Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is burnishing its appellate credentials with the landing of Christopher Landau, a prominent U.S. Supreme Court and appellate advocate. Landau had been a senior partner at Kirkland & Ellis.
The announcement comes on the heels of Quinn Emanuel’s recent hiring of Alex Spiro, a noted criminal trial lawyer formerly with Brafman & Associates.
Spiro is known, among other wins, for his securing of an acquittal for NBA player Thabo Sefolosha, who contested his arrest and treatment by New York police.
Another notable recent hire was Luke Nikas, from Boies Schiller & Flexner, who is well known for his representation in cases involving the art world.
Quinn Emanuel also recently snagged a high-profile client, Steve Bannon, the former chief strategist for President Trump, who is enmeshed in Robert Mueller’s investigation probing Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign. He will be represented by William Burck at Quinn Emanuel.
Landau, a Harvard Law graduate and a former law clerk to two Supreme Court justices–former Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas–has argued eight cases before the nation’s top court. He was mentioned as a candidate for the Trump Administration’s pick for Solicitor General.
He didn’t get the job, nor did he land a federal judgeship that was also rumored, but he is going on to greener pastures money-wise.
Among BigLaw firms, Quinn Emanuel partners are top earners, hauling in around $5 million a year, according to the annual profits-per-partner rankings compiled by American Lawyer.
His new colleagues include Kathleen Sullivan, also a partner, who has argued 11 cases before the Supreme Court.
In a statement, Landau referred to Sullivan as a major influence in his decision to join the firm.
“Kathleen was once my teacher in law school, and in the years since I haven’t met a finer lawyer or person,” he said. “She and I share the belief that a successful appellate practice must be part and parcel of a firm’s overall litigation practice.”
Landau’s resume boasts a long list of major cases across all levels of the judicial system. It includes successfully representing a group of federal judges who brought legal action alleging that federal lawmakers violated the U.S. Constitution when they withheld legally mandated salary adjustments for members of the judiciary.
When the judges won, and pay freezes dating back to 1995 were canceled, all federal judges received five-figure pay raises thanks to Landau’s winning arguments.
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