Quinn Emanuel's fast-growing City base sees revenues rise once more

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan's London arm saw cash revenues rise to £27.5m last year, a 20% jump on the fast-growing firm's 2011 figures.

Richard East, the co-managing partner of the ten-partner City base, estimated that 67% (£18.4m) of 2012 revenue was profit, an increase of 16% on the previous year's figure of £15.9m.

Top cases in 2012 for the litigation specialist firm included a role for Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska in his High Court proceedings against Michael Cherney, which settled abruptly in September, as well as work for Irish financier Derek Quinlan in connection with a shareholder dispute over the control of London-based hotels the Berkeley, the Connaught and Claridge's.

The firm last November confirmed that it has taken on additional office space in London and is set to move into SNR Denton's London base early this year. East (pictured) told Legal Week that the firm would continue to grow its partner and lawyer headcount in London, while also continuing to use contract lawyers.

On the use of temporary staff, East said: "I wouldn't say it's a hard rule of our business model. When you're growing a practice, one of the ways of doing that is having a pool of very able contract lawyers, particularly when it comes to large pieces of litigation.

"We will continue to grow permanent lawyers and partners - we want proper leverage - but when you're growing your practice in a legal market, you don't want to grow into a case, and then the matter settles or terminates quickly, and you have a load of lawyers with little to do. Litigation is never a smooth work curve," he added.

The news comes on the back of successive years of growth for the London operation, which saw an 85% leap in turnover between 2010 and 2011, following a 63% gain in 2010 on the firm's first full year in the City in 2009.

East also pointed to the firm's launch of an arbitration practice as a source of growth, following the hires of Allen & Overy partners Anthony Sinclair and newly appointed arbitration head Stephen Jagusch, who has formally joined Quinn after a protracted exit from the magic circle firm.

He also said the hire of Shearman & Sterling arbitration heavyweight Philippe Pinsolle had been the catalyst for the Paris office opening.

By Alex Newman

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