Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates
Headquarters 4 Times Square
New York City
United States[1]
No. of offices 22
No. of attorneys Approximately 1,700 [2]
No. of employees 3,500 (estimate, including partners)
Major practice areas Transactions, litigation/controversy and regulatory[3]
Key people Eric J. Friedman[4]
Executive partner
Claudia I. Joyce[5]
Executive director / Strategy
Noah J. Puntus[6]
Executive director / CFO
Revenue US$ 2.41 billion (2015) [7]
Date founded April 1, 1948
Founder Marshall Skadden, John Slate, and Les Arps
Company type Limited liability partnership

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates, commonly known as Skadden or sometimes Skadden Arps, is an international law firm based in New York City. Skadden is one of the highest-grossing law firms in the world[8], one of the largest in the United States (by number of lawyers), and is widely considered to be one of the most esteemed; the firm ranks third on the Vault Law 100 list of Most Prestigious Law Firms,[9] and has maintained a position near the top of the list since ranking began in 2007. Forbes magazine has called Skadden "Wall Street's most powerful law firm."[10] The firm has been ranked "America's Best Corporate Law Firm" in Corporate Board Member's survey of public company directors every year since 2001.[11]


  • 1948 — The firm is founded in New York by Marshall Skadden, John Slate and Les Arps.[12]
  • 1959William Meagher joins the firm. Elizabeth Head, the firm's first female attorney, is hired.[12]
  • 1960 — The firm's name becomes Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.[12]
  • 1961 — Peter Mullen, who will later serve as Skadden's first executive partner, joins the firm.[13]
  • 1973 — The firm opens its second office, in Boston.[12]
  • 1981 — Peggy L. Kerr becomes Skadden's first female partner.[14]
  • 1985 — Skadden ranks as one of the U.S.'s three largest law firms.[12]
  • 1987 — The firm opens its first international office, in Tokyo.[12]
  • 1988 — The firm founds the Skadden Fellowship Foundation.[12]
  • 2000 — Skadden's New York City headquarters moves to 4 Times Square, the "Condé Nast Building."[12]
  • 2008 — With the City College of New York, the firm launches the Skadden, Arps Honors Program, to increase diversity in law schools and the legal profession.[15]
  • 2011Joseph Flom, the last living name partner, dies.[16]
  • 2014 — The firm opens its 23rd office, in Seoul.[17]
  • 2015 — Skadden becomes the first law firm to advise on more than $1 trillion worth of deals in a single year.[18]


As of December 2016, Skadden has 22 offices worldwide.[19] It plans to move its Manhattan headquarters from 4 Times Square to the Manhattan West complex near Hudson Yards.[20]

Key people

In February 2011, there were 432 Skadden partners worldwide.[21] As of December 2016, there are 381 partners worldwide. Unlike some firms that 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.[22] Among the more notable partners, of counsel and counsel are:


In 2015 and 2016, Skadden was the fourth largest law firm in the U.S. by revenue.[32] In the 2015 Global 100 survey by The American Lawyer, Skadden ranked as the fourth highest grossing law firm in the world.[33] In 2016, Skadden had approximately 1,700 attorneys in 22 offices;[33] in 2011, the firm had approximately 1,900 attorneys in 23 offices.[34] Measured by the number of attorneys, Skadden is the fifth largest law firm in New York and 12th largest in the United States.[33][35] In 2016, Skadden was 187th on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies by revenue.[36] Previously, the firm ranked 335th[37] in 1995, 194th[38] in 2003 and 213th in 2010.[39] Based on the 2017 Vault Law 100 survey of law firm associates by, Skadden is the third most prestigious U.S. firm at which to work.[40] The NYSE Governance Services and advisory firm FTI Consulting named Skadden the top U.S. law firm in 2016, a position held by the firm since 2001; the annual findings are published by Corporate Board Member in its list of "America's Best Corporate Law Firms."[41][42] In 2015, Skadden became the first law firm ever to handle more than $1 trillion in M&A deals in a single year[43][44] and, for the third time in six years, the Financial Times' "Innovative Lawyers" report named Skadden the most innovative law firm in North America.[45][46][47] In the 2016 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Skadden received the most top rankings among law firms, including 67 Band 1 attorney rankings, 35 Band 1 practice rankings and five Star Individual rankings.[48][49]

Other work

Skadden Fellowship Foundation

Through the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, the firm sponsors law school graduates who wish to practice public interest law. The foundation was established in 1988 in honor of the firm's 40th anniversary. The Los Angeles Times has called the program "a legal Peace Corps."[50] Fellows work with a sponsoring organization that provides legal services to the poor, elderly, homeless, disabled and disenfranchised. Skadden pays fellows a salary of $52,000 (as of 2016),[51] plus all the fringe benefits the sponsoring organization offers its employees. Through 2016, the firm has awarded 791 fellowships.[52] Since the program's inception, nearly 90 percent of its fellows have remained in public interest or public sector work.[53]

Political contributions

Skadden partners and employees tend to support and contribute more to Democratic political candidates than to Republicans.[54] Prominent lawyers at the firm endorsed and financially supported John Kerry in his campaign to become president of the United States in 2004.[55][56] In the run-up to Super Tuesday 2008, Skadden hosted a phone bank in support of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.[57][58]

