Asking around the market for tributes to Scott Simpson, Skadden’s eminent M&A partner who died suddenly at the age of 65 on 29 May, soon confirmed what was long suspected. Scott was the kind of man who got everyone up dancing to rock music, the sort of man who put the shirt-related fear of God into German hoteliers, the consummate enthusiast, sportsman and loving family man. He was the kind of man who would not hear of allowing a legal journalist to go unescorted in a foreign city or flinch when she put her foot in it. Effortlessly kind, generous, clever and funny.
Michael Hatchard, the now retired partner who did much to make Skadden a US heavyweight in public M&A work in Europe, recalls fondly: ‘When called to Düsseldorf for what would become the defence of Mannesmann in the bid from Vodafone, Scott left London just before the New Year holidays without hesitation with an overnight bag. He didn’t surface until the spring, by which time he had become a central player in the defence team and the deal had become recommendable. The hotel eventually asked him to sign a waiver because the collars on his much over-laundered shirts were about to fall off.’