Eric J. Friedman has served as Skadden’s Executive Partner since 2009, furthering the firm’s mission to provide the highest quality legal service to clients, attract and develop top talent, and maintain our deeply rooted commitments to pro bono and diversity, equity and inclusion.


Under Eric’s leadership, the Financial Times named Skadden the most innovative law firm in North America in three of its annual U.S./North America Innovative Lawyers reports. The firm also has been recognized for innovation by the publication for our work in Europe and Asia.

In 2015, Skadden became the first law firm to handle more than $1 trillion in global announced M&A deals in a single year, ranking first by value globally and in the U.S. Additionally, Skadden repeatedly has been named among the top firms for delivering the best client service in BTI Consulting Group’s annual Client Service A-Team report. The National Law Journal acknowledged Eric’s accomplishments since becoming Executive Partner by naming him one of its three most influential law firm leaders in 2011.

Eric’s advancement of the firm’s long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion was recognized when Skadden received the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s first-ever Law Firm of the Year Award in 2011, and when Eric was honored with the New York City Bar Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award in 2012. Eric is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Advancing Diversity and contributed to its 2023 report providing a blueprint for organizations to continue their DEI efforts following the Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action. In 2020, Eric 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. 

Additionally, Eric 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. He also chairs the board of trustees of the Skadden Fellowship Foundation.

Prior to becoming Executive Partner, he handled significant M&A and corporate transactions, advising clients such as Citigroup, Inc., Nasdaq, Inc., Deutsche Bank AG and Mars, Incorporated, among others. Eric has been recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America and the NACD Directorship 100.

Among other accolades, Eric 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.



  • 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

Eric J. Friedman