Skadden hires corporate partner from Slaughter and May in London

Rare partner-level departure from UK Magic Circle firm sees Skadden boost insurance capability

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has hired a senior corporate partner from Slaughter and May in a rare partner-level departure from the highly profitable Magic Circle UK firm.

Robert Chaplin will join Skadden’s corporate practice in London after 25 years at Slaughters where he specialised in corporate, public and private equity transactions in the insurance sector having joined the partnership in 2006.

He is the second partner to leave Slaughters’ core corporate practice for a leading US firm since the start of 2021, following on from the defection of Murray Cox to Weil Gotshal & Manges in February of that year.

Chaplin’s practice covers commercial, financing and regulatory advice in the insurance sector alongside M&A and he will be a member of Skadden’s financial institutions group. 

Todd Freed, global co-head of financial institutions, said: “Robert’s arrival creates an opportunity for Skadden to further strengthen our go-to insurance M&A platform in the UK and Europe. As one of only a few global firms with a premier insurance practice focusing on transactional, finance and regulatory matters, Skadden offers an ideal global platform for Robert’s demonstrated skills and experience.” 

Recent work at Slaughters includes advising Ageas on the sale of its commercial lines front book business to AXA Insurance for an initial purchase price of £47.5m in February and Markerstudy Group on its acquisition of BGL Insurance from BGL Group last December.

Chaplin’s hire follows last month’s appointment of London-based corporate partner Lorenzo Corte as head of Skadden’s global transactions group.

The appointment was in response to the death of former head Scott Simpson in May. Simpson was widely regarded as one of Europe’s most influential M&A lawyers, having worked on a number of the most famous contested deals of the last two decades.

Skadden's M&A pedigree was underlined last month when it jumped from seventh to third place in Refinitiv’s H1 2022 global announced deal league table by value, having advised on 86 deals valued at $218bn.

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