Quinn Emanuel sets out plans for fifth German office in Berlin

Recruitment market and client proximity cited as key drivers for firm's first foray in eastern Germany
Headshot of Marcus Grosch

Dr Marcus Grosch Image courtesy of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan

US litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is set to open its fifth office in Germany in Berlin. 

The office, which the firm said will open this summer in the centre of the city, will be led by Germany managing partner and IP litigation specialist Dr Marcus Grosch. An associate will join him for the launch, though the firm intends to build a team of up to 10 lawyers in the capital. 

A spokesperson for Quinn Emanuel said the firm was attracted by the recruitment market in Berlin, which has a comparatively high number of qualified young graduates and a relatively low density of large law firms. 

Grosch explained: “From our perspective, the recruitment market in Berlin is promising – our goal in the short term is to hire a team of outstanding lawyers. In addition, proximity to our clients has always been an important factor in our choice of location and also plays a major role with regard to Berlin."

The firm, which in Germany works across all areas of high-end litigation and arbitration, said the launch was a logical next step given the marked growth of its existing offices in the country. The firm has doubled its lawyer headcount in Germany over the past four years and now has more than 50 across the country.  

Grosch will split his time between the new Berlin base and the firm’s offices in Munich and Mannheim, the latter being close to the Ludwigshafen headquarters of chemicals company BASF, an important client. 

Quinn Emanuel also has a location in Hamburg and in 2017 launched an office in Stuttgart to service local auto giant Daimler. The Berlin launch marks the first foray for the firm into the east of Germany, where it says it already has some clients and will look to build relationships with more. 

While international law firms tend to focus on cities in Germany such as Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg, Quinn Emanuel is by no means the first to have targeted Berlin, with major players including White & Case, Dentons, Hogan Lovells and Morrison Foerster all having a presence there. 

Hogan Lovells opened an office in Berlin in 2019 focused on internal investigations and legal tech, having lost its entire 30-strong team there, including nine partners, to MoFo six years earlier for its own launch in the city.  

As with the rest of Quinn Emanuel’s lawyers, the Berlin office’s new recruits will be able to take advantage of the firm’s ‘work from anywhere’ policy, meaning they are allowed to work from anywhere within Germany. 

The Berlin opening will mark Quinn Emanuel’s tenth location in Europe, with the firm also having bases in Belgium, France, England and Switzerland.

Last week the firm announced that co-founder and longstanding managing partner John Quinn had stepped up to a new position as chairman, allowing for the appointment of two co-managing partners to help run the firm. The shake-up saw Washington DC-based white collar defence and government investigations partner William Burck and New York-based litigation partner Michael Carlinsky promoted to the new posts.

Other international firms expanding their presence in Germany recently include Goodwin Procter, which last month added an office in Munich on top of its base in Frankfurt as it continued its private equity-focused growth in Europe. The office is chaired by Jan Schinköth, who joined the firm in May last year with an associate from Sidley Austin.

And last November Washington DC-based IP boutique Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner added a team from Baker McKenzie led by partner Dr Jochen Herr to launch in Munich, marking its entrance into the German market.  

Email your news and story ideas to: [email protected]