Law Firm Profile
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates By Rebecca Neely Founded in 1948 by Marshall Skadden, John Slate and Les Arps, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates is a prominent law firm based in New York City. With over 2,000 attorneys in 24 offices, it is one of the largest and highest grossing law firms in the world. Total employees number nearly 4,500.
Skadden’s world headquarters are in the Condé Nast Building, Times Square, New York Skadden is among the largest law firms in the U.S. in terms of revenue. In 1999, the firm became the first to exceed $1 billion in annual revenue. Despite its size, Skadden is known for its refusal to expand by mergers with other law firms or large acquisitions of practice groups. The firm has never acquired a practice group larger than six attorneys, in sharp contrast with rivals such as Baker & McKenzie, which has repeatedly absorbed local practices, and DLA Piper and Clifford Chance, which are the products of large mergers. In addition to its headquarters in New York, which is the largest single law office in the U.S., Skadden’s domestic practice is well known in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Wilmington and Washington, D.C., offices. The firm also has high profile practices in London, Frankfurt, Munich, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. The firm’s most well known alumni include former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, Chelsea Football Club’s Chairman Bruce Buck, and the late comedian Greg Giraldo. Often considered the most recognizable law firm outside the legal industry, the firm is considered one of the most prestigious in the world, consistently ranking in the top five of Vault’s annual list of the top law firms in the U.S. and boasting highly competitive foreign practices. Among Skadden’s main practice areas are mergers and acquisitions (M&A), litigation, securities law, taxation, and bankruptcy representation. Many Fortune 500 top 50 companies are, or have been, clients of Skadden. Famed for pioneering mergers and acquisitions and hostile takeovers in the American corporate environment, Skadden
has played a significant role in U.S. and international business. The firm has participated in many notable deals and cases, including the RJR Nabisco buyout, orchestrated by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. It is the largest such deal in history, adjusted for inflation. Partner Peter Atkins led the Skadden team, which advised the RJR board of directors as to the financial soundness of the respective bids. Skadden’s fee at the time was reported to be $25 million. The firm represented HealthSouth Corporation, based in Birmingham, Alabama, after the Securities and Exchange Commission charged former management of committing fraud. Scott Simpson leads the European M&A division from London and has represented Gucci Group and Arcelor during their attempts to repel high-profile hostile takeovers. Gregory Miao and Jon Christianson of the Hong Kong office led the IPO of the China Construction Bank, the largest of 2005. The firm currently represents XM Satellite Radio Holdings, Inc., in its approximately $13 billion tax-free merger-of-equals with Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc. The firm represented Yahoo! in its proposed takeover by Microsoft. Unlike some firms which have introduced two-tier partnerships with equity and non-equity partners, Skadden maintains a one-tier partnership, in which all partners are equity partners and share ownership of the firm. Joseph H. Flom became the firm’s first associate in 1948. Of the firm’s five ‘’name’’ partners, Flom is the only one still living. He is recognized as a pioneer in the field of mergers and acquisitions. Skadden has been the recipient of innumerable awards and honors. These include Chambers and Partners selecting Skadden as the Global Corporate law Firm of the Year for 2006. In 2006, Corporate Board Member Magazine named Skadden the top corporate law firm in America, as selected by 1,390 directors of publicly traded companies.
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Law Firm Profile
Vault, Inc. ranked Skadden fourth on its ‘’Top 100 Most Prestigious Firms - 2008’’, a survey which asked law firm associates to rank the prestige of various firms.
means and small non-profits. In addition, Skadden lawyers have been instrumental in the start-up of organizations created to provide legal services to those in need.
In 2007, Skadden was ranked #9 on the Avery Index list of the Best Prestigious Law Firms to Work For. Skadden ranked first by volume and deal count in representing issuers of U.S. High Yield Offerings, with 10 deals worth US$5 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Q3 2006 Legal Adviser League Tables published in October 2006.
In addition to actual pro bono legal work, the firm’s lawyers have been active in a wide variety of charitable endeavors, working with, sitting on boards of, and even running, many types of civic, community, cultural, governmental, educational and medical organizations, a number of which seek to improve the lives of the less fortunate.
A commitment to public service has always been deeply ingrained in the firm’s culture. In the mid-’80s, Skadden was one of the first firms to have a senior lawyer devote a substantial portion of his time to coordinating the firm’s pro bono efforts. The firm has always been a staunch supporter of The Legal Aid Society in New York and similar organizations in other cities, providing both legal services and financial support. The firm’s New York and Washington, D.C. offices ‘’lend’’ attorneys on a rotating basis to work full time for groups providing free legal services to individuals of limited
The Skadden Fellowship Foundation was established in 1988, the same time as the firm’s 40th anniversary. The Foundation demonstrates the firm’s commitment to public interest work, which annually provides two-year fellowships to at least 25 very talented young lawyers so that they may pursue the practice of public interest law on a full-time basis. The fellowship is considered the most prestigious public-interest grant in the U.S. and is highly sought after by graduates of top law schools. As of 2006, the firm had awarded 473 fellowships.
Published on Jan 9, 2013
Often considered the most recognizable law firm outside the legal industry, the firm is considered one of the most prestigious in the world,...