Australia – Quinn Emanuel’s Latest Move into More Product Liability and Insurance Work

Yesterday’s news was litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel taking almost 20 product liability and insurance lawyers from Skadden Arps and Weil Gotshal. Today’s news is the Quinn firm opening an office in Australia. And one of the new lawyers is a long-time Australian lawyer who focuses on insurance and product liability issues.

Interesting times are ahead as companies and law firms gear up for coming waves of toxic tort litigation. One suspects that Quinn Emanuel and some of its clients are noting that cancer rates are soaring around the world, not to mention internet advertising and late night tv ads seeking claimants. As to cancer, global cancer rates are expected to double by 2020 and triple by 2030. It’s also clear that some cancer (and other diseases) arise from multi-generational risks and harms created by external sources and passed down from parent to child or even grand-child – DES daughters and grand-daughters are prime examples.

Meanwhile, molecular biology is moving forward at a stunning pace. New scientific findings and tools emerge almost daily, in many instances powered by vast computing power, which continues to increase. Researchers therefore are starting to develop some level of "fingerprints" for diseases, mutations, epigenetic changes, and ultimately causation. Consider this example of tracking molecular changes caused by smoking.

We lawyers have much work to do to start catching up to science, and thinking seriously about stunning changes in what’s possible and knowable. SCOTUS already is wrestling with some issues regarding DNA and where that technology will be in a few years.

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About Kirk

Since becoming a lawyer in 1983, Kirk’s over 30 years of practice have focused on advising a wide range of corporations, associations, and individuals (as both plaintiffs and defendants) on both tort and commercial law issues centered around “mass torts.”

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