From Quinn to Dechert, Big Product Liability, Mass Tort Move

People carry umbrellas while walking along Wall Street. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Dechert has hired Quinn Emanuel’s product liability and mass tort co-chairs Sheila Birnbaum and Mark Cheffo.

The two partners will be joined by Douglas E. Fleming, III, according to Dechert.

“Sheila, Mark and Doug are simply some of the best lawyers in this market,” Dechert Chair Andrew Levander said in a statement. “We are absolutely delighted they are joining the firm.”

John B. Quinn, managing partner of Quinn Emanuel, said the move was the result of client conflicts with the firm’s product liability litigation.

Said Birnbaum: “We have greatly enjoyed our five years as partners in Quinn Emanuel and the opportunity to work with its many talented trial lawyers. But we have come to the realization that our particular practice was creating too many conflicts with the firm’s diverse litigation practice.”

Birnbaum, a products liability defense lawyer known as the “Queen of Torts,” has negotiated large settlements on behalf of the NFL, Pfizer, State Farm and other Fortune 500 companies. She also served as the special master of the revived September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

Birnbaum and Cheffo both joined Quinn Emanuel from Skadden in 2013.

Cheffo confirmed the news of his move but declined to provide any additional comment. Fleming could not immediately be reached for comment.

Earlier this year, 10 partners, led by Philippe Z. Selendy and Faith E. Gay, left Quinn to form a trial boutique.