Herbert Smith exits pile up as disputes star Greeno quits for Quinn

Senior Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) litigator Ted Greeno has joined the ranks of partners leaving the firm’s disputes practice by resigning to join US outfit Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

Ted Greeno
Ted Greeno

Greeno, a specialist in litigation and arbitration in the energy sector, will move to Quinn’s London office as its 11th City partner. He is one of HSF’s most established disputes specialists, having joined the firm in 1981.

Greeno’s move away from HSF was been the subject of speculation in the market for several weeks, with a number of elite US firms understood to have been after his services.

Among Greeno’s key cases, he won a £318m payout for longstanding client British Sky Broadcasting following a dispute with Electronic Data Systems over a customer relationship management system it installed for the media group (9 June 2010).

He is currently instructed by motor-racing magnate Bernie Ecclestone as a defendant amid allegations that he bribed a German banker to ensure Formula 1 was sold to CVC Capital Partners, a buyer supportive of Ecclestone (7 January 2013). The ongoing dispute made The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2013 (7 January 2013).

He also has acted for Chevron and Shell UK.

The London lawyer’s exit from HSF follows the departure of nine high-level partners since June 2012, with five of them focusing on disputes.

London corporate fraud and asset tracing head Simon Bushell quit for Latham & Watkins earlier this year (7 February 2013), while financial regulatory duo Martyn Hopper and Nikunj Kiri are both set to join Linklaters (29 January 2013).

Meanwhile, Moscow partner Dmitry Kurochkin, the firm’s head of disputes for Continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa, joined Dechert in November (21 June 2012), followed by Kevin Lloyd, who is exiting for US firm Debevoise & Plimpton in London (5 December 2012).

June also saw Herbert Smith seal its £800m merger with Australia’s Freehills, which went live on 1 October (28 June 2012).

Other exits since then have included Tokyo head Steve Lewis, who went to Bingham (29 June 2012), City corporate partner Will Pearce, who resigned for Davis Polk & Wardwell (12 November 2012), and finance partner Jason Fox for Bracewell & Giuliani (5 March 2013). China M&A head Simon Meng quit last summer and resurfaced at King & Wood Mallesons’ Shanghai base (12 July 2012).

Since then it has added white-collar partner Rod Fletcher from Slater & Gordon (12 February 2013) and launched in Germany with the hire of corporate partner Ralf Thaeter from former alliance firm Gleiss Lutz (13 February 2013).

Greeno becomes the latest partner from a leading UK firm to join disputes-focused Quinn in the City, with Allen & Overy arbitration pair Stephen Jagusch and Anthony Sinclair the most recent additions (9 May 2012).

It also launched in Paris in January with the hire of arbitration partner Philippe Pinsolle from US firm Shearman & Sterling (3 December 2012).

Its London revenues rose 30 per cent to £27.5m in 2012, with an average profit per equity partner for the City office of around £2.6m (9 January 2013).