Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is expecting a new group of lawyers from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom by early next week, following partners Sheila Birnbaum and Mark Cheffo. The firm said the new group includes 12 associates and of counsel.

Two weeks ago, Birnbaum, dubbed the "Queen of Toxic Torts," announced she was leaving Skadden, where she had been for 33 years and where she was coleader of the mass torts and insurance litigation group. Birnbaum is now sharing leadership of the product liability and mass torts practice at Quinn with Cheffo.

Peter Calamari, managing partner of Quinn’s New York office, said yesterday that the new Quinn associates and of counsel will generally practice in the mass torts area. "We need skilled people to deal with the business that we expect to be handling," he said, calling Birnbaum and Cheffo’s arrival at Quinn "a perfect fit."

The Skadden lawyers joining Quinn as of counsel include Douglas Fleming, Bert Wolff, David Weinraub, Ellen Quackenbos, Mara Cusker Gonzalez, Douglas Dunham and Katherine Armstrong, according to Quinn. The new group will start by May 13, according to a Quinn spokeswoman.

Representatives for Skadden did not return messages for comment.