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FIRM OF THE YEAR - INVESTIGATIONS
Skadden made 10 lateral hires in 2013 bolstering its litigation, corporate, mass torts, finance and tax practices throughout its global network. 2013 was another active year for the firm which saw it represent ViroPharma in its $4.2 billion acquisition by Shire and act as tax counsel to Westfield America in agreements related to its $1.64 billion joint venture with Starwood Capital Group, consisting of seven US shopping centres.
|SKADDEN ARPS SLATE MEAGHER & FLOM|
|Arbitration||7||Insurance & Reinsurance||2|
|Business Crime Defence||5||Life Sciences||2|
|Corporate Governance||10||Product Liability Defence||3|
|Corporate Tax||12||Project Finance||7|
|Information Technology||2||Sports & Entertainment||2|
|Insolvency & Restructuring||6||Trade & Customs||1|
Skadden holds a prestigious reputation in the legal market and boasts a client list of approximately 50 per cent of the Fortune 250 industrial and service corporations. From its inception as a three-lawyer firm in Manhattan, Skadden has grown considerably and now has offices located in 22 major financial centres.
|Total Listings in WWL||123||Established||1948|
|Home jurisdiction||US||Total size of firm||1,800|
|Number of partners||400||Number of offices||23|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
The firm’s “market leading” investigations practice is home to a number of “outstanding” individuals. David Zornow heads the litigation/controversy practice from the New York office. He conducts corporate internal investigations and according to sources is a “top-quality” practitioner. In London, Matthew Cowie is “superb” and focuses on internal investigations and defence of government enforcement matters. He is joined by Gary DiBianco who heads the London-based corporate investigations practice. He performs investigations relating to anti-corruption issues in countries all over the world.
Skadden’s tax practice is “internationally renowned” and includes DC-based Paul Oosterhuis, who is described by peers as a “cut above the rest”. He representats multinational companies in non-transactional international tax planning and IRS controversy matters. Hal Hicks heads the international tax practice and works on a wide range of issues for corporations, partnerships and other entities.
The M&A team is greatly respected for its cumulative depth of expertise and global reach. As well as advising the world’s largest companies and investment banks, the team also represents smaller clients not regularly engaged with M&A transactions and advises on the full spectrum of negotiated and contested situations. Eileen Nugent co-heads the global transactions practice and is a “leading light” in the field of M&A and restructuring of financially distressed companies. Peter Allan Atkins represents acquirors, targets and investment banks in US and international mergers and acquisitions. Both practitioners are also highlighted for their work in the corporate governance field. Paul Schnell has a “wealth of experience” in big-ticket M&A transactions.
Lawyers in the antitrust and competition group work across a number of industries and possess the ability to work on the most complex international investigations, merger reviews and litigation. The Brussels office fields a number of top practitioners including James Venit who co-heads the European antitrust competition practice. He represents companies in proceedings under the merger regulation and articles 101 and 102 TFEU. Fellow co-head Simon Baxter is a “highly respected” competition practitioner. He focuses on the antitrust aspects of mergers and acquisitions, and advises businesses on regulatory investigations and other compliance issues.
The securities regulation and corporate governance practice advises public and private companies, management and board committees. The team has a core focus on representing companies with regards to their public disclosure requirements and executive compensation planning. Michael Hatchard gives “fantastic advice” to companies, boards and individual directors on a broad range of matters including contentious public meetings, disclosure and directors’ duties. In Chicago, Charles Mulaney Jr counsels clients on disclosure issues, duties and shareholder activism. He is praised for the “very high standard” to which he works.
Harold Moore emerges as a “key player” in the project finance legal market in the US. He represents underwriters, banks and issuers in international project and corporate financings along with Martin Klepper, who is “well known” for his project finance work in the energy, transportation and infrastructure sectors.
The Skadden fellowship programme celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013. The programme provides two year fellowships to graduating law students and judicial clerks who are dedicating their careers to providing civil legal services to the poor and to date, the foundation has funded 677 fellowships. Skadden is also a charter signatory to the ABA pro bono challenge. It operates “externships” with organisations such as the Legal Aid Society’s Community Law Office and lawyers have worked on issues such as political asylum, battered women and housing.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
Skadden’s global diversity coordinating committee facilitates the implementation of diversity policies aimed at recruiting and retaining the best lawyers. The firm also maintains a number of local diversity committees across its global network. A key focus is the retention of female lawyers and Skadden prides itself on its equal opportunities policy: in 2012, 45 per cent of newly promoted partners were women. The newly established Women’s Initiatives Committee continues to assist in professional development programmes aimed at conserving this positive trend.
With accomplishments in innovation and technology (the firm played a significant role in the development of the Magnum Cloud software system used in its 2012 victory on behalf of Roman Abramovich), it is anticipated that Skadden will continue to develop and implement new systems aimed at ensuring its position in the ranks of the best global firms remains steadfast.
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