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Skadden doubles down on City recruitment drive with hire of Freshfields star Embley

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom has hired one of the most well-known M&A partners in the City, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer veteran Bruce Embley. 

The move is a major fillip for Skadden, which has long been accused of being too conservative in its City hiring policy as well as underweight in its M&A offering since respected rainmaker Michael Hatchard retired at the end of 2017. 

Freshfields former global M&A client group co-head Embley was noted as being a ‘roll-up-your-sleeves’ partner and a strong all-rounder in the influential partner stakes in Legal Business’ 2019 feature on the Magic Circle firm. 

Embley, who was rumoured to have been on the market for several months before joining Skadden, has more than 25 years’ experience advising on private equity and public and private M&A transactions in sectors including financial services, energy and telecommunications. 

Bruce has led some of the largest and most complex private equity and M&A deals in the UK and internationally, and is an excellent fit for our practice,’ said Scott Simpson, Skadden’s global co-head of transactions. 

 Pranav Trivedi, head of Skadden’s  London office, said: We have made important strategic hires in London over the past year and, in particular, invested in our M&A and private equity bench. Bruce’s experience is in the type of complex, high-stakes transactions for which we are known.’ 

Few observers of Skadden’s City office could fail to notice its recent deviation from conservatism, with the hire of restructuring partner Peter Newman from Milbank in February, building on the recruitment of Allen & Overy (A&O) corporate duo George Knighton and Simon Toms.  

Those A&O moves in particular made waves as Skadden’s first substantial play in London since the hire of high-profile dealmaker Richard Youle from White & Case in 2017 and have been viewed as a serious statement of intent on the ambitions of Skadden’s City corporate practice.