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


  • “High end clients with very interesting work”
  • “The exit options”
  • “Some of the smartest legal minds in the world”


  • “The hours can be harsh”
  • “Some bad seeds among the partnership”
  • “Average compensation for above-average work”

The Buzz

  • “M&A legends”
  • “Great litigators”
  • “Meatgrinder”
  • “Gunners”

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 industry-specific publications-such as Corporate Board Member's ranking of "America's Best Corporate Law Firms"-and overseas rankings.

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, and Skadden now boasts top-notch restructuring, capital markets, IP, white-collar defense, and commercial, securities, and products liability litigation groups. In recognition of Flom's imprint on the legal industry, The American Lawyer named him one of "The Lawyers of the Century" in 1999.

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 the firm onto the top rung of American law firms. Recent notable M&A deals handled by the firm include representing DuPont in its $130 billion merger of equals with Dow Chemical and EMC Corp. in its $67 billion sale to Dell. 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. In 2016, Chambers USA gave the firm an Award for Excellence for having the nation's top M&A practice.

Fueling Growth, Globally

Skadden has closed hundreds of complex, path-breaking and first-of-their-kind transactions throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East involving energy-related and other infrastructure facilities. Recent notable representations include First Solar in the formation and IPO of 8point3 Energy Partners, the first-ever joint venture-sponsored yieldco; South Korea's Hanwha Q CELLS in the largest solar panel supply agreement completed to date; L1 Energy in its $1.6 billion acquisition of E.ON E&P Norge AS, an owner of Norwegian North Sea oil and gas exploration and production assets; Google in a tax equity investment in Utah solar project Red Hills; and Pattern Energy Group in obtaining a credit facility for the development of one of the largest solar projects in Latin America. In 2015, Skadden was selected as one of Law360's Project Finance Groups of the Year, in recognition of its "well-earned reputation as a go-to firm for energy and other companies that need creative financing to get big projects done."

Litigation: Bigger is Better

Don't be deceived by Skadden's M&A foundation-the firm's litigators are first-rate. The firm successfully negotiated nonprosecution agreements while navigating numerous complex and novel legal issues in the U.S. and Switzerland for 10 of 80 Swiss banks in connection with the Department of Justice's Swiss Bank Program. Skadden also raised a novel legal challenge addressing the constitutionality of the SEC's use of administrative law judges on behalf of Stilwell Value LLC and its principal and managing member. The firm also has an active London dispute team and a top-ranked Asia Pacific international arbitration and litigation group, and has handled major matters stateside for the likes of Barclays, BlackRock, Crédit Agrícole, Daimler, Deloitte, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Pfizer, Société Générale, and UBS.

Skadden has been an MVP in recent high-profile sports litigation. After an audio tape of former LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist remarks made its way to the media, the NBA fined Sterling $2.5 million banned him from the NBA for life, which prohibited his participation in the business operations or management of the Clipoers. When Sterling challenged the fine, ban, and the sale of the Clippers to Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, Skadden convinced the federal district court to dismiss the charges against the firm's clients, the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver. The firm also secured precedential rulings in a Third Circuit affirmance and a permanent injunction on behalf of the NCAA, NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB, which successfully thwarted a years-long attempt by the state of New Jersey to bypass clear restrictions on sports gambling in state casinos and racetracks.


May 2016
Sweet 16

For 16 consecutive years-every year the rankings have been published-Skadden has been named the top U.S. law firm in Corporate Board Member magazine's annual survey of "America's Best Corporate Law Firms." The annual survey asks directors of publicly traded companies to weigh in on current governance and legal matters and recognizes firms providing the "highest caliber of legal advice and consulting."

March 2016
High Five That Brand

Skadden has taken the top spot for five consecutive years in the "BTI Brand Elite 2016: Client Perceptions of the Best-Branded Law Firms" report, based on interviews conducted by BTI Consulting Group, Inc. with more than 600 corporate counsel.

February 2016
Navigating Neutral for Swiss Banks

Skadden was at the forefront in steering foreign financial institutions through the U.S. Department of Justice's Program for Non-Prosecution Agreements or Non-Target Letters for Swiss Banks. In 2015, a cross-border team from the firm's D.C., New York, London, Frankfurt and Munich offices successfully guided 10 participating banks through the requirements of this first-of-its-kind program, advising on numerous complex and novel legal issues presented in the U.S. and Switzerland, and securing non-prosecution agreements on behalf of all its clients.

December 2015
Triple Crown for Innovation

For the third time in six years, the Financial Times' "Innovative Lawyers" report named Skadden the most innovative law firm in North America. The firm has ranked either first or second in each of the FT's six annual U.S./North America "Innovative Lawyers" reports-an accomplishment no other firm comes close to matching.

September 2015
Taking Noble Global

Skadden was among those honored with the "Global Citizenship Award (Grand Prize)" at The American Lawyer "Global Legal Awards" for its role representing Indian guest workers in the largest series of labor trafficking cases in U.S. history. The firm also garnered four other awards recognizing "the most distinguished international work," including "Global Dispute of the Year, Investigations"; "Global M&A Deal of the Year, China"; "Global M&A Deal of the Year, Ireland"; and "Global Pro Bono Dispute of the Year."

Indisputable Evidence

For the fifth consecutive year, Skadden was named among BTI Consulting's "Fearsome Foursome"-the four elite law firm litigation practices that general counsel would "least want to face across the table in litigation"-in a survey of more than 300 corporate counsel at the world's largest companies. The "Litigation Outlook 2016" survey also noted Skadden as one of three "powerhouses" in BTI's Securities and Finance Litigation category for five years running. Skadden is the only firm named to both lists in all five editions of the report.

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

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


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Executive Partner: Eric J. Friedman
  • Hiring Partner: Howard L. Ellin
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 1,654

  • Base Salary
    All U.S. offices
    1st year: $180,000
    2nd year: $190,000
    3rd year: $210,000
    4th year: $235,000
    5th year: $260,000
    6th year: $280,000
    7th year: $300,000
    8th year: $315,000
    Summer associate: $3,500/week
    1L Scholar: $3,500/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    192 out of 195 (2Ls) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Antitrust and Competition
    Class Action Litigation
    Consumer Financial Services Enforcement and Litigation
    Corporate Finance
    Corporate Governance
    Corporate Restructuring
    Derivative Financial Products, Commodities and Futures
    Energy and Infrastructure Projects
    Energy Regulation and Litigation
    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
    Intellectual Property and Technology
    International Litigation and Arbitration
    Investment Management
    Labor and Employment Law
    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
    Structured Finance
    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, DC
  • Wilmington, DE
  • Beijing
  • Brussels
  • Frankfurt
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Moscow
  • Munich
  • Paris
  • São Paulo
  • Seoul
  • Shanghai
  • Singapore
  • Sydney
  • Tokyo
  • Toronto
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