Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
Quinn Emanuel’s Washington office was founded in 2011, but its relative newness on the DC legal scene hasn’t stopped the litigation-only law firm from racking up an impressive roster of high-profile clients and associated victories. Its recent successes mean it can justify charging over US$1,100 an hour for its top white-collar defence partners - a figure that hasn’t surprised anyone.
Former George W Bush White House deputy counsel Bill Burck co-heads the office. Burck is lead counsel for world soccer governing body Fifa in the ongoing US and Swiss corruption investigations, as well as South American football association Conmebol.
Burck defended former PetroTiger executive Joseph Sigelman in 2015, the first FCPA trial in four years. Quinn Emanuel’s defence of Sigelman helped the firm win Investigations Firm of the Year at the GIR Awards in September 2015.
Within a week of an expected six-week trial in New Jersey, the government’s star witness unravelled, and Sigelman avoided prison time altogether after pleading guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the FCPA in a deal with the government.
There was, however, a sting in the tail for Quinn Emanuel. In 2016, Sigelman turned against the firm accusing it of overcharging him. The matter has gone to arbitration with the firm denying it overcharged Sigelman.
Juan Morillo, who co-chairs the DC office’s white-collar and corporate investigations practice, frequently works with Burck on cases, including the defence of Sigelman. Morillo has also represented a number of Swiss banks in their resolutions under the DOJ’s tax evasion programme.
Former Seattle US attorney Jenny Durkan splits her time between the DC and Seattle offices, bringing significant experience in data privacy issues to the firm’s white-collar investigations practice.
Michael Lyle, who moved to Quinn Emanuel from Weil Gotshal & Manges in 2013, acts for numerous clients with international needs. He was counsel for Rio Tinto in its now-dismissed civil RICO lawsuit against Brazilian rival Vale and Beny Steinmetz Group Resources, accusing the two of using bribery to steal mining concessions from the British-Australian mining company.
Ben O’Neil is another partner of note in Quinn Emanuel’s DC foreign bribery practice.