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Quinn Emanuel Hires Arbitration Specialist Melis Acuner from US Rival in London

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London – Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan UK LLP announced today that Melis Acuner has joined the firm as a partner. Melis was previously at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft where she was the lead partner in its international arbitration and litigation practice.

Melis’s clients include major energy, steel, telecoms, media and construction companies. Whilst the vast majority of her work involves international arbitration, she also advises clients on high value commercial litigation. Notable representations for Melis include advising a Middle Eastern oil and gas company on multiple multibillion-dollar LCIA arbitrations and an Eastern European company in connection with a dispute in excess of €1bn arising out of its shareholding in a telecoms company in the Middle East.

Melis was part of a team that represented Crescent Petroleum and Dana Gas in an LCIA claim against Kurdistan, winning US$1.98 billion. The dispute later settled, with Kurdistan agreeing to pay US$1 billion and grant new oil and gas exploration blocks to the companies. Melis has previously been instructed by Crescent Petroleum and Dana Gas, in an LCIA claim, brought against Hungary’s MOL Group. She also represented United Capital Partners Group in parallel arbitration and multijurisdictional litigation proceedings relating to interests in Russia’s largest social online networking service, VKontakte, which settled following the US$1.47 billion sale of a stake in Limited to Group Limited.

Melis has been the lead lawyer on all her work for clients in the past decade and is a member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR of the International Chamber of Commerce.

Melis said, “Having built a successful disputes practice I felt the time was right to take it to another level. Quinn Emanuel’s litigation-only, conflict-light model was highly attractive to me and I am excited to be joining a firm that works on the world’s biggest, most complex disputes.”

Quinn Emanuel has now made three significant lateral partner hires in London in the past year, with competition partner Lambros Kilaniotis and IP partner David Lancaster joining from RPC and Pinsent Masons respectively. The firm now has 28 partners and 78 associates/of counsel in London.

Richard East, Quinn Emanuel’s London Senior Partner, said: “Melis is a fantastic lawyer with a material practice and will no doubt contribute to the continued growth of the Quinn practice in London. We can’t wait for her to get started.”

John B. Quinn, Quinn Emanuel’s Founder and Chairman, said: “Melis has outstanding credentials and a track record for winning cases. She will be a great fit with our fast-expanding London practice.”

The partners in Quinn Emanuel’s International Arbitration practice look forward to welcoming another highly accomplished arbitration specialist in London.

Stephen Jagusch KC, the Global Chair of Quinn Emanuel’s International Arbitration practice added: “With her charisma, dynamism and great client relationships, Melis is sure to thrive as a member of our team. We and our clients greatly look forward to working with Melis and continuing to cement our reputation as one of the finest in the industry”.