After a slightly poorer – albeit anomalous – statistical showing last year, Skadden has re-climbed our elite rankings table, sitting just outside our top 15. Led by Steven C Sunshine, the firm’s practice continues to enjoy an excellent reputation across three of the world’s major antitrust jurisdictions: New York, Brussels and Washington, DC. The practice benefits from nine Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees, who together with the firm’s 15 other antitrust partners, advise a portfolio of clients on several headline-grabbing deals.
|Merger ranking||5||Litigation ranking||=8||Cartel ranking||-|
|Global head||Steven C Sunshine|
|Number of jurisdictions with a competition team||7|
|Counsel and consultants||10|
|Percentage of partners/counsel in Who's Who Legal||26|
|Lateral partner hires||1|
Skadden is renowned for housing one of the best merger control practices in the world and recent work in this sphere reads like a shortlist of the year’s biggest and often most complex deals, several of which were notified to China’s enforcer. Top of the pile is its representation of DuPont in its US$130 billion merger with Dow, which is being reviewed in-depth by enforcers in the US, European Union and China. Other notable deal work includes acting for SanDisk on its US$19 billion merger with Western Digital; Nokia on its US$17.6 billion buyout of Alcatel-Lucent; Hospira on its US$17 billion takeover of Pfizer; and General Electric on its US$16.9 billion merger with Alstom. The practice’s expertise in big pharma and tech deals shone through once again last year. Its work for Valeant, Endo International and Hospira cemented the firm as one of, if not the, go-to antitrust shops for major deals in the medical industry. This reputation is backed up by formidable numbers: in 2015 the firm became the first to top the US$1 trillion mark in deal value handled in a single year. The Brussels competition team alone worked on merger control matters that surpassed US$500 billion in value.
Beyond mergers, the firm has a well-regarded cartel defence team, which is coordinating responses to several parallel investigations by authorities across the US, Latin America, Europe and the Asia Pacific. The firm’s private litigation practice also has a strong reputation and acts for clients such as AB InBev, Allergan and several professional sports governing bodies and leagues, including the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, National Football League, Major League Baseball and Professional Golfers Association, as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association.