Top partners at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan created a “boys’ club” culture that denies women and racial minorities equitable pay, along with access to promotions and other career opportunities, a former female associate alleged in a discrimination lawsuit in federal court.

The former associate, Crystal B. Nwaneri, contends in her pro se complaint that Quinn Emanuel leaders retaliated against her after she raised concerns about a “hostile environment” in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office upon returning from maternity leave in 2015. Nwaneri sued Quinn Emanuel last year in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In an amended complaint filed in September, she described instances underscoring what she characterized as a “frat-house atmosphere that not only tolerated, but welcomed, its members’ antics.”

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