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Quinn Emanuel Adds Sullivan's Name To Door

Publication Date: 
March 12, 2010
The American Lawyer
Alison Frankel

Professor Kathleen Sullivan is featured in this article from The American Lawyer for her appointment as a name partner at law firm Quinn Emanuel. The firm will now be known as Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. Alison Frankel filed this story:

When Kathleen Sullivan began practicing law about 30 years ago at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, there were no female litigation partners practicing at big firms. On Thursday, capping a career that has included stints as a Harvard Law School professor and the dean of Stanford Law School, Sullivan became a name partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, marking the first time a woman's name is on the door of an Am Law 100 firm. The firm's new name is Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

Over breakfast Thursday morning, Sullivan credited firm founder John Quinn with cultivating a firm culture that doesn't distinguish between men and women, noting that Susan Estrich in Los Angeles, Faith Gay in New York and Sue Prevezer in London are also prominent partners at Quinn Emanuel. "We want the best lawyers," Quinn said.

He said that Sullivan, who joined Quinn Emanuel five years ago and heads the firm's appellate practice, has raised the firm's profile in the appellate arena — but has also contributed to its trial practice. (Sullivan joked that one of her former students, now practicing at Quinn, gave her tips on taking a deposition.) At the U.S. Supreme Court this term, Sullivan is representing the shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha in a case that will determine whether land or sea shipping laws apply to ocean cargo containers being transported inland; and Pfizer in its Alien Tort Statute certiorari petition. At the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Sullivan is overseeing the Refco bankruptcy trustee's attempt to revive its claims against Refco's legal and financial advisers. And her work securing the New York Court of Appeals' approval of the appointment of Richard Ravitch as the state's lieutenant governor (for which she received Recorder affiliate The American Lawyer's Litigator of the Week honors) seems all the more important in the increasingly embattled administration of Gov. David Patterson.

For all of her accomplishments, Quinn told us, Sullivan is no diva. In fact, she hesitated to accept the name partner appointment until she was sure no other partners would be offended by it. (Former name partner George Hedges died in 2009; former name partner Dale Oliver is still a partner at the firm.)