Sheila Birnbaum and Mark Cheffo, co-chairs of the products liability practice at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, are leaving the firm with a third products liability partner to join Dechert in New York.

Quinn Emanuel announced the departures Tuesday, citing what it described as conflicts with other parts of the firm’s litigation practice.

“Quinn Emanuel has achieved great success representing both plaintiffs and defendants in a broad range of practice areas,” managing partner John Quinn said in a statement, adding that “over time our broad and diverse practice has created many conflicts for particular clients we have represented in products liability litigation.”

Mark Cheffo. Photo: Rick Kopstein/ALM

Birnbaum, Cheffo and products liability partner Douglas Fleming all joined Quinn Emanuel’s New York office in 2013 from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, along with 11 other products liability attorneys.

Birnbaum, who has been dubbed the “queen of toxic torts” for her influence on the practice, had spent 33 years at Skadden, where she played a groundbreaking role in products liability cases involving oral contraceptives, breast implants and other litigation.

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