Skadden M&A partner and English law practice founder Hatchard to retire









Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom City M&A partner Michael Hatchard, who founded the US firm’s English law practice, is set to retire after more than 20 years with the firm.

He will leave the partnership at the end of the year but will continue to work with Skadden as a strategic adviser, helping to promote the firm to FTSE companies.

Hatchard, who heads Skadden’s English law practice, was the firm’s first English-law partner when he joined in 1994 from legacy UK firm Theodore Goddard. He was recruited by US-qualified London M&A partner Scott Simpson, who now co-heads Skadden’s global transactions practice.

Simpson said: ”Michael joined us in 1994 to build out our English law practice and help to establish our firm ‎as among the very best in cross-border M&A. For more than 20 years, Michael has worked on some of the most challenging and market-leading transactions but most importantly during that time, Michael has encouraged the firm to invest in the English law practice in key areas such as M&A, capital markets, tax, banking, litigation, arbitration and government investigations.”

Skadden has 11 partners, all of whom are English-qualified, and three counsel in its City M&A practice.

During his time at Skadden, Hatchard has advised on multiple high-profile UK and cross-border deals, including Pfizer’s failed £69bn bid for rival UK pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in 2014. More recently, he acted last year for New York-based investment company Janus Capital on its $6bn (£4.6bn) merger with London-headquartered Henderson Group. He also advised on the £4.3bn merger of drinks can manufacturing giants Ball Corporation and Rexam, which completed last year.

Earlier this month, Skadden topped the Mergermarket deal rankings by global value for the first three quarters of 2017, after a subdued third quarter which saw global, European and UK deal volumes fall to four-year lows.

News of his retirement comes after Skadden bolstered its City private equity team earlier this year with the hire of White & Case’s global private equity co-head Richard Youle, who joined alongside fellow private equity partner Katja Butler and five associates from White & Case. However, the US firm has not hired a public M&A partner in London in more than five years.

Skadden is not going to replace Hatchard as head of English law.