Joseph M. Yaffe



Executive Compensation and Benefits

Palo Alto

T: +1.650.470.4650

F: 1.650.798.6552


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As head of the Executive Compensation and Benefits Group on the West Coast, Joseph M. Yaffe handles tax and securities law matters arising in equity compensation arrangements and employee benefits issues in corporate transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions. His experience includes representing companies from the biotechnology, entertainment, Internet, medical supply, retail and software industries. He also counsels senior executives at companies throughout the country in connection with executive compensation matters.

Mr. Yaffe advises on tax-qualified plan issues, including issues relating to 401(k) and 403(b) plans. In addition, he represents clients in negotiations with the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor regarding compliance issues under the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA.

He frequently lectures on tax, benefits and compensation matters, including equity compensation issues for emerging growth companies and tax-qualified plan issues.

Mr. Yaffe is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading benefits and compensation attorneys. In 2014, the Daily Journal named him one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in California.” He was a key member of the deal team recognized by the Daily Journal with a 2016 “California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year” award for innovative work on behalf of Broadcom Corporation in its acquisition by Avago Technologies. He is annually ranked in Chambers USA’s prestigious Band 1, as well as in The Legal 500. In 2013, Chambers recognized Skadden’s Executive Compensation and Benefits Group with its Award for Excellence, given annually to a select group of firms on the basis of pre-eminence in key practice areas.

Before joining Skadden, Mr. Yaffe was a partner at another global law firm, where he served as chairman of the tax department for the firm’s Silicon Valley office.

Bar Admissions



J.D., University of California, Davis School of Law, 1994, Law Review

A.B., Columbia University, 1990


San Francisco, American and Federal Bar Associations

The National Association of Stock Plan Professionals

Western Pension & Benefits Conference, San Francisco Chapter