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October 4, 2011 7:14 PM

Quinn Emanuel Adds High-Profile Litigator Schapiro

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

Litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan announced Tuesday that it has brought in a high-profile lateral partner who it expects will bolster an already strong intellectual property practice.

Andrew Schapiro, most recently a litigation partner at Mayer Brown, joined Quinn Emanuel effective Tuesday as a partner and will split his time between New York and Chicago. Schapiro, 48, made headlines last year when he led YouTube and its parent company, Google, to a summary judgment win in June in a $1 billion copyright infringement suit brought by Viacom in federal district court in New York.

Am Law Daily sibling publication The Am Law Litigation Daily named Schapiro "Litigator of the Week" for his efforts in the case, which included arguing that the Digital Millenium Copyright Act's safe harbor provisions shielded YouTube from liability if it yanked copyrighted material when asked to do so.

Schapiro—a Harvard Law School graduate whose time on that school's law review overlapped with President Barack Obama's—has represented major corporations and individuals in trials and appellate matters over the past 18 years. He concentrates on intellectual property, white-collar and securities litigation, complex commercial litigation, and appeals.

Schapiro says his decision to leave Mayer Brown came about quickly, and that he had not been planning to leave before receiving overtures from a pair of Quinn partners that he has gotten to know professionally—Stephen Neuwirth and appellate chair Kathleen Sullivan—as well as founding partners John Quinn and William Urquhart. He says he was intrigued by the firm's quick rise to prominence since being founded in 1986 and by the number of complex business cases it handles.

"They've come on the scene like a rocket in terms of litigation," Schapiro says. "I hope to be on my feet in front of juries, or panels of judges, even more than I have been in the past. And that's what I love to do."

He also specifically cited Quinn Emanuel's strong appellate practice—bolstered by the arrival of Sullivan in 2005—as a major draw.

In a statement released by the firm, Quinn called Schapiro "a unique talent," adding that "he can master and explain the most complex cases to any audience, be it a jury of ordinary citizens or a panel of sophisticated judges."

Schapiro expects a fairly smooth transition, saying that his new firm already has a history with some of his clients, including Google. The firm has represented Google on other copyright infringement claims in the past, including winning a partial summary judgment on claims filed by pornographic publisher Perfect 10 last September. Quinn Emanuel is also one of Google's go-to firms for patent litigation.

One of Schapiro's first orders of business at his new firm will be a familiar one, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is to hear oral arguments in Viacom v. YouTube on October 18. As it was at the district court level, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is acting as YouTube's cocounsel on the matter.

In an interesting twist, Schapiro's former Mayer Brown colleague, Brian Willen, who worked on the YouTube case with Schapiro, left Mayer Brown for Wilson Sonsini in early September. Viacom, meanwhile, has hired former U.S. solicitor general Theodore Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to handle the appeal.

Schapiro was not necessarily known as an IP expert prior to landing a role on the Google case, according to The Lit Daily. He made his way onto that matter after learning that Google's in-house litigation team was looking for a trial lawyer with both Southern District of New York and appellate experience.

Now, he joins a firm that took home The American Lawyer's 2010 "IP Litigation Department of the Year" honor as part of a practice group that continues to expand. In addition to welcoming Schapiro, Quinn Emanuel also expanded its New York office with the April addition of partner Carey Ramos, previously cochair of the communications and technology group, as well as the IP litigation group, at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

Quinn Emanuel, which ranks at 51 on The Am Law 100, reported 2010 gross revenues of $550 million and profits per partner of $3.6 million.

Schapiro says Quinn Emanuel is the only firm for which he would have considered leaving Mayer Brown. "Quinn is doing a lot of cool and exciting stuff," he says. "I think a lot of litigators out there have been watching them with amazement. And, not to be immodest, but I think they were watching me too and here we are."

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