Quinn Emanuel gears up for City patent capability

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is preparing to launch a UK patent litigation practice. It will be the first major strategic extension of the US litigation firm’s London office since its launch three years ago.


The firm is currently scouring the UK market for a significant lateral to kick-start the practice. Last year Quinn Emanuel opened its first office in Continental Europe with the hire of a group of IP lawyers from Allen & Overy in Mannheim, including highly rated patent litigation partner Marcus Grosch.

Founding partner John Quinn, who was in London last week, claimed that no firm had yet successfully built a major transatlantic patent capability.

He added that many of the biggest cases in the ­sector, such as Nokia’s long-running patent battle with Qualcomm or Apple’s smartphone litigation wars with rivals such as Samsung, have parallel actions in multiple jurisdictions.

“There’s a case for us having an IP practice in London,” confirmed Quinn. “We don’t currently have it here, but as a firm we have the right components, including credibility in the US as probably the leading practice, and a very active German group. We’re also active in Tokyo.”

Quinn Emanuel’s UK ­lateral hiring campaign has up until now focused ­primarily on bank litigation. Recent lateral hires have included the head of Olswang’s litigation practice Martin Davies, who joined earlier this year, fellow Olswang partner Alex Gerbi and CMS Cameron ­McKenna finance partner Robert Hickmott, with the latter two joining in 2010.