Kenton J. King



Corporate and Securities Law

Palo Alto

T: +1.650.470.4530

F: 1.650.798.6527


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Kenton J. King is widely recognized as one of the country’s preeminent corporate attorneys. He offers his clients a strong focus on the technology, semiconductor and biotech sectors, regularly handling complex, cross-border M&A transactions and advising companies and boards on shareholder activism and corporate governance matters. He also represents companies in joint ventures and other strategic partnering transactions, investment and capital markets matters and restructurings. He is the partner in charge of Skadden’s Palo Alto office and a member of Skadden’s Policy Committee.

Mr. King’s M&A practice encompasses friendly and unsolicited transactions and includes some of the largest-ever technology deals, including: NXP Semiconductors N.V. in its pending $47 billion acquisition by Qualcomm Incorporated (the largest-ever semiconductor deal); Broadcom Corporation in its $37 billion acquisition by Avago Technologies Limited; SanDisk Corporation in its $19 billion acquisition by Western Digital Corporation; and Freescale Semiconductor, Ltd. and a private equity consortium in Freescale’s $11.8 billion acquisition by NXP Semiconductors NV. He previously represented Yahoo! Inc. in Microsoft Corporation’s unsolicited $45 billion acquisition proposal; Ascend Communications, Inc. in its $20 billion acquisition by Lucent Technologies, Inc.; and Compaq Computer Corporation in its $25 billion merger with Hewlett-Packard Company.

Mr. King has represented numerous companies and boards in connection with activist and unsolicited takeover situations, the majority of which remain confidential. Among publicly disclosed situations, he has advised Ciber, Inc., The Greenbrier Companies, MIPS Technologies, PMC Sierra, Tessera Technologies, Violin Memories, Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. He has advised in situations involving Carl Icahn, Third Point, Starboard, The Clinton Group, Lone Star Value and Relational, among others.

Fluent in Japanese, Mr. King has represented numerous U.S. and Japanese corporations in connection with cross-border transactions. He also has advised multinational corporations on acquisitions and joint ventures in multiple jurisdictions in Europe and Asia. He was resident in Skadden’s Tokyo office in the early 1990s and worked for several years in the Tokyo headquarters of one of Japan’s largest integrated trading companies.

On the basis of feedback from clients, he was selected in 2016 as a “BTI Client Service All-Star” for providing outstanding client service. He was the leader 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. In connection with The Recorder’s 2016 Corporate Department of the Year accolade, Mr. King also was recognized as one of 10 California Trusted Advisers, “the lawyers clients turn to for strategic counsel and valued industry insights.” In 2015, Law360 recognized him as one of three “Technology MVPs” in the country.

He was named by the Daily Journal as one of the “Top 10 Lawyers of the Decade” and has appeared annually on the Daily Journal’s annual list of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in California.” He also is ranked annually in Chambers USA’s prestigious “Band 1” for California corporate/M&A attorneys. The Recorder has recognized him as an “Attorney of the Year” and California Lawyer named him one of the top corporate and M&A lawyers in the state (in a group of only nine attorneys listed). In 2013 and 2017, he received a Client Choice award in the M&A category from International Law Office and Lexology.

Mr. King also has been recognized in virtually every other major legal ranking guide, including Chambers Global, The Legal 500 U.S., The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, IFLR1000, the PLC Cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions Handbook, and Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America.

To view a list of Mr. King's representative transactions, please click here.

Bar Admissions



J.D., Boalt Hall School of Law (University of California at Berkeley), 1987 (Editor-in-Chief, California Law Review; Order of the Coif)

B.A., Stanford University, 1977


Law Clerk, Hon. Kenneth W. Starr, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1987-1988)


Board of Directors, Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy (2006-Present)

President, California Law Review, Inc. (1996-1998)