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Quinn Emanuel’s $185 Million Fee Request: Bargain or Rip-off?

Aug. 4, 2020, 1:04 PM

A request by Quinn Emanuel to receive $185 million in fees for a case that required relatively few hours but achieved a huge reward highlights a fundamental argument about whether lawyers should be compensated based on the amount of time they work or the value they bring to a case.

Time-Based: Quinn Emanuel’s lawyers worked nearly 10,000 hours on a class-action case that is returning nearly $4 billion to a group of insurers, meaning the lawyers’ average hourly rate could be larger than $18,500 if granted the full award.

Percentage-Based: The request could be seen as a bargain through a different measurement. The fee works out to 5% of the award, a figure often exceeded on notable securities fraud and antitrust settlements. Roy Strom has the story.

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WORKFLOWS

Cahill Gordon & Reindel announced that Jonathan Brownson and Jake Keaveny will be joining as partners in London from Allen & Overy, effective Sept. 21 | Paul Weiss grabbed two Boies Schiller Flexner partners for its Litigation Department; Meredith Dearborn will be part of a new office in Northern California, and Jessica Phillips will be in Washington | Proskauer added partners Frederic L. Ragucci, Michael M. Mezzacappa, Marc B. Friess and Ji Hye You to its Private Credit practice in New York from Schulte Roth & Zabel | Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has hired Connell O’Neill as a partner in its Technology Transactions and Privacy practice in Hong Kong from Allen & Overy; and also added Stephen T. Olson as a partner and head of its private equity practice in Houston from Jones Day | FisherBroyles said that Gene M. Burd has joined the Washington office from Arnall Golden Gregory | Simpson Thacher & Bartlett hired Gibson Dunn private equity specialist James Howe for its Mergers and Acquisitions practice as a partner in London | McGuireWoods added former senior Manhattan federal prosecutor Jason Cowley as a partner in Charlotte | Crowell & Moring’s Washington office added Department of Justice trial lawyer Michael Shaheen to the firm’s Health Care and White Collar practices, along with Preston Pugh, who joins from Miller & Chevalier and will serve on the steering committee of Crowell’s FCA practice.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Jerome Ashton in Washington at jashton@bloomberglaw.com

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