Eric J. Friedman is a trusted adviser to some of the world’s largest financial services firms on industry-shaping M&A and other corporate transactions.


Mr. Friedman served as Skadden’s executive partner for 15 years (until April 2024), furthering the firm’s mission to provide the highest quality legal service to clients, attract and develop top talent, and maintain Skadden’s deeply rooted commitments to pro bono work and diversity, equity and inclusion.

During his tenure as executive partner, he was recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the most influential law firm leaders, and Skadden was repeatedly named the most innovative law firm in North America by the Financial Times.

He has represented:

  • Travelers Group in its $83 billion merger with Citicorp to create Citigroup and $9 billion acquisition of Salomon Brothers
  • Citigroup Inc. in numerous transactions, including its $11 billion sale of its life insurance and annuities businesses to MetLife, Inc.; $5.8 billion acquisition of Golden State Bancorp; and $3.7 billion sale of its asset management business to Legg Mason, Inc. in exchange for cash and Legg Mason’s private client and capital markets businesses
  • Nasdaq in its IPO and listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market; $3.7 billion acquisition of the Nordic exchange operator OMX; $1.4 billion acquisition of 25.1% of London Stock Exchange plc; and $935 million acquisition of Instinet Group, Inc. and concurrent $208 million disposition of Instinet’s institutional brokerage business to private equity firm Silver Lake Partners
  • Deutsche Bank AG in its acquisitions of MortgageIT, a publicly traded REIT, and HedgeWorks, a hedge fund administrator with $10 billion in assets under administration

Mr. Friedman has also advised clients on significant transactions in the credit card space, including First USA in its $8 billion sale to JP Morgan’s predecessor, Banc One; Paymentech Inc. in its IPO; and Citigroup in its $3 billion acquisition of the Sears credit card portfolio.

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America and the NACD Directorship 100 have consistently recognized Mr. Friedman for his work.

Mr. Friedman’s long-term commitment to advancing inclusion and equity includes his service on the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Advancing Diversity and his contributions to its report providing a blueprint for organizations to continue their DEI efforts following the Supreme Court’s 2023 ruling on affirmative action. In 2020, he helped spearhead the launch of the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, a partnership of more than 300 law firms worldwide working collaboratively with legal services organizations to address systemic racism in the law. He was honored with the New York City Bar Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award in 2012.

He also received the 2022 Pro Bono Champion award from Pro Bono Partnership, in recognition of the firm’s dedication to pro bono service under his leadership; the 2020 Servant of Justice Award from The Legal Aid Society of New York, honoring his lasting impact on New York City’s legal community; and the AJC’s 2016 Learned Hand Award, which celebrates highly distinguished attorneys whose work reflects the integrity and humanitarian ideals exemplified by Judge Hand. Additionally, he is a dedicated board member of a number of organizations, including the Mount Sinai Health System, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.



  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1989
  • B.B.A., University of Michigan, 1986 (High Distinction)


  • New York


  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Member, American Law Institute
  • Member, Task Force on Advancing Diversity, New York State Bar Association