Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has secured a high-profile London hire with the addition of Simmons & Simmons’ UK head of dispute resolution, Paul Baker.
Baker leaves Simmons just eighteen months after taking sole charge of its UK disputes practice when co-head Ian Hammond stepped down. He also led the firm’s asset management disputes group and its reputation management practice.
His mix of skills and experience – acting in the corporate defence of complex financial claims, as well as advising businesses on minimising reputational harm in crisis situations – adds weight to Quinn Emanuel’s London practice.
Baker’s links to fund managers and and the venture capital community will dovetail with QE’s conflict-free model, while his defamation and related media litigation practice is well suited to the pandemic.
He and Hammond co-led the team that successfully defended billion-pound claims made against Grant Thornton by the Tchenguiz brothers and associated companies which arose from the insolvency of Icelandic bank Kaupthing. He also defended Gemfields in a multi-party High Court class action brought by residents of Mozambique.
His arrival at Quinn Emanuel comes after the specialist litigation firm unveiled a strong set of financial results for its London office with revenue up 27% to £127.4m while profits rose 34% to approximately £91m, making it an attractive, if demanding proposition for lateral hires.
John Quinn, Quinn Emanuel’s founder, said: “Paul is another impressive addition to the London office which will grow substantially again this year on the back of a spectacular 2020.”
London co-managing partners Ted Greeno and Alex Gerbi praised Baker’s deep knowledge of the asset management sector, adding that further hires in disputes were expected later this year, following up on Baker’s hire and last August’s addition of disputes partner Justin Michaelson from Fried Frank.
Baker, who joined Simmons in 2011, is dual-qualified in New Zealand and England & Wales law. Promoted to partner in 2015, he was appointed UK head of disputes in 2018 to work alongside Hans-Herman Aldenhoff, Simmons’ long-term global head of dispute resolution, in a move designed to facilitate a smooth handover between generations.
Baker was charged with working across the firm’s growing UK disputes groups, enhancing associate and client relationships, and developing an innovative disputes strategy to serve Simmons’ main business sectors.
That work will now fall to Emily Monastiriotis, who joined as partner in 2017 from Womble Bond Dickinson, and was promoted to head the insurance and construction group a year later.
Aldenhoff said: “Emily’s exceptional client focus and demonstrable commercial acumen make her the ideal partner to lead the UK disputes group.” He pointed to a strong bench led by head of arbitration Stuart Dutson, former London Litigation Solicitors Association president Ed Crosse and Patrick Boylan.