Biglaw, Intellectual Property, john quinn, Litigators, Partner Issues, Women's Issues

New Partner Watch: The Quinn Emanuel 13

Is thirteen an unlucky number? Apparently not at Quinn Emanuel, the high-powered litigation firm that just went for a baker’s dozen in naming new partners.

This past weekend, the Quinn partnership gathered in California for their partner retreat. Agenda items included selecting new partners and setting the bonus scale.

Does a large partner class bode well for bonuses? Because this is the biggest partner class Quinn has named in several years….

In 2012, Quinn Emanuel named 10 new partners. That was up from eight new partners the year before and seven new partners the year before that. So the size of the QE partner class continues to grow.

Thirteen is a large class, and it’s also a diverse one, at least in professional terms. The 13 partners graduated from 11 different law schools, with only Columbia and Harvard having more than one representative. They come from a diverse mix of practices within litigation, including general commercial, IP, financial services, mass torts, class actions, white-collar, and international arbitration. Several of them are former law clerks, and two are former prosecutors (one federal and one state). They also span a wide range of law school graduation years, from 1994 to 2006. (The 1994 grad is Doug Fleming, who joined Quinn as part of the mass-torts migration from Skadden led by Sheila Birnbaum and Mark Cheffo.)

As for demographic diversity, three of the 13 new partners are women. That’s a big improvement from last year’s sausage fest class, in which just one of the ten new partners was a woman.

Four of the 13 new partners come from the of-counsel ranks; the rest are associates. Seven of the 13 come from the New York office, continuing QE’s trend in recent years of beefing up its NYC presence.

Quinn Emanuel can afford to name big partner classes because of at least two factors. First, it’s extremely profitable — second only to Wachtell Lipton in the most recent Am Law 100 rankings, with profits per partner of $4.4 million. Second, it’s not a lockstep firm; compensation for individual partners is set by the Supreme Leader, john quinn. So the firm can name many new partners and then have a wide spread in terms of how it pays them. The partnerships take effect on January 1.

How long can Quinn Emanuel sustain such growth? That’s an open question; aggressive expansion comes with greater risk. For now, though, QUINN REMAINS — very successful.

Congratulations to the new Quinn Emanuel partners. We hope they enjoy eating pie — especially if the flavor is BlackBerry.

P.S. If you’d like us to cover your firm’s new partner class, feel free to send the announcement to us by email. Please try to include some inside information or color commentary about the size of the class, which practice areas or offices the new partners are coming from, the diversity of the new partners, or some other interesting tidbits showing why the class merits coverage. Thanks.

(Flip to the next page to see the full Quinn Emanuel new partner announcement.)

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