Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP at a Glance


  • “Sexy cases”
  • “Laid back atmosphere”
  • “The immediate experience”


  • “Sweatshop mentality of upper management”
  • “They are generally cheap”
  • “The lack of structure”

The Buzz

  • “Aggressive litigators who like wearing jeans”
  • “Brilliant lawyers”
  • “Negative, cutthroat reputation”
  • “Sweatshop”

About Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has been cultivating the persona of an eccentric genius-shocking the often-staid (OK, uptight) legal world with its unorthodox approach, while awing them with sweeping successes in the courtroom. This global firm has always had its own style: partners wearing flip-flops, eschewing work from Wall Street banks (these litigators earn more by suing large financial institutions than by catering to them), and putting every case through an in-house mock trial system before it goes to trial. Importantly, Quinn Emanuel tries lots of cases and walks away with a win 88 percent of the time. Not content with just a high rate of success, Quinn Emanuel also likes to go big, with five 9-figure jury verdicts, twenty-four 9-figure settlements and fourteen 10-figure settlements. That's hundred millions and billions, in case you were wondering.

Planet Profits

Founded in 1986, Quinn Emanuel is a about the same age as many of their junior associates. But dealing with legal youth is the specialty of appellate chair Kathleen Sullivan, who had served as Dean of Stanford Law School for five years. Previously dismissed as a small, "quirky" shop, Quinn Emanuel is now firmly established as a go-to counsel for some of the biggest, toughest litigation anywhere. The firm represents many of the world's leading companies, including IBM, Google, Cisco, Qualcomm, Shell, The Coca-Cola Company, Oracle, Northrop Grumman, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Sony, AIG, and Samsung, to name a few.

Even if Quinn sometimes seems to be on/from a different planet, it does speak one language that all firms understand: $$. The Recorder heralded Quinn Emanuel's "screaming ascent" into the stratosphere of fiscal success in January 2008, when the firm announced a 30 percent increase in revenue (to $385 million) and again broke the $3 million mark in profits per partner. In May 2015, The American Lawyer reported that profits per partner hit $4.925 million and gross revenue increased to $1.1 billion. No Los Angeles-based firms have posted PPP that high-Quinn's only competition in this regard comes from established New York firms. Much of Quinn's financial success can be attributed to its tendency to take and win large cases, many on contingency. We can think of very few situations "when an eight-figure verdict simply won't do," but more power to QE and the clients that have benefitted from its whopping verdicts.

An Explosion of International Expansion

Of all the booming overseas markets (China, Dubai, etc.), Japan is perhaps the richest in potential patent litigation, an area which Quinn Emanuel hopes to tap for lucrative international work. Japanese companies file more patents in the U.S. than those from any country outside the U.S. Through its Tokyo office, Quinn Emanuel handles all types of litigation for its Japanese clients, which include Sony Electronics, Isuzu Motors, and Seiko Epson-for whom QE won the largest patent infringement case ever filed with the International Trade Commission, a dispute with 24 different companies over the illegal sale of ink cartridges.

In May 2008, Quinn Emanuel opened an office in London via the acquisition of U.K.-trained restructuring lawyer Richard East, formerly a partner at Kirkland and Ellis. Within a month, the office's ranks had grown to seven lawyers-including Sue Prevezer, QC, a senior barrister and experienced trial lawyer-and that number has since increased fivefold. Unlike the firm's Tokyo office, which does not practice domestic law, Quinn's London lawyers litigate in the U.K. courts. And like so much else that Quinn does, the focus of the London office is unique: the bulk of its work -is disputes against major financial institutions, which the large, full-service firms will not handle. London is also the center of Quinn Emanuel's highly rated international arbitration practice. The firm's international arbitration practitioners have arbitrated disputes all over the globe under the rules of all the major arbitration bodies, including LCIA, ICC, AAA, ICSID, UNCITRAL, as well as the arbitration centers in Stockholm, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vienna, and others.

Since 2008, Quinn Emanuel has expanded beyond Tokyo and London, opening nine additional international locations in Mannheim, Hamburg, Moscow, Paris, Munich, Sydney, Hong Kong, Brussels, and most recently Zurich. In total, Quinn has opened eleven international offices in less than a decade. Some of Quinn Emanuel's most recent expansion efforts have focused on international arbitration. Several years ago, Quinn Emanuel established a goal of building a preeminent international arbitration practice, and it has taken a number of major steps toward achieving that goal. The firm has done this via a number of superstar lateral hires including Stephen Jagusch, the former Global Head of International Arbitration at Allen & Overy, Ivan Marisin, the former Managing Partner of Clifford Chance Moscow's Litigation and Arbitration Practice, and Philippe Pinsolle, the former number two partner in Shearman & Sterling's International Arbitration Group. Pinsolle and Marisin now serve as Managing Partners of Quinn Emanuel's Paris and Moscow offices, respectively. The firm's Paris and Hong Kong offices focus primarily on international arbitration, while its Moscow office focuses on international arbitration as well as complex financial and corporate disputes and internal investigations.

The firm has also reinforced its steadily growing product liability and mass torts practice with the addition of several high-profile practitioners, including Sheila Birnbaum, the former Co-Head of Skadden's Mass Torts and Insurance Group; Mark Cheffo, formerly of Skadden; Michael Lyle, the former Co-Head of Weil Gotshal's Products Liability Practice; and Eric Lyttle, formerly of Weil Gotshal. As a direct result of the high-profile achievements of the firm's product liability group, Quinn Emanuel was named Chambers USA's "Product Liability Firm of the Year" in both 2014 and 2015.

Quinn Emanuel's global competition practice has been another area of growth for the firm. Antitrust litigation has always been a significant part of Quinn Emanuel's U.S. practice, and the firm now has dedicated antitrust teams in London, Brussels, and Germany, as well as offices in the Far East and Australia. Quinn Emanuel is at the forefront of antitrust and competition matters that are increasingly complex and often multi-jurisdictional. In 2014, the firm opened its Brussels office, which focuses on EU competition issues. This was followed by the 2015 hire of Boris Bronfentrinker from specialist claimant competition litigation firm Hausfeld & Co in London/Brussels and the 2016 hire of Kate Vernon, former head of DLA Piper's UK Competition Team, in London. Quinn Emanuel's fast-growing antitrust & competition practice was recently named "Antitrust Practice Group of the Year" by Law360.


May 2016
And in the 8th Office, the Firm Represented Soccer

The firm opened an office in Zurich, led by partner Thomas Werlen, who joined the firm in 2012. Since Werlen's addition, Quinn Emanuel has been representing Swiss-based clients in high-stakes international disputes and investigations. Notable representations include the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in criminal investigations in the U.S. and Switzerland, a number of major Swiss banking and financial institutions in DOJ and IRS investigations, as well as international companies in a series of complex financial and regulatory disputes in the U.S., the Middle East, and Asia. The focus of the Zurich office will be on high-stakes disputes with a substantial international dimension. In addition to its white collar and corporate investigations expertise, the practice of the Zurich team focuses on transnational litigation, international arbitration, and complex disputes in finance, pharma and life sciences, commodities, and international sports.

April 2016
Third Time's the Charm

London publication Legal Business named Quinn Emanuel "2016 U.S. Law Firm of the Year" at its annual Legal Business Awards ceremony. This award recognizes the U.S. firm that has made the greatest progress over the past year in advancing strategy and winning cases for clients. Quinn Emanuel's London office, which launched in 2008, has now won this award three times (in 2012, 2014, and 2016).

March 2016
The General Counsel Has Spoken

Quinn Emanuel has been named to a list of eight law firms deemed "most innovative" by corporate counsel. BTI Consultingreported that the firm earned a reputation among general counsel of undertaking new approaches to remain ahead in the ever-changing legal landscape. More than ever, legal innovation is critical for in-house counsel. General counsels are more inclined to hire firms that are perceived as litigation thought leaders-those that redefine work processes, bring greater value, and stay in tune with their clients. Quinn Emanuel, the publication states, is among "the 'best of the best' at leading the way in creating new legal services and setting a standard that clients will expect moving forward."

February 2016
Honored in the Top Three

Quinn Emanuel was named a finalist-one of the top three firms-in The Recorder's 2016"Litigation Department of the Year" competition. This award recognizes California firms that delivered outstanding results in the most significant, challenging, and high-dollar matters of the year. Quinn Emanuel was selected from a pool of 150 firms for its defense jury verdict on behalf of Google in an E.D. Texas patent case filed by plaintiff SimpleAir, as well as for its landmark representation of the Federal Housing Finance Agency in residential mortgage-backed securities litigation against the major Wall Street banks where the firm recovered over $20 billion for the American taxpayer.

December 2015
Practice Group of the Year

Quinn Emanuel was named 2015 "Practice Group of the Year" by Law360 in five categories: Appellate, Banking, Class Actions, Product Liability, and White Collar. This award series recognizes firms that secured wins in the most important matters of the year.

A Most Inspiring Case

The firm was recognized by the American Lawyer Litigation Daily for its pro bono work culminating in the release of Luis Anthony Rivera, after serving 30 years in federal prison. The award, called the "Editor's Pick: Most Inspiring Pro Bono Win of 2015," was given to the firm and several of its lawyers, including Sam Sheldon, Valerie Roddy, Jenny Durkan, and Anisha Queen. Although Mr. Rivera had been involved in certain non-violent crimes related to the distribution of cocaine, he was given a life sentence without parole, plus 140 years for his leadership role in the conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Mr. Rivera had no prior criminal history and was a veteran of the United States Army National Guard. The firm convinced both the government and U.S. District Judge Frank Seay, who had originally sentenced Rivera, to instead order his immediate release. This result not only won Mr. Rivera his freedom; it now stands as an important precedent for others in similar situations.

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Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

865 S. Figueroa Street
10th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 443-3000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: John B. Quinn
  • Hiring Partner: Bill Urquhart
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 653

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $160,000
    2nd year: $170,000
    3rd year: $185,000
    4th year: $210,000
    5th year: $230,000
    6th year: $250,000
    7th year: $270,000*
    Summer associate: $3,080/week
    *Firm’s partnership track is 7 years

  • Summer Associate Offers
    26 out of 26 (2Ls) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Antitrust & Competition • Appellate Practice • Bankruptcy & Restructuring • Class Action Litigation • Construction Litigation • Cyber Security & Data Protection • Domestic U.S. Arbitration • Employment Litigation & Counseling • Energy Sector Disputes • Environmental Litigation • Government Contracts Litigation • Health Care Litigation • Insurance Recovery • Insurance & Reinsurance Litigation • Intellectual Property Litigation • International Arbitration • International Trade • International Trade Commission Proceedings • Investment Fund & Fund Advisor Litigation • Israel Practice • Latin America Practice • Lender Liability and Other Banking & Financial Institution Litigation • Life Sciences Litigation • Litigation Representing Plaintiffs • Media & Entertainment Litigation • Mergers & Acquisitions Litigation • Product Liability and Mass Torts Litigation • Public Strategy in High Profile Litigation • Real Estate Litigation • Satellite & Aerospace Litigation • Securities Litigation • Sports Litigation • Structured Finance & Derivatives Litigation • Transnational Litigation • White Collar and Corporate Investigations

Major Office Locations

  • Los Angeles, CA (HQ)
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • New York, NY
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Silicon Valley, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Brussels
  • Hamburg
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Mannheim
  • Moscow
  • Munich
  • Paris
  • Sydney
  • Tokyo
  • Zurich
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