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03 March 2021

London public law heavyweight Dominic Roughton joins Quinn Emanuel from Boies Schiller

Ex-Herbert Smith Freehills partner is reunited with former colleague Ted Greeno as he switches US litigation firms

By Ben Rigby

Heavyweight London disputes partner Dominic Roughton has left Boies Schiller Flexner after four years to join Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. 

The move sees Roughton – who spent four years at Boies Schiller – reunited with former Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) colleague, London co-managing partner Ted Greeno. 

Roughton was head of public international law at HSF, having been a partner there for twelve years, while Greeno exited in 2013 to join Quinn’s London office. An arbitration lawyer with strong energy, natural resources and mining sector experience, Roughton also has a track record handling Asia cases, having spent more than a decade in Japan.

Like Greeno and fellow London-based Quinn partner Justin Michaelson, who joined from Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson last August, Roughton has acted for Russian and CIS clients on disputes in London, Moscow and Cyprus. His public international law experience, meanwhile, has seen him represent both states and corporates in boundary disputes in Asia.

He has also acted for clients in Africa and the Middle East, including Sudan, Bangladesh and Iran. More recently, he led a major East African energy sector claim for a Chinese state-owned enterprise.

His public international law practice adds depth to Quinn’s capability in this field, while also complementing the firm’s mix of disputes lawyers in London, the US and Asia.

His arrival at the firm comes hard on the heels of the hire of Simmons & Simmons’ former EMEA head of disputes, Paul Baker, who joined last month.

John Quinn, the firm’s founder, said Roughton’s hire “adds considerable weight to our fast expanding London office which is in significant growth mode after a stunning 2020”.

Roughton added: “It is with huge enthusiasm that I join Quinn Emanuel and reunite with Ted Greeno whom I have known for many years.”

His departure follows that of fellow London arbitration partner Ken Beale, who left last month and is joining King & Spalding in Washington DC, according to Law.com. The twin departures follow a difficult 2021 for New York-based Boies Schiller, which shed dozens of partners in the US last year, culminating in the exit of co-managing partner Nicholas Gravante in December.  

During this period the firm, which said it was transitioning to a new leadership and a leaner, more profitable model, had to fend off a barrage of negative publicity over the regular partner losses. 

London-based deputy chair Natasha Harrison said the London office had recorded steady financial growth. She added: “Boies Schiller’s London office remains a force within the firm and continues to go from strength to strength, with an increasing number of sophisticated clients engaging us for their most complex litigation needs.”

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