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Skadden was one of the top law firms contributing to federal candidates during the 2012 election cycle, donating $1.98 million, 76% to Democrats.[59] By comparison, during that same period Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld donated $2.56 million, 66% to Democrats[59] and oil conglomerate ExxonMobil donated $2.66 million, 88% to Republicans.[60] From 1990 through 2008, Skadden contributed $11.93 million to federal campaigns; between 2000 and 2008 the firm spent $2.2 million on lobbying.[61]

Notable alumni

In addition to numerous professors and partners at other firms, some of the more notable former Skadden attorneys include:


  1. "Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, LLP". Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  2. "Forbes America's Largest Companies". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  3. "Practices - Skadden, Arps". Archived from the original on 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
  4. "Eric J. Friedman – Skadden".
  5. "Claudia Joyce – Skadden".
  6. "Noah Puntus – Skadden".
  7. "Forbes America's Largest Private Companies". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  8. (retrieved Nov. 21, 2016)
  10. Fisher, Daniel. "Wall Street's Most Powerful Law Firm". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
  11. "America's Top Corporate Law Firms for 2013". FTI Consulting. 2013-05-14. Archived from the original on 2014-02-08. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "History Skadden". Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  13. Walsh, Mary Williams (2011-10-18). "Peter Mullen, a Force Behind Skadden Arps, Dies at 83". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  14. "For Women Lawyers, An Uphill Struggle". New York Times Magazine. March 6, 1988.
  15. "Unique Partnership - CCNY". CCNY. 2013-03-07. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  16. "Joseph H. Flom, Pioneering Lawyer in Mergers and Acquisitions, Dies at 87". New York Times. February 23, 2011.
  17. "Firm Opens Office in Seoul". Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  18. Hoffman, Maureen Farrell and Liz. "Trillion Dollar M&A Milestones". WSJ. Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  19. "Offices". Skadden. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  20. "Times Square Is Having Trouble Hanging On to Office Workers". 2017-11-15. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  21. Skadden > Attorneys Archived February 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. "How Skadden Does It" Archived 2012-04-17 at the Wayback Machine., Andrew Longstreth, The American Lawyer, May 2006
  23. "Professionals - Skadden, Arps". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  24. "Professionals - Skadden, Arps". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
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  28. "Professionals - Skadden, Arps". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  29. "Professionals - Skadden, Arps". Retrieved 2015-05-01.
  30. "Professionals - Skadden, Arps". Retrieved 2015-05-01.
  31. "Professionals *Skadden, Arps". Retrieved 2015-11-16.
  32. "Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher | The American Lawyer". Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  33. 1 2 3 "Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher | The American Lawyer". Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  34. "IRL Largest 250 Law Firms in the U.S." Retrieved November 12, 2003.
  35. "ILRG Largest 350 Law Firms in the US". Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  36. Murphy, Andrea. "America's Largest Private Companies 2016". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  37. "Forbes Largest Private Companies 2003". December 10, 2008. Archived from the original on December 11, 2008.
  38. "Forbes Largest Private Companies 2003". December 11, 2008.
  39. "#213 Skadden, Arps -". Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  40. "|Vault Law 100". Vault. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  41. "NYSE Governance Services FTI Consulting Announce 16th Annual Corporate Law Firms Rankings". Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  42. "Skadden Named Best US Corporate Law Firm for 16th Straight Year | Skadden". Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  43. Hoffman, Maureen Farrell and Liz. "Trillion Dollar M&A Milestones". WSJ. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  44. "With DuPont Deal, Skadden Breaks $1 Trillion M&A Barrier for 2015". The American Lawyer. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  45. "Financial Times, 2012 U.S. Report" (PDF). Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  46. "North America Innovative Lawyers". Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  47. "Skadden Again Ranked #1 for Innovation in North America by the FT | Skadden". Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  48. "Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates - New York - Law Firm Profile - Chambers USA 2016 - Chambers and Partners". Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  49. "Skadden Tops 2016 Chambers USA Rankings | Skadden". Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  51. "Q&A with Susan Butler Plum: Enabling Young Lawyers to Work with the Poor". Harvard AIDS Initiative. 2016-09-22. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  52. "Skadden Foundation homepage". December 16, 2016.
  53. "Skadden Fellows Home". Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  54. "Fundrace 2008 Campaign Donations, Huffington Post
  55. "The New Fat Cats" Archived 2012-02-26 at the Wayback Machine. from Business Week Online April 12, 2004
  56. "Business leaders for Kerry" from St. Petersburg Times August 5, 2004
  57. "Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | Event | Times Square Phone Bank". 2013-01-01. Archived from the original on 2014-02-24. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
  58. "Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | Event | Times Square Phone Bank - LAST PUSH". 2013-01-01. Archived from the original on 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
  59. 1 2 "Lawyers & Lobbyists: Top Contributors to Federal Candidates, Parties, and Outside Groups". Center for Responsive Politics.
  60. "Energy/Natural Resources: Top Contributors to Federal Candidates, Parties, and Outside Groups". Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  61. "Organizations: Skadden, Arps et al". Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  63. Palmer, Doug (April 27, 2017). "Stephen Vaughn, the Hamiltonian at USTR". Politico. Retrieved May 11, 2017.

Further reading

  • Caplan, Lincoln (1993). Skadden: Power, Money, and the Rise of a Legal Empire. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux. ISBN 0-374-26566-6. 
  • "How Skadden Does It", Andrew Longstreth, The American Lawyer, May 2006.
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