law. The market kept growing and, while the man in the street associated lawyers with courts and disputes, those in the industry knew success came from the other side of the equation. In short, you made the real money from deal-doing and associated disciplines, not the contentious side of practice.

Legal Business

Revolution on a shoe string

Revolution on a shoe string

Quinn Emanuel’s no-frills, high-end approach to law has re-written the rules on what US advisers can achieve in London after a startling run of growth. Legal Business asks how the iconoclastic disputes shop does it.

It’s the day after Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has moved into its new London office at Fleet Place and boxes bursting with paperwork still occupy the small reception hall. There is no fancy artwork on these walls, nor much in the way of hi-tech gadgets; everything is basic, minimal, functional. On entering the interview room, tap water is offered and greetings take place with London co-managing partner Richard East and former Allen & Overy (A&O) arbitration partner Stephen Jagusch – last year’s star UK signing – the latter dressed in jeans.

Legal Business

Top HSF litigator Greeno defects to Quinn Emanuel’s City arm

Top HSF litigator Greeno defects to Quinn Emanuel’s City arm

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) partners received more bad news this morning as it emerged that top litigator Ted Greeno has resigned to join US disputes leader Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

The departure represents arguably the most high profile contentious practitioner to join a US law firm in London directly from private practice and will be regarded as highly significant for Quinn Emanuel, which is moving to broaden the practice of its City arm.

Greeno’s resignation was announced this morning (27 March) to HSF’s partnership and comes after almost 30 years with the City firm.

His addition will push Quinn Emanuel’s City partnership to 11 and marks a period of sustained hiring for the US firm, which also took on Allen & Overy (A&O) arbitration duo Stephen Jagusch and Anthony Sinclair last spring.

The recent hires reflect a drive by the US-based disputes leader to broaden its international practice with a series of launches in Europe. The firm has also invested heavily in building an international arbitration practice and widening its commercial litigation coverage beyond its core banking disputes practice.

At HSF, Greeno made a name for himself by taking on a number of high-profile cases, particularly in the oil and gas sectors. The move comes after weeks of speculation that Greeno was set to join one of three US practices.

Greeno notably acted for Chevron in connection to its defence of a claim by rivals Total that its joint venture was liable for £1bn in costs related to the explosion at the Buncefield oil depot. He has also handled big ticket contentious work for BSkyB and Shell UK.

His departure will be felt at HSF and is part of a number of high profile exits from the firm in the last six months, particularly from its highly regarded disputes practice. Recent exits include corporate fraud partner Simon Bushell, who is set to join Latham & Watkins, Kevin Lloyd, who left for Debevoise & Plimpton at the end of last year, and Martyn Hopper, who moved to Linklaters in September 2012.

A statement from HSF said: ‘Ted has been with the firm for nearly 30 years and we are sorry to see him go. We would like to thank Ted for his significant contribution to the development of our leading litigation practice and wish him all the best for the future.’

Quinn Emanuel’s co-London managing partner Sue Prevezer QC said: ‘He is a star. He is a specialist in commercial litigation and arbitration with an expertise in the energy sector. He brings to us 30 years of experience. We are interested in the energy sector amongst others and are always looking for good hires.’

See the April edition of Legal Business for an in-depth assessment of Quinn Emanuel’s City office.

emma.sadowski@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Quinn Emanuel snags A&O London arbitration duo

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has ruffled Allen & Overy (A&O)’s feathers in London after the US litigation specialist hired the Magic Circle firm’s global arbitration chairman Stephen Jagusch and fellow partner Anthony Sinclair in May. The firms are understood to be locking horns over the departure terms, with a deal yet to be struck.

The hires will see Quinn Emanuel launch its own City arbitration practice, to be led by Jagusch. While the firm has already had some success in arbitration work in London, it plans to grow the office to 35 lawyers, of which ten will be partners.

Legal Business

Stewarts Law chases the American dream

Stewarts Law chases the American dream

London disputes specialist Stewarts Law was shortlisted for Law Firm of the Year at the Legal Business Awards in February on the back of an outstanding performance during 2010/11. But with revenues up 42%, a profit margin of 41% and PEP of £890,000, you could be forgiven for wondering why it has now decided to open two offices in the US.

Legal Business

LA Lawyer

LA Lawyer

Father of five, two-time Hawaiian Iron Man competitor, climber, trial lawyer extraordinaire and co-founder of what can legitimately claim to be the leading global litigation-only firm. John Quinn has earned the right to put his feet up. Not a chance he says.

On a hiking trip to Wyoming a few years ago, a group of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan litigators, headed up by founder John Quinn, arrived at a freezing 9,000 ft lake. Quinn joked that the first summer associate to swim the lake would get a job offer at his firm. Turning his back on the group for a moment, he heard a splash as one of the keen students dived headlong into the water. True to his word, an offer was made.