Weil Gotshal litigation devolves power after record expansion

The management of Weil Gotshal’s global litigation practice is being decentralised following 100 per cent departmental growth in the past five years.

The litigation department has an approximate annual firmwide turnover of $320m (£172.2m), 40 per cent of the firm’s total $801m (£430.9m) global revenue. The department has grown sufficiently large for James Quinn, Weil Gotshal’s chairman of global litigation, to restructure it and devolve greater power to practice group heads.

To put this into effect, the department has been reorganised into 11 practice groups and the firm is appointing new practice heads. The department has also been realigned to increase focus on regulatory work.

Quinn hopes to kill off the department’s image of being principally focused on bankruptcy litigation, citing patent law as one of its key strengths in the US.

“I want to give some of our younger stars the chance to operate their practices. They have more independence in running practices rather than going centrally for decision making,” Quinn told The Lawyer.

Weil Gotshal is ranked fifth in the US for litigation. London litigation has grown under the leadership of barrister Michael Jones, who has been appointed joint global dispute resolution head. Quinn says that its Paris office is booming from arbitration work. Quinn has just won one of New York’s largest cases of 2004 for film distributor ESPN over contracts it arranged in India.

The 11 new practice groups are: antitrust and competition, appellate, bankruptcy, complex commercial, consumer financial services, employment, global dispute resolution, intellectual property and media, patents, product liability and securities and corporate governance.