Isaac Shapiro is involved in business development, with an emphasis on transactions in Asia, Russia and the former Soviet Union as well as in Eastern Europe.


Mr. Shapiro is of counsel to the firm in New York. He is admitted as an avocat honoraire in France.

Mr. Shapiro, who was born in Japan and raised there and in China, came to the firm in April 1986 with 30 years’ experience in litigation, corporate law, antitrust law and international business transactions. At his former firm, he was the resident partner in its Tokyo office from 1977 to 1979.

Shortly after Mr. Shapiro joined Skadden, Arps, the firm’s affiliate, Skadden (International), opened its first overseas office in Tokyo in 1987. Since then, the firm and its affiliates have expanded operations to Beijing, Brussels, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Moscow, Munich, Paris, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Toronto.

From 1990 until 2001, when he became of counsel to the firm, Mr. Shapiro was a resident partner in Skadden’s Paris office, where he focused on privatization and international arbitration matters involving the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Mr. Shapiro’s practice also involved the representation of multinational clients in connection with their transactