2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Extremely interesting/unusual/cutting-edge work.”
“Relaxed as to traditional law firm stiffness.”
“QE has an unambiguous focus on being exceptional lawyers.”
“Hours are intense.”
“Lack of training/guidance.”
About Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP 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 litigation firm has always had its own style: partners wear flip-flops, many cases go through an in-house mock trial system before they go to trial, and the firm eschews work from Wall Street banks because they can earn more by suing large financial institutions than by catering to them. Importantly, Quinn Emanuel tries lots of cases and walks away with a win more times than not (88 percent, to be exact). Not content with just a high rate of success, Quinn Emanuel also likes to go big, with five 9-figure jury verdicts, more than forty 9-figure settlements, and nineteen 10-figure settlements. It’s no wonder the firm has one of the highest profits per partner.
Young But Mighty
Founded in 1986, Quinn Emanuel is younger than many of its associates. But dealing with legal youth is the specialty of appellate chair Kathleen Sullivan, who previously served as Dean of Stanford Law School. 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, Fédération Internationale de Football Association, Qualcomm, Daimler, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Sony, Hyundai, AIG, and Samsung, to name a few.
Globally, Quinn Emanuel has exported its litigation-only model to 14 offices in 10 countries outside the U.S. In the past decade, the firm has opened international offices in Brussels, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Mannheim, Munich, Paris, Perth, Shanghai, Stuttgart, Sydney, and Zurich.
The No. 1 firm in Vault’s General Commercial Litigation category, Quinn Emanuel’s litigation experience is wide ranging. Among the firm’s practices are antitrust, appellate, bankruptcy, corporate disputes, environmental, insurance, intellectual property, international matters, life sciences, media and entertainment, products liability, and much more. Its largest practice is intellectual property, and more than 100 lawyers at the firm hold degrees in hard sciences or engineering. The firm’s mass torts practice has been widely recognized; its lawyers have been involved in such notable matters as the Fukushima nuclear accident, the BP oil spill, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The firm also boasts a notable appellate practice with extensive experience before the Supreme Court, federal courts of appeal, and state appellate courts.
Reach the Summit
Some firms treat their attorneys to dinners or tickets to a game. Quinn takes its crew hiking—and we’re not talking about a local trail in the firm’s backyard. Associates and partners pack their bags and head to locations around the world. Past locations include Interlaken, Switzerland; Dolomites, Italy; Taos, New Mexico; Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska; The Laugavegur Trail, Iceland; and Grand Canyon, Arizona.
Quinn Emanuel was among the first to move to remote work and prioritize our employees’ health in the face of the pandemic. We remain vigilant in keeping everyone safe. At the same time, our offices are as busy as ever and the opportunity for substantive litigation work remains. We ran a hugely successful, fully interactive summer program remotely. Our 2020 Summer Associates have reflected that they felt completely integrated into the firm and enjoyed the opportunity for hands-on experience. We do not expect our recruiting goals for 2021 to be affected by the pandemic based on these factors; We will continue to heavily recruit litigation-focused students to join our team and work alongside the best lawyers in the country on the most exciting cases. Interviews will take place via Zoom with an eye towards the students learning as much about the firm as possible from attorneys across all class years.
News & Awards
Quinn Emanuel’s antitrust team filed a formal complaint on behalf of Slack Technologies to the European Commission’s Competition Directorate alleging that Microsoft is abusing its dominant position in enterprise software to attempt to stymie what third party analysts have described as an “existential threat” to Microsoft’s business posed by Slack in violation of EU competition law, as set out in Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
In July 2020, Quinn Emanuel achieved a favorable settlement for its client Advent International in the first scheduled “Busted Deal” trial of the COVID-19 era.
A new report from Lex Machina ranked Quinn Emanuel one of the top-10 firms for Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) litigation. Quinn Emanuel represented clients in 362 cases before the PTAB between 2012 and 2019, including 144 cases in which the firm represented petitioners and 218 cases in which it represented patent owners.
Six Quinn Emanuel attorneys were named “Rising Stars” by Law360. The “Rising Star” award is given to top legal talent under 40 years of age. The firm’s 2020 “Rising Stars” are Elizabeth Wilson (Construction), Kathleen Shih (Energy), Deepa Acharya (Intellectual Property), JP Kernisan (Sports & Betting), Rachael McCracken (Trials), and Gabriel Soledad (White Collar).
- Unsworth v. Musk: Defeated a defamation claim on behalf of Elon Musk related to his statements the July 2018 rescue of a dozen lost Thai children.
- California Institute of Technology v. Apple and Broadcom: Won a $1.1 billion patent infringement jury verdict for CalTech.
- Apple Inc. v. Samsung: Represented Samsung in its global litigations against Apple, often called the “Smart Phone Wars.”
- FHFA v. Nomura: Brought multiple lawsuits for victims of the 2008 financial crisis, collecting billions of dollars, including an $800 million trial verdict on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
- Corporate Equality Index (CEI), 2020–Human Rights Campaign Foundation
- The Most Feared Law Firm in the World, 2019–BTI Consulting Group
- Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team of the Year, 2019–British Legal Awards
- Top Corporate Law Firms, 2019–Forbes
- International Arbitration Team of the Year & Competition Litigation Team of the Year, 2019 – LegalWeek Commercial Litigation & Arbitration Awards
865 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 443-3000
Founder & Managing Partner: John B. Quinn
Hiring Partner: Patrick Curran
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
750 - 1K
No. of Partners Named 2020:
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $255,000
5th year: $280,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $325,000
Summer associate: $3,654/week
East Coast Director of Administration and National Recruiting Coordinator
No. of U.S. Offices: 10
No. of International Offices: 13
Los Angeles, CA (HQ)
New York, NY
Salt Lake City, UT
San Francisco, CA
Silicon Valley, CA
Washington, DC I Brussels
Antitrust & Competition
Bankruptcy & Restructuring
Class Action Litigation
Crisis Law & Strategy Group
Cybersecurity & Data Protection
Domestic U.S. & International Arbitration
Employment Litigation & Counseling
Intellectual Property Litigation
International Trade Commission Proceedings
Investigations, Government Enforcement, & White Collar Criminal Defense Practice
Latin America Practice
Lender Liability & Other Banking Financial Institution Litigation
Life Sciences Litigation
Litigation Representing Plaintiffs
Media & Entertainment Litigation
Product Liability & Mass Torts Litigation
Structured Finance & Derivatives Litigation
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.