Arent Fox hires litigator

March 1, 2017

Los Angeles Daily Journal

By Eli Wolfe

In its first major lateral hire of 2017, Arent Fox LLP has hired a commercial litigator from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP to join the firm’s Los Angeles office.

It’s the first in a series of high-value acquisitions planned by the firm, according to Los Angeles managing partner Aaron Jacoby.

John S. Purcell, who joined Arent Fox on Wednesday, is a member of the complex litigation practice where he focuses on intellectual property matters, including copyright, patent, trademark, idea theft and unfair competition issues.

According to Jacoby, Purcell is adding a significant book of business to the firm with several clients.

“He has a very solid, high-value practice and we’re very happy that he’s bringing it,” Jacoby said.

Purcell, who joined Quinn Emanuel in 1991, has recently been involved in a diverse array of matters, including a coverage case involving an insurance company, a conflict between Airbnb Inc. and LA’s rent stabilization ordinance, and a jurisidctional dispute involving an official from the Cambodian government.


In the past, he has represented Sony Corp. in class actions involving electronic products.


Purcell said his decision to work at Arent Fox was motivated by a desire to recapture the feeling he had when he first started at Quinn Emanuel when the firm was just 20 attorneys and starting to build itself up.


“Arent Fox is in the process of focusing on building their LA office … and there’s something exciting about helping someone build their office,” he said.


Purcell is the first in what Jacobys says will be a string of lateral hires for Arent Fox over the next year.


According to Jacoby, the firm is planning to add between three and five new partners and several associates over the second quarter, with more laterals potentially down the line.

Jacoby said new attorneys are being brought in to bolster growing practices, which include the complex litigation, intellectual property, real estate, bankruptcy, health care, corporate and automotive groups.


This represents an uptick in hires from last year when the firm brought in just two West Coast laterals — Brian P. Maschler in San Francisco and Samuel J. Miller in Los Angeles.

The hiring plan is a result of Arent Fox’s steady revenue growth in recent years. According to Jacoby, the firm recently broke its own record for gross revenue for the seventh consecutive year, while profit per partner reached $1 million for the first time.


“You can have a spike in one year because of a contingency case, but we’ve really seen our focus pay off,” he added.

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