Biglaw, Intellectual Property, Lateral Moves, Musical Chairs, Partner Issues

Musical Chairs: A Quinn Emanuel Partner’s Mysterious Departure

Over the past several months, Quinn Emanuel has been in the news for representing Samsung in its tense — and seemingly never-ending — intellectual property war with Apple. The firm has scored some major victories against Apple overseas, but on the home front, Samsung lost that little jury verdict some of you may remember — to the tune of $1 billion.

Through Quinn, Samsung is currently working through the appeals process. But last week, we also caught wind of another mysterious motion in the case. A QE partner suddenly requested to withdraw as counsel from the case. Judge Lucy Koh approved the motion, and within a few days the partner had disappeared from the firm website.

What’s going on here?

Please note the UPDATE at the end of this post.

The partner in question, Patrick M. Shields, was based out of Quinn’s Los Angeles office. He requested withdrawal from Apple v. Samsung last week on October 16. Judge Koh approved the request the following day.

Patrick Shields

In a response to our inquiry we received the following statement from Quinn Emanuel about Patrick Shields:

John Quinn, Managing Partner of Quinn Emanuel confirmed Patrick Shields has withdrawn from the firm partnership. “He has been with us for 13 years and is an extraordinary lawyer and an equally extraordinary human being. We respect his desire to take time off and reflect on his future plans. If he decides to return to the practice of law, we would welcome him back to the firm with open arms,” said Quinn. “From a personal perspective I will miss Patrick. He is a great friend and will continue to be a great friend whatever he decides to do.”

I asked Elizabeth Urquhart, the firm’s marketing director, if she could provide any additional detail about what Shields might do next. “We know he is planning a long trip to Ireland,” she said.

Shields — a Harvard Law School graduate and relatively young partner, designated a rising star by SuperLawyers — was not one of the attorneys running the show during the AppSung trial. His more-senior colleagues, Charles Verhoeven, Bill Price, and John Quinn, did most of the talking for Samsung.

Still, one Apple lawyer we heard from expressed surprise (and curiosity) about Shields’s departure. Apparently he was sending out communications on Samsung’s behalf up until the day before he withdrew.

Other than what sounds like a very nice vacation, we are not sure what Pat Shields plans to do next or why, exactly, he decided to withdraw from Quinn Emanuel’s (extremely lucrative) partnership. But, along with John Quinn, we wish Shields the best in his future endeavors.

UPDATE (10/24/2012, 1:40 PM): The mystery has been solved. To find out why Patrick Shields left, click here.

(To check out his full bio, including information about his practice areas, awards and recognition, flip to the next page.)

Earlier: Musical Chairs: A Sidley Austin Partner’s Mysterious Departure
A Farewell to Remember: One Partner’s Dramatic Departure Memo
Want Out of Biglaw? Take a Hike!
Musical Chairs: A Cahill Gordon Partner’s Mysterious Departure
Musical Chairs: Is Ted Freedman Out at Kirkland?
Another Sullivan & Cromwell Partner Has Left the Building
What’s Up at Sullivan & Cromwell? Carlos Spinelli-Noseda’s Mysterious Departure
Musical Chairs: Patrick Bradford Leaving Davis Polk

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