Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates at a Glance

Uppers

  • “Quality of work and level of responsibility”
  • “The firm has a very social and collegial culture”
  • “Prestige. Everyone knows who Skadden is whether you work in BigLaw or not.”

Downers

  • “Lack of transparency regarding advancement”
  • “The hours and market compensation”
  • “Extremely low prospects at partnership; many groups do not make counsel”

About Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates

Giant Among Mortals

Kind of like Oprah or Beyoncé, Skadden is a giant among mortals. Known by its one name, it sits atop its world, continuously topping the AmLaw 100 as one of the most profitable law firms. It was the first law firm to report $1 billion in annual revenue-now an industry brass ring. But it's not just about the money or numbers-Skadden consistently draws top accolades from the most esteemed rankings: Chambers, The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, and the Financial Times. The firm also gets regular annual kudos from several international rankings and industry-specific publications, such as Corporate Board Member's ranking of "America's Best Corporate Law Firms."

A Consummate Corporate Practice

Much of Skadden's ethos can be attributed to Joe Flom, who started at Skadden three months after its 1948 founding (legend has it that Flom's early wages came from a weekly pinochle pot) and whose name graced the door a mere 13 years later. Flom-who was active in the firm almost up until his passing, at 87, in February 2011-participated in most of the major M&A deals of the 70s and 80s, establishing Skadden's hard-nosed style and building a reputation for aggressive strategies. Flom also spearheaded the firm's practice diversification efforts from its original M&A base. Skadden now boasts top-notch restructuring, corporate finance, tax, intellectual property, real estate, white-collar defense, and commercial, securities, and products liability litigation groups, among countless others. One example of the expansion of the firm's strengths: According to statistics from Lex Machina, Skadden served as defense counsel in more federal securities cases in the U.S. from 2009 to 2016 than any other firm.

Brioche and Butter

Multifaceted as it is, Skadden's forte is still M&A. Deals such as DuPont-Conoco, U.S. Steel-Marathon Oil, and, most notably, the 1989 takeover of RJR Nabisco, launched Skadden into the top rung of American law firms. Recent notable M&A deals handled by the firm include representing Express Scripts Holding Company in its $67 billion acquisition by the Cigna Corporation, Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. in its $66 billion acquisition by the Walt Disney Company, Rockwell Collins, Inc. in its $30 billion acquisition by United Technologies Corporation, and Westfield Corporation in its $25 billion acquisition by Unibail-Rodamco SE. It's not surprising then that Skadden became the first law firm to ever handle over $1 trillion in global announced M&A deals in a single year (2015) and that it's consistently ranked in the top tier for M&A by Chambers USA, Chambers Global, U.S. News-Best Lawyers, and The Legal 500. The firm was ranked first by value in 2017 global and U.S. announced M&A league tables published by Bloomberg, Mergermarket, and Thomson Reuters. In 2016, Chambers USA gave the firm an Award for Excellence as the nation's top M&A practice.

Litigation: Bigger Is Better

Don't be deceived by Skadden's M&A foundation-the firm's litigators are first-rate. A finalist in The American Lawyer's 2017 Litigation Department of the Year competition and selected as its 2017 White Collar/Regulatory Litigation Department of the Year, the firm has a distinguished record of litigation achievements. Among other recent victories, the firm successfully advised E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company on securing approval of its $130 billion merger with Dow Chemical Co. in one of the first megadeals to overcome antitrust concerns under the Trump administration. The firm also defended Sprint Corporation's $3.6 billion buyout of Clearwire Corporation in a determination that represents, by far, the most dramatic downward departure from a deal price in the history of the Court of Chancery. Also, in a case of first impression expected to have a significant impact on litigation related to the increasingly global securities market, Skadden secured a Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision vacating class certification sought by plaintiffs against Brazilian oil giant Petrobras and Skadden's clients, 13 underwriters of Petrobras' global bond offerings.

Skadden also has been an MVP in recent high-profile sports litigation. The firm secured a complete victory on behalf of the 32 member clubs of the National Football League against a group of retired players who asserted fraud-based claims, eliminating potentially $1 billion in liability for the league; the ruling in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California creates a significant hurdle for future plaintiffs seeking redress for similar types of claims. In addition, the firm has been heavily involved in defending the University of North Carolina in class actions brought by former student-athletes who alleged that the university breached its contract with student-athletes by purportedly denying them a high-quality education. The firm also secured a complete victory on behalf of Saoud Al-Mohannadi, vice president of the Qatar Football Association and Asian Football Confederation, defeating charges brought by the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, which alleged that Mr. Al-Mohannadi had been untruthful and uncooperative as a witness in an unrelated ethics investigation, and overturning sanctions imposed on him by the Ethics Committee.

Taxation With Representation

Skadden's Tax Group advises on many of the most complex and noteworthy transactions - both domestic and cross-border, across all industries - and assists clients in resolving large, complex and global tax controversies. Ranked No. 1 for tax in Vault's Law 100 rankings from 2010-18 (every year since the ranking's inception), the group recently represented Amazon.com, Inc. in its U.S. Tax Court victory in one of the largest transfer pricing cases in decades and the first involving e-commerce. Also, in a high-profile, closely watched case with wide-reaching implications for multinational corporations, Skadden represented power management and global energy parts supplier Eaton Corporation in a U.S. Tax Court victory in the first case involving the court's review of an IRS decision to retroactively cancel an advance pricing agreement. Clients also regularly turned to Skadden to handle sensitive tax investigations and to defend tax-related class actions and professional liability disputes.

IN THE NEWS

May 2018

In the 2018 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Skadden had 32 practices included in Band 1, as well as 64 top-tier attorney rankings, the most among any law firm. This includes seven "Star Individual" rankings and 57 individual Band 1 rankings.  Skadden also was recognized with an award for having the best US M&A practice.

January 2018

Skadden received more Law360 2017 "Practice Group of the Year" awards than any other firm, earning the "Firm of the Year" designation.  Skadden was honored with Practice Group of the Year awards in nine areas: Bankruptcy, Capital Markets, Energy, Insurance, International Arbitration, Mergers and Acquisitions, Securities, Tax and Trials.

January 2018

Skadden ranked first by value in 2017 global and U.S. M&A league tables published by Bloomberg, Mergermarket and Thomson Reuters. In other regional rankings, Skadden placed first in announced M&A deals by value for cross-border and South East Asia (Bloomberg); Americas (Mergermarket); and emerging markets and Middle East & North Africa (Thomson Reuters).

December 2017

In the Financial Times' 2017 North America "Innovative Lawyers" report, three Skadden matters-involving work for Sun Edison, Yahoo! and Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings-were recognized among the year's most innovative deals.  Skadden has had substantially more matters ranked in the FT report, since its 2010 inception, than any other firm.

October 2017

In the 2017 edition of Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defense, Skadden has more attorneys cited as leading lawyers globally than any other law firm, "showcasing the depth and breadth of its transatlantic offering." According to the publication, Skadden also "boasts the foremost white-collar crime team in the US." On the investigations side, Skadden was again named as having one of the top five practices worldwide in Global Investigations Review's "GIR 30" (Oct. 2017) a ranking of leading firms handling internal and government-led investigations. According to the publication, "Few competitors can match the breadth of Skadden's investigations capabilities."

September 2017

For the seventh consecutive time, Skadden was named to the BTI Consulting Group's list of top litigation law firms. "The BTI Fearsome Five" included the five elite law firm litigation practices that general counsel would least want to face across the table in litigation. Based on 350 recent interviews with companies' leading legal decision-makers, BTI Litigation Outlook 2018 also noted Skadden as a Powerhouse in Class Actions, Complex Commercial Litigation, Complex Employment Litigation, IP Litigation, Product Liability Litigation, and Securities and Finance Litigation.

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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates

Four Times Square
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 735-3000

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Executive Partner: Eric J. Friedman
  • Hiring Partner: Howard L. Ellin
  • Total No. Attorneys 2018: 1,738

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $190,000
    2nd year: $200,000
    3rd year: $220,000
    4th year: $255,000
    5th year: $280,000
    6th year: $305,000
    7th year: $325,000
    8th year: $340,000
    Summer associate: $3,700/week
    1L Scholar: $3,700/week  

  • Summer Associate Offers
    200 out of 202 (2Ls) (2017)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Antitrust and Competition • Banking • CFIUS • Capital Markets • Class Action Litigation • Consumer Financial Services Enforcement and Litigation • Corporate • Corporate Governance • Corporate Restructuring • Derivative Financial Products, Commodities and Futures • Energy and Infrastructure Projects • Energy Regulation and Litigation • Environmental • European Union/International Competition • Executive Compensation and Benefits • False Claims Act Defense • Financial Institutions • Government Enforcement and White Collar Crime • Health Care and Life Sciences • Insurance • Intellectual Property and Technology • International Litigation and Arbitration • Investment Management • Labor and Employment Law • Litigation • Mass Torts and Insurance Litigation • Mergers and Acquisitions • Patent and Technology Litigation and Counseling • Political Law • Privacy and Cybersecurity • Private Equity • Real Estate/Real Estate Investment Trusts • Securities Enforcement and Compliance • Securities Litigation • Sports • Tax • Tax Controversy and Litigation • Trusts and Estates

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY (HQ) • Boston, MA • Chicago, IL • Houston, TX • Los Angeles, CA • Palo Alto, CA • Washington, D.C. • Wilmington, DE Beijing • Brussels • Frankfurt • Hong Kong • London • Moscow • Munich • Paris • São Paulo • Seoul • Shanghai • Singapore • Tokyo • Toronto