US dispute resolution specialist Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has shown no signs of a pandemic slowdown, increasing London sales by 27% to £ 127.4 million.
There was further cause for joy for the company when profits rose 34% to around £ 91m and the office’s profit margin was an impressive 71%.
The London senior partner Richard East (picture) described the results in the context of the Covid 19 crisis as “really astonishing”. He told Legal Business, “I was honestly amazed at how quickly and seamlessly the office switched to remote working.”
He added that the results “stem from the absolute dedication to service to our customers that our London workforce has shown”.
It’s hard to dispute East’s assessment as the company significantly outpaced its pre-2020 pandemic growth. Last year, the company saw sales jump 15% above trend to break the £ 100 million mark, while profits soared 11% to £ 67.2 million.
Standout mandates for 2020 included the company’s groundbreaking Supreme Court victory in December that overturned Mastercard’s efforts to thwart former Finance Ombudsman Walter Merricks’ £ 14 billion lawsuit against the company. Merricks was represented by Quinn partners Kate Vernon and Nicola Chesaites, who taught Paul Harris QC of Monckton Chambers, and Marie Demetriou QC and Victoria Wakefield QC of Brick Court.
East himself led when the company advised Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in its capacity as the main creditor of the administration-threatened health chain NMC Health. London partner Robert Hickmott and civil fraud chairman Nick Marsh completed the team.
Quinn’s London office currently has 23 partners, 72 employees and eight lawyers. Seniority was extended last year after Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson brought in litigation partner Justin Michaelson.
These results are a positive indicator that the city’s dispute settlement teams have coped well with the pandemic. While results are likely to be weaker for more general or transaction hedged companies, Quinn’s recent results suggest that the old wisdom about dispute resolution teams benefiting from global uncertainty is valid.