11 May 2021

Quinn Emanuel signs up Miami's high-profile mayor for Sunshine State launch

Mayor Francis Suarez giving a speech in downtown Miami after George Floyd protest riots

Mayor Francis Suarez giving a speech in downtown Miami after George Floyd protests in June 2020

Francis Suarez joins laterals from Hogan Lovells, Greenspoon Marder and Clifford Chance to help found third US office this year

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has signed up Miami’s mayor, Francis Suarez, along with partners from Hogan Lovells and Greenspoon Marder to open an office in the city.

It is the business litigation specialist’s third new US office this year, following on from Austin and Atlanta, and will initially be staffed by 10 lawyers.

The office will be co-led by John O’Sullivan, a courtroom business disputes advocate, who is joining from Hogan Lovells. Moving across with him are Jason Sternberg, who is joining as a partner, and associates Joshua Fordin and David Nabors. 

Suarez is joining in the role of counsel from Greenspoon Marder, where he was also a counsel, along with partner Olga Vieira, whose trial experience focuses on commercial litigation and product liability.  

The Republican was elected mayor in 2017 and has won international recognition for his efforts to promote Miami as the next Silicon Valley and the world’s cryptocurrency capital. 

“It’s no secret that I have made it a top priority to attract the top companies and investors here; given Miami’s staggering growth, it is the perfect setting for a world-class litigation firm like Quinn Emanuel,” he said.

The new office’s contingent of laterals is completed by associate Thalia Lamping, who is joining from UK Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance’s New York office.

Three partners, meanwhile, are relocating to Miami. Samuel Williamson is moving from New York to co-head the office. He is also co-head of the firm’s investigation, government enforcement and white collar defence practice, along with Alex Spiro, who is moving to Miami with him from New York.

Relocating from Washington DC is David Orta. A Miami native, he is chair of the firm’s US international arbitration practice and of the Latin America international arbitration practice.

“We have big plans for Miami," said the firm’s founder, John Quinn. “Under Mayor Suarez’s leadership, it has become a magnet for businesses, entrepreneurs and investment talent.”

The firm said it expected to lease office space in the near future. For its part, national practice Greenspoon Marder has responded to the loss of Suarez by signing up his father Xavier L. Suarez, himself a former mayor of Miami, as of counsel.

Last month, Kirkland & Ellis announced plans to set up shop in Austin to tap into the city’s growing market for technology and renewable energy. 

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