Manatt snags Jack Quinn

Longtime Washington lawyer and lobbyist Jack Quinn is joining Manatt, Phelps & Phillips as leader of the firm’s federal regulatory and government practice.

Quinn is making the move after stepping away at the beginning of this year from QGA Public Affairs, a firm he co-founded in 2000.

“Jack is a Washington legend,” said Douglas Boggs, the managing partner of Manatt’s Washington office. “A definitive Capitol insider, he knows the executive and legislative realms from the inside out. When trouble strikes, Jack is who you want to help navigate the regulatory and political shoals inside the Beltway.”

Quinn, who served as White House counsel during the Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBusiness coalition aims to provide jobs to Afghan refugees Biden nominates ex-State Department official as Export-Import Bank leader Obamas, Bushes and Clintons joining new effort to help Afghan refugees MORE administration, will also be a partner in Manatt’s litigation group.


“I have long been an admirer of Manatt’s unique approach — bringing top-tier lawyering, notably in the litigation group, together with astute business consulting and strategic advocacy,” he said in a statement.

“This seamless combination of disciplines mirrors my own career to this point, and allows the firm to provide particularly creative, highly effective solutions for clients. The energy and engagement here are infectious, and I look forward to working with this talented team,” he added.

After Quinn left QGA Public Affairs, which he had founded with current Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie, in January, the firm largely disbanded. It had soaring revenues in its first decade, but lobbying revenues had dipped significantly in recent years.

Quinn’s lobbying clients included U.S. Steel, State Farm insurance, Sony, and the victims and family members of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

While working for those families, he was a force behind the effort to pass legislation that would clear the way for those families to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged involvement in the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The country has denied having any ties to the hijackers, most of whom were from Saudi Arabia.

The legislation passed Congress late last year, and then overcame a White House veto from then-President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOur remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Chelsea Manning tests positive for COVID-19 MORE.

“In his decades of experience as a Washington attorney, Quinn’s strategic skills have enabled him to guide CEOs, candidates and office-holders through complex legal and policy challenges — and to secure critical victories for his clients,” the firm said in a statement announcing his hire. 

Quinn, like many others, started his Washington career on Capitol Hill, working for a Senate committee while he attended Georgetown University. 

Throughout the 1970s, he held roles in the policy and campaign world, including working on what was then called the Senate Nutrition Committee, at the Democratic National Committee and — at age 26 — served as campaign director for former Rep. Mo Udall’s (D-Ariz.) presidential bid.

He then joined law firm Arnold & Porter, where he worked for two decades, before being appointed as former Vice President Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreTrump's election fraud claims pose risks for GOP in midterms Don't 'misunderestimate' George W. Bush Why the pro-choice movement must go on the offensive MORE’s chief of staff during the Clinton administration, and later serving as White House counsel to Clinton.

“His experience both in and out of government adds a further dimension to our strong national practices, serving clients who face major crises that may involve litigation, regulatory, public policy or legislative elements,” said William Quicksilver, Manatt’s chief executive officer and managing partner. “Companies and individuals under government scrutiny at all levels will benefit from his exceptional legal and crisis management counsel.”