Legal Business Blogs

Skadden zeros out of London for second year running in global partner promotion round

While other US rivals beef up their London partner headcount, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom has for the second consecutive year passed over its City office for promotions, making up 14 new partners in a heavily US-focused round.

The move sees an uptick of partner promotions generally for the New York giant from last year’s round of 12 lawyers but continues its omission of the City branch. Four of the promotions – effective 1 April – were made outside of the US: one each in Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Paris and Tokyo.

Sandro de Bernardini was the last internal promotion in the firm’s London M&A team back in 2016, while the rare lateral hires of White & Case dealmaker Richard Youle along with Katja Butler last year have been much-talked about. Going the other way, US rival Cooley earlier this year snapped up Skadden’s veteran M&A partner Michal Berkner after more than 20 years at the firm. Overall lawyer headcount in the London office fell over 2017, according to our latest Global London report.

Notwithstanding a lack of growth in the City, Skadden has handled some impressive deals in recent months. Playing to its strengths with US corporates, its UK figures were bolstered in 2017 by a prestigious mandate to advise Cincinatti-based Vantiv on its £9bn acquisition of London Stock Exchange-listed payment processor Worldpay.

With Youle at the helm, the firm also last year advised HgCapital as lead consortium member  in its €4.64bn bid for Norwegian software company Visma, one of Europe’s largest ever software buyouts.

For more on his recent move to Skadden, read Life During Law: Richard Youle