In Memoriam: Barry Garfinkel

The partners, attorneys and professional staff of Skadden mourn the passing of our friend, mentor, adviser and longtime partner Barry Garfinkel.

Barry joined Skadden in 1956 as our ninth attorney and became one of New York’s most accomplished litigators. He led our Litigation Group for many of its formative years and then oversaw the development of our International Arbitration Group, including its expansion to Europe and Asia. Barry worked with other senior partners to map out and implement an ambitious vision for Skadden’s growth, always bearing in mind that the most critical factor for sustainable expansion is the cultivation of elite talent. Through mentorship, training and example, Barry helped countless young associates develop into respected litigators and international arbitration practitioners. Barry also played a crucial role in creating the Skadden Fellowship Foundation and was a passionate member of its board of trustees. He celebrated his 65th anniversary with the firm on August 20, 2021.

Barry’s contributions to the profession extended far beyond Skadden’s walls. He served as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, the London Court of International Arbitration and the International Chamber of Commerce and as the president of the Practising Law Institute and the College of Commercial Arbitrators. He also was appointed by Second Circuit Chief Judge Wilfred Feinberg to run the circuit’s annual Judicial Conference.

Barry deeply loved — and was loved by — Skadden. As he told friends and colleagues at a dinner celebrating his 50th anniversary at the firm, “Fifty years, when you enjoy what you are doing, goes in a flash.” He will be truly missed.