Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates
Headquarters Condé Nast Building
New York City
United States
No. of offices 22
No. of attorneys 1,886 [1]
No. of employees 4,500 (estimate)
Major practice areas Mergers and acquisitions, litigation and arbitration, corporate finance, corporate restructuring, securities law, banking, project finance, energy and infrastructure, antitrust, tax and intellectual property, among others[2]
Revenue US$ 2.17 billion (2011)[3]
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 (often shortened to Skadden Arps; Skadden; or SASM&F), founded in 1948, is a law firm based in New York City. With nearly 2,000 attorneys, it is one of the largest,[4] most prestigious[5] and highest-grossing law firms in the world.[6] Forbes magazine called Skadden "Wall Street's most powerful law firm," and the firm has been named as America's best Corporate Law firm every year since 2001.[7][8]

Skadden's world headquarters in the Condé Nast Building, Times Square, New York

In 2010, Skadden was the second largest law firm in the world by revenue with US$2.1 billion in gross revenue.[6][9] Skadden had about 1,886[1] attorneys in 23 offices in 2011.[10] The total number of employees at the firm is nearly 4,200. Measured by the number of attorneys, Skadden is the second-largest law firm in the state of New York, the sixth largest in the United States.[1] In 2010, the National Law Journal ranked Skadden 6th in its list of the 250 largest law firms in the United States.[citation needed] In 1995, Forbes's Largest Private Companies ranked Skadden as 335th[11] on the list of the largest private U.S. companies by revenue. By 2003 Skadden had risen to 194th[12] before falling back to 213th[13] in 2010.


It is, according to some measures, the third most prestigious law firm to work for in the United States (Rankings Vault, 2015),[14] and according to the advisory firm FTI Consulting, Skadden has been named as the America's best Corporate Law firm in 2013 (a position held since 2001).[7] Although called a sweatshop by some,[15] Skadden is also known for its generous attorney compensation. Like other top national firms, it pays its first-year associates $160,000. This does not include the annual discretionary bonus.[16]

The firm’s reputation was affected when it “compiled a largely sympathetic report in 2012” on the Ukrainian government’s jailing of Yulia Tymoshenko, “a former prime minister and the president’s chief political opponent, even though most impartial observers say it was politically motivated.”[17]

In 2014, the firm agreed to pay a $4.24 million settlement to a bankruptcy trustee for the firm's role as counsel for Buddy Fletcher and his hedge fund operations.[18]

Key people[edit]

As of February 2011, there are 432 partners at Skadden.[19] 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.[20] Among the more notable partners are:


  • 1948 — The firm was founded in New York by Marshall Skadden, John Slate and Les Arps.
  • 1954Joseph Flom became a partner.
  • 1959William Meagher joined the firm. Elizabeth Head, the firm's first female attorney, was hired.
  • 1961 — The firm's name became Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
  • 1973 — The firm opened its Boston office, the firm's second.
  • 1981Peggy Kerr became the first female partner.
  • 1985 — Skadden became one of the U.S.'s three largest law firms.
  • 1987 — The firm opened its first international office in Tokyo.
  • 1988 — The firm founded the Skadden Fellowship Foundation.
  • 2000 — New York City headquarters moved to Four Times Square, also called the Condé Nast Building.
  • 2011Joseph Flom, the last living name partner, dies.


As of April 2014, Skadden has 23 offices worldwide.[22]

Skadden Fellowship Foundation[edit]

Through the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, the firm sponsors law school graduates who wish to practice public interest law. The foundation was established in 1988 at the time of the firm's 40th anniversary. The Los Angeles Times has called the program "a legal Peace Corps."[23] Fellows work with a sponsoring organization in the field of providing legal services to the poor, the elderly, the homeless, the disabled, and the disenfranchised. Skadden pays fellows a salary of $46,000 (as of 2006), plus all fringe benefits the sponsoring organization offers its employees. As of 2006, the firm has awarded 473 fellowships.[23]

Notable alumni[edit]

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

Political contributions[edit]

Skadden partners and employees tend to support and contribute more to Democratic political candidates than to Republicans.[26]

Prominent lawyers at the firm endorsed and financially supported John Kerry in his campaign to become president of the United States in 2004.[27][28]

In the run-up to Super Tuesday, 2008, Skadden hosted a phone bank in support of Barack Obama.[29][30]

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.


  1. ^ a b c "ILRG Largest 250 Law Firms in the US". Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  2. ^ "Practices - Skadden, Arps". Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  3. ^ "Skadden, Cleary, Simpson and Davis Polk see revenues rise in 2011". Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  4. ^ "Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates|Company Profile". Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  5. ^ "Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates|Company Profile". Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  6. ^ a b "The Am Law Global 100" from The American Lawyer 2011 (free registration required)
  7. ^ a b "America’s Top Corporate Law Firms for 2013". FTI Consulting. 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  8. ^ Fisher, Daniel. "Wall Street's Most Powerful Law Firm". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  9. ^ "The Global 100 2010: The World's Highest Grossing Law Firms". The American Lawyer. Incisive Media US Properties, LLC. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  10. ^ "Offices - Skadden, Arps". Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  11. ^ Forbes Largest Private Companies 1996[dead link]
  12. ^ Forbes Largest Private Companies 2003[dead link]
  13. ^ "#213 Skadden, Arps". Forbes. November 3, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Vault Law 100". Retrieved 2014-06-23. 
  15. ^ "Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom & Affiliates: Vault Career and Industry Guides". Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  16. ^ "Skadden Bumps Up Associate Pay to $160,000" from Legal Times January 25, 2007
  17. ^ Kramer, Andrew E. (2014-02-26). "Prize Catch for Ukrainians at Boat Harbor: A Soggy Trove of Government Secrets". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  18. ^ Skadden to Pay $4.25 Million in Fletcher Bankruptcy Case by Rachel Abrams March 21, 2014 Deal Book New York Times
  19. ^ Skadden > Attorneys[dead link]
  20. ^ "How Skadden Does It", Andrew Longstreth, The American Lawyer, May 2006
  21. ^ "Professionals - Skadden, Arps". Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  22. ^ "Offices". Skadden. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  23. ^ a b Skadden Fellowship Foundation: About the Foundation[dead link]
  24. ^ "Eliot Spitzer biography from official New York State government web site". Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  25. ^ "Silda Wall Spitzer biography from official New York State government web site". Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  26. ^ "Fundrace 2008 Campaign Donations, Huffington Post
  27. ^ "The New Fat Cats" from Business Week Online April 12, 2004
  28. ^ "Business leaders for Kerry" from St. Petersburg Times August 5, 2004
  29. ^ "Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | Event | Times Square Phone Bank". 2013-01-01. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  30. ^ "Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | Event | Times Square Phone Bank - LAST PUSH". 2013-01-01. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 

External links[edit]