Elinor Sutton has practiced law at Quinn Emanuel for more than fifteen years in both its Dallas and New York offices, where she heads the firm’s East Coast Infrastructure and Construction Practice. A graduate of Yale Law School, she is an experienced trial and arbitration lawyer, and her formidable skills have allowed her to steer her clients to success both in and out of the courtroom.
Ellie has tried cases for plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts throughout the country, as well as before domestic and international arbitration panels. Her practice focuses on high-stakes complex commercial litigation, including intellectual property, securities, finance, energy, and employment. She has represented a broad array of clients in the fields of banking, oil and gas, telecommunications, software development, aviation, and construction, as well as representing investment, private equity, family, and hedge funds.
With an undergraduate degree in economics from Villanova University, Ellie’s financial expertise provides her with the distinct ability to understand the complex financial situations her clients face, and to work with them hand-in-hand to ensure the best strategic outcome. Clients have praised her judgment, tenacity, and intellect, as well as the value she places on open communication and the importance of examining a dispute from every possible angle.
Ellie has been recognized by Thomson Reuter’s Super Lawyers as a Super Lawyer in General & Business Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution in New York City, as well as a “Rising Star” and a “Top Woman Rising Star” repeatedly from 2014 through 2019.
Prior to attending law school, Ellie worked as a public high school teacher through Teach For America.
- Access Industries
- Beam Suntory
- Represents IBM in a dispute with a competitor claiming broad rights as a licensee in software code underpinning the IBM Watson system that successfully competed on the television program Jeopardy!
- Represented plaintiff Qualcomm in a dispute concerning the alleged theft of trade secrets related to cellular baseband modem chipset technology by Apple. The case was resolved as part of a global settlement between the parties that included a payment from Apple to Qualcomm and a chipset supply agreement between the companies. Reuters reported that following the announcement of the settlement, shares of Qualcomm jumped 23 percent, their biggest gain in more than 19 years. See “Qualcomm stock jumps 23 percent on surprise settlement with Apple, ” Reuters, 4/16/2019.
- Obtained a defense jury verdict of non-infringement for two patents for a 3D metal printing company. The case also involved allegations of trade secret theft concerning 3D printing methodology, which were favorably settled for the client prior to reaching a jury verdict.
- Represented a client in a dispute with a former employee concerning the former employee’s threat to publicly disseminate information that the employee had improperly withheld upon resignation. Obtained an injunction requiring the employee to return and not publicly share the improperly withheld information.
- As co-lead class counsel, obtained a landmark civil rights settlement of claims that the New York City Police Department issued more than 900,000 criminal summonses without probable cause as a result of quotas that the NYPD imposed on police officers. As part of the settlement, the City of New York will pay up to $75 million, and has taken or will take significant steps to address NYPD quota, discipline, and officer evaluation policies. Before the City settled, it was subject to sanctions for destroying critical evidence. In the opinion approving the settlement, the court noted, “This civil rights class action is the paradigm of change and progress achievable in a society undergirded by the rule of law.”
- Represented Access Industries and Len Blavatnik in an action seeking more than $3 billion in damages under fraudulent transfer and breach of fiduciary duty theories following the bankruptcy of LyondellBasell Industries AF SCA. After a three-week trial, the judge issued a defense verdict on all but one claim, awarding the trustee only $7 million (about .02% of the $3 billion sought).
- Represented a client that specialized in the purchase, marketing, and shipping of crude oil from source to refinery in a dispute where the client alleged that a pipeline owner was not implementing a FERC Tariff in a non-discriminatory manner. The dispute was settled favorably for the client.
- Represented the reorganized debtor of a major petroleum company in connection with contract rejection damages with multiple counterparties related to FERC governed pipeline agreements. Through mediation, the parties reached a settlement favorable to the client.
- Successfully mediated a dispute for a client involving the theft of the client’s financial trade secrets, ultimately reaching a favorable settlement that provided the client with the relief it sought.
- Represented Alteva, Inc. and its board of directors in a suit where a shareholder alleged that her clients breached their fiduciary duties to public shareholders by entering into a proposed multi-million dollar merger agreement with Momentum Telecom, Inc. Successfully opposed Plaintiff’s request for what could have been a crippling injunction enjoining the shareholder vote on the proposed merger, and Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed its case with prejudice, with no payment being made by her clients.
- Represented American industrialist Len Blavatnik in a case in which we won a judgment awarding $63 million. Mr. Blavatnik alleged that JPMorgan violated its obligations under agreed-upon investment guidelines, which in turn caused substantial losses. He also contended that instead of complying with the conservative guidelines, JPMorgan breached a 20% limit set for mortgage-backed securities by misclassifying securities backed by risky subprime loans as “asset-backed” rather than “mortgage-backed” securities. After a three-week bench trial, the Court rejected JPMorgan’s argument that it should not be liable on grounds that its classification of the risky subprime securities followed “industry practice.” See “JPMorgan Liable To Leonard Blavatnik Over Mortgage Losses,” Reuters, 8/26/13; “Blavatnik Award in JPMorgan Case Raised to $63M,” Law360, 8/29/13.
- Represented Beam Suntory Inc., a global leader in the spirits industry, in a federal litigation where the opposing party was seeking over $100 million in damages. After two years of litigation, the opposing party agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice, with no payment being made by her client Beam Suntory. See “Lawsuit Against Beam Suntory is Withdrawn, ” The Spirits Business, 6/30/2015.
- Represented Joint Provisional Liquidators of the Bermuda hedge fund Parkcentral Global Hub in a matter adverse to JPMorgan Chase. Successfully overturned ex parte pre-judgment attachment of more than $200 million.
- Represented J. Christopher Burch and C. Wonder in Delaware Chancery Court action against Tory Burch and the directors of Tory Burch LLC asserting breach of fiduciary duty claims in the context of a proposed sale of equity interests in this multi-billion dollar fashion brand. Achieved a highly favorable settlement in less than four months after winning a motion for expedited discovery and proceedings, enabling Mr. Burch both to consummate a sale of his interests in Tory Burch LLC and to continue to operate his new fashion brand, C. Wonder.
- Represented significant investor in residential mortgage backed securities alleging breach by Nationstar mortgage servicer in conducting bulk auctions of mortgage notes; successfully obtained temporary restraining order preventing scheduled note auctions.
- Represented AIG Financial Products Corp. in a suit against a large Washington public utility district asserting breach of an interest rate swap agreement related to the district’s issuance of municipal bonds and attained a successful result.
- Represented G-I Holdings (f/k/a GAF) in a contested confirmation hearing in a chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding, defeating the objection of the United States Government, and allowing the nation’s largest roofing manufacturer to emerge from chapter 11 free of asbestos liability.
- Represented a global telecommunications company in a multi-billion dollar patent and contract dispute concerning the technology used in mobile telephones worldwide, which included arbitrations before the American Arbitration Association, court actions in Delaware, Wisconsin and Texas, and numerous additional proceedings worldwide including before the International Trade Commission. BusinessWeek described the case as the "longest running, highest-stakes poker game in the history of the mobile industry" (7/24/08). All matters were settled globally.
- Represented Morgan Stanley in an employment related arbitration concerning complex deferred compensation and related issues, and obtained a favorable settlement.
- Represented a committee of unsecured creditors against secured creditors in an adversary proceeding in bankruptcy court concerning the appropriate distribution of the debtors’ assets.
- Bankruptcy & Restructuring
- Class Action Litigation
- Construction Litigation
- Employment Litigation & Counseling
- Energy Sector Disputes
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Investment Fund Litigation
- Latin America Practice
- Mergers & Acquisitions Litigation
- Securities Litigation
- Structured Finance & Derivatives Litigation
- Cannabis Litigation
- Yale Law School
- Villanova University
(B.A., Economics, summa cum laude, 2002)
- Phi Beta Kappa
- The State Bar of New York
- United States District Courts:
- Southern District of New York
- Eastern District of New York
- The State Bar of Texas
Named a New York Metro Super Lawyer in Alternative Dispute Resolution, General Litigation, and Business Litigation, Super Lawyers in 2019.
- Named a New York Metro Rising Star and Top Women Attorney, Super Lawyers in 2014 through 2019.