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Wake Up Call: Quinn Plans 10-Lawyer Berlin Office by Summer

May 18, 2022, 12:55 PM

In today’s column, facing a talent shortage, some law firms are hiring inexperienced college grads to train as paralegals; a federal appeals judge has hired only one woman as law clerk in 30 years on the bench; Bill Cosby is fighting 50-year-old sexual assault allegations in a California civil trial.

  • Leading off, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in an emailed statement confirmed a report that it plans to open an office this summer in Berlin, Germany, targeting the area’s strong talent market. The Los Angeles-headquartered firm, which already has offices in Hamburg, Mannheim, Munich, and Stuttgart, said the new office will be led by the firm’s Germany managing partner Marcus Grosch, who will hire a team of associates to work with him. The office will have up to 10 lawyers and have a focus on high-end litigation and arbitration, Quinn said. (
  • In Philadelphia, a shortage of paralegals and legal assistants has some law firms hiring untrained college graduates for positions and training them internally. (

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • A federal appeals court judge has in the 30 years since her appointment hired over 70 law school graduates as law clerk, of whom only one was a woman. She’s among judges skewered for sex discrimination and/or bullying in a recent internal workplace survey conducted by the federal court system. (WaPo)
  • Miami-founded Greenberg Traurig roughly doubled its office space in Minneapolis’ Wells Fargo Center and now has about 23,000 square feet in the building. It entered the Twin Cities market in 2019. (Minneapolis Business Journal)
  • Bill Cosby’s attorneys say their defense case has been upended by a last minute shift in evidence in a civil trial over allegations that Cosby sexually assaulted a teenage girl a half century ago. (Associated Press)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Alston & Bird grabbed Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher restructuring partners J. Eric Wise and Matthew Kelsey as partners in New York in its financial restructuring and reorganization practice; Polsinelli added four attorneys to its national real estate practice. Former Allen Matkins senior counsel Jed Bonner joined as principal in San Francisco. Former Greenberg Traurig of counsel Emina Kwok and former Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg partner Patrick Maloney joined as shareholders in Chicago. Scott Smithson, who was at Dentons as senior managing associate, joined Polsinelli as a shareholder in Saint Louis; real estate attorney Kathryn Goldberger joined Holland & Knight‘s West Palm Beach, Florida, office as a partner. She was previously in-house counsel at Westbrook Partners, a real estate private equity firm; Nelson Mullins poached a team of three corporate/real estate transaction lawyers from Sullivan & Worcester in Boston. John Balboni and Matt Lane join as partners, and Robert Yamartino as of counsel. (
  • Snell & Wilmer brought in commercial finance partner Jeffrey Martin in Portland, Oregon. He arrives after about 10 years at Tomasi Salyer Martin; Neal Gerber Eisenberg snagged Reed Smith employee benefits attorney Andrew Douglass as a partner. He was earlier at Polsinelli as shareholder and employee benefits and executive compensation group chair; Cozen O’Connor recruited Proskauer Rose wealth planning attorney Margo Ceresney as a member in its private client, trusts and estates group in Boca Raton; McGlinchey Stafford picked up cannabis attorney Heidi Urness in Seattle as a member and chair of its cannabis practice group; Epstein Becker Green hired cannabis-focused health-care attorney Lisa Gora in Newark, New Jersey. She arrives after over 10 years at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A. (
  • Former Manatt partner Ned Sherman, a veteran entertainment business in-house leader, said he has taken a job as chief business affairs & legal officer at Skybound Entertainment. Skybound is, among other things, the media production company behind The Walking Dead franchise; Canada-headquartered cannabis company TerrAscend Corp named experienced in-house leader Lynn Gefen, former Holland & Knight corporate attorney, as chief legal officer and corporate secretary, effective May 23. (


  • London-based legal workflow automation startup Legl said it closed an $18 million funding round, a year after it raised $7 million in a round. (Tech Crunch)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at; Darren Bowman at