THE FIRM Skadden's New York office sets the benchmark for international breadth of M&A expertise, for which it is universally acclaimed. Working on some of the largest corporate deals in the world and with a superior work force, this team remains one of the market's most dominant and successful. The deal-making group produces consistent, innovative solutions for its clients on some of the most complex corporate deals around. It has developed strong relationships with many large clients, thus amassing an enviable list that includes names such as Burger King, Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart. The team is currently advising Express Scripts on its $29.1 billion acquisition of Medco Health Solutions.
Sources say: "There's nothing like Team Skadden when you have a real, significant transaction that just has to be done and has to be done right."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peter Atkins is celebrated by his clients as being "a very thoughtful guy. When I've had complicated governance corporate matters, he's the best." Peers say he is "fabulous" and "exceptionally talented." He has an incredibly impressive profile in the tech space and recently advised L-1 Identity Solutions on its $1.6 billion acquisition by Safran.
Lou Kling recently advised leading client DuPont on its purchase of Danisco, a cross-border deal worth $6.3 billion. Clients say he is "excellent, we use him all the time."
Eileen Nugent is a superb M&A partner who recently advised Cephalon on defending a hostile takeover bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals, and then acted for the company on its subsequent $6.8 billion sale to Teva. Sources offer rave reviews, with one commenting: "She's fantastic, I can't say enough great things about her," and another saying that she is "an absolute pleasure to work with; a good lawyer and a good person."
Paul Schnell is described as "very experienced and a very good negotiator who represents his clients well." His principal client is Pfizer, which he has represented on a number of advisory and transactional matters, including its $2.4 billion sale of Capsugel to KKR.
Stephen Arcano leads the New York M&A team. He represented Validus Holdings in its $3.5 billion unsolicited bid to merge with Transatlantic Holdings. In addition to praising Arcano's technical skills, sources "like him a lot, he's a pleasure to work across from."
Howard Ellin is global co-head of the corporate transactions and M&A practices. He recently acted for the target company in Toshiba's $2.3 billion acquisition of Landis+Gyr. Sources say he is a "terrific practitioner."
Thomas Kennedy was lead partner advising Genesis HealthCare on the $2.4 billion sale of most of its real estate assets to Health Care REIT. He also assisted on GTCR's approximately $390 million acquisition of Fundtech.
Martha McGarry has been described as a "very skilled and tough negotiator with a strong command of the issues and facts." She recently represented key client Wal-Mart in its approximately $2.4 billion acquisition of a 51% stake in Massmart Holdings.
The "excellent" Eric Cochran's recent highlights include representing L-1 on several matters, including the $303 million sale of its intelligence services businesses to BAE Systems.
Joseph Coco advised HCP on its $6.1 billion purchase of HCR ManorCare's senior living facilities. Clients declare: "I would use him for all difficult issues and he's always my first phone call." Coco also works efficiently with Skadden's other offices and gives clients "a seamless perspective and transition between all these different components." He is renowned for being "among the best, in terms of responsiveness and achieving results."
Patricia Moran is a seasoned expert in all aspects of M&A deals and advises global corporations on a wide variety of transactional and advisory work.
Todd Freed is described as "very motivated and he's someone who jumps on opportunities." He focuses on M&A, corporate finance and private equity, mainly in the financial services industry.
The firm recently mourned the passing of Roger Aaron. He was universally acclaimed as one of New York's most successful, talented and respected lawyers.
Skadden has also recently suffered the tragic loss of Morris Kramer, who was known to be one of the foremost transactional lawyers in the country.