Skadden is going organic with three City Actions as investment in London increases

Skadden has assembled its largest number of new partners in London since 2008. This is further evidence of the city office’s support after some unusually expansive activity in the lateral recruitment market recently.

The notoriously conservative Wall Street giant is sponsoring three new partners in a 17-strong global round in line with the commitment to organic growth in London seen 13 years ago.

Private equity attorney Steven Hannah, M&A attorney Ani Kusheva, and investment management attorney Greg Norman made the cut in what Pranav Trivedi (pictured), head of the Skadden’s City practice, calls “evidence of the strength of Skadden’s London office and the exceptional level of “talent in our ranks”.

The investment is a special coup as the company has only found four new partners in London in the last five worldwide promotional rounds, most recently Andrew Good, partner on white-collar crime last year, and Denis Klimentchenko, M&A partner Denis Klimentchenko in 2019 .

Indeed, few observers have been able to overlook Skadden’s rejection in recent months of proposals that have been too cautious on the London side market, most recently last September when Freshfields, Bruckhaus Deringer’s esteemed M&A veteran Bruce Embley, joined in.

This move gave Skadden a dynamic 2020 after Milbank hired restructuring partner Peter Newman in February, who built on the announced recruitment of Allen & Overy corporate duo George Knighton and Simon Toms. These A&O moves in particular have made waves as Skadden’s first major game in London since White & Case’s hiring high-profile dealmaker Richard Youle in 2017, and have been viewed as a serious statement of intent on the ambitions of Skadden’s City’s corporate practice.

While critics may question the longevity of the company’s doubled investment in London, this publicity round is good for shaking a market perception aimed at obsolescence. Even so, Skadden’s thoughtful approach to expanding his partnership fits in with his cherished culture, which is confirmed by the relative scarcity with which he loses partners to rivals. In the age of the disruptors, it is encouraging to see Skadden fill the void with his bolder rivals in London.

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