Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Despite the firm's headquarters being in New York, Skadden regularly handles some of the largest deals and transactions in Europe. Opened in 1988, the London office is the centre of European business as the firm’s largest office on the Continent.
- You’re given lots of responsibility and left to manage your own work
- No culture of face time
- Generous salary and technology allowance
- Work in tight-knit teams as it’s a small office
- Flexible about working from home
- High focus on recruiting and promoting women
- Unpredictable and sometimes demanding hours
- Hard to make partner from associate
- Very competitive hiring process
- Commuting to Canary Wharf
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is not only one of the longest names in law, it's one of the biggest too. Skadden, to use its abbreviation, holds the title of the largest US law firm by revenue, and is one of only 6 firms worldwide that has poked its nose past the £1bn barrier. M&A and corporate represent Skadden's core competencies, and the firm counts top investment banks and corporations among its clients.
Skadden handles some of the largest deals and transactions in Europe. The London office is the centre of its European business, and as the firm’s largest branch on the Continent, is home to approximately 100 solicitors. Skadden distinguishes itself by shunning mergers and large practice acquisitions as a form of expansion. This allows Skadden to control the selection and training of its solicitors worldwide, and maintain its strong reputation.
Skadden was founded in 1948, by Marshall Skadden, Les Arps and John Slate. Joseph Flom joined 3 months later, and remains a partner at the firm. Today, Skadden has over 450 partners worldwide who all have an equal share in the firm. In 1961, the firm changed its name to the current moniker, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
In the 1980s, Skadden was an outsider in the law industry, but led by partner Joe Flom, the firm refocussed on M&A – the practice where it built its reputation. Skadden began acting for companies that were putting in hostile bids for rivals, whereas established US firms preferred not to get involved, instead sticking to friendlier transactions. This strategy allowed Skadden to corner the market and brought the firm a standing reputation for aggression.
The firm’s success in M&A increased profits and created the opportunity to expand abroad. Skadden was able to create and develop strong relationships with many large corporations and investment banks in the US as well as overseas. And once Skadden had its M&A foot in the door, it began to advise these clients on other matters.
After a period of expansion across the US, the firm opened its London office, in 1989. The strategy was quality, not quantity. Rather than compete with small UK law firms on a large number of deals, the aim was to work on the biggest and most glamorous M&A transactions in the market. And when legislation changed in 1995 to allow US firms to hire UK lawyers, Skadden took advantage and grew the London outpost into one of the largest City offices owned by a US firm.
While M&A had been the firm’s staple practice up until the 1990s, Skadden diversified, and has since developed into a multifaceted firm with strength in capital markets, international litigation and arbitration, tax, corporate restructuring, private equity, banking, energy transactions, corporate investigations and financial services.Read all 117 employee quotes
Competition at Skadden is fierce, partly due to the few number of places available compared to Magic Circle firms. And while Skadden seems to have a penchant for Oxbridge candidates, it does actively recruit from other top UK universities, as well as internationally.
Skadden looks for academic people who can think independently, cope under pressure, and are prepared to take on responsibility. Individual qualities are important too, with the firm seeking people who are bright, committed, confident, industrious and enthusiastic.
Skadden Graduate Recruitment Info
Graduate Recruitment Specialist
Tel: +44 (0)20 7519 7000
Training Contracts: 31st July 2013
No. of lawyers firm-wide: Approx. 2,000
No. of associates and counsel in London: 85
London partners: 28
London trainee intake: 12
London trainees retained: 100% (Sept 2012)
SKADDEN, ARPS: 2013 LAW RANKINGS
# 9 Most Reputable Law Firm (7.08/10)
1st year trainee: £40,000
2nd year trainee: £43,000
Newly qualified: £94,000
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International Litigation & Arbitration
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Departments have weekly meetings where you can ask questions of partners and they share recent issues that have arisen. Also an extensive schedule of external speakers.TraineeHelpful?
Varied, complex and highly commercial.Junior solicitor, CorporateHelpful?
The firm has recycling bins in all offices and kitchen areas.Junior solicitor, CorporateHelpful?
Very conscious of self-development and regular appraisals (360 degree).Junior solicitor, BankingHelpful?
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40 Bank Street
London E14 5DS
Tel: +44 (0)20 7519 7000
No. of worldwide offices: 24