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Sullivan Promoted To Name Partner

Publication Date: 
March 12, 2010
Daily Journal
Anna Scott

Professor Kathleen Sullivan is quoted in this article from the Daily Journal on her promotion to name partner at law firm Quinn Emanuel. The firm will now be known as Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. Anna Scott filed this story:

Kathleen Sullivan, the high-profile head of business litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges' national appellate practice, has been made a name partner. The firm will now be known as Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

Sullivan's promotion, announced Thursday, reflects the firm's desire to raise the profile of its appellate practice and integrate it with the better-known trial practice in recent years, said Los Angeles-based founding partner John Quinn.


Sullivan, 54, has been with Quinn's New York office since 2005, representing Coca-Cola, Nokia and Hearst News, among other clients. Her notable cases included a headline-grabbing 2009 New York Court of Appeals case that upheld New York Governor David Paterson's power to appoint Richard Ravitch lieutenant governor, and a U.S. Supreme Court case last year in which she defended Shell Oil against liability for a hazardous spill.

In addition to handling appellate cases, Sullivan has also worked on cases at the pre-trial and trial stages, she said, "to create the legal architecture to sustain our victories."

Prior to joining Quinn Emanuel, Sullivan was dean of Stanford Law School for five years and taught at Harvard Law School. She was reportedly a candidate last year to replace U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter before federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor won the nomination.


Nonetheless, Sullivan's promotion may make her the only female name partner among the nation's largest 100 law firms.

"We can't think of any other example," said Sullivan. "When I started 30 years ago, there were no female litigation partners in New York. The idea that I would now be able to be a litigation partner at a major New York firm is truly breathtaking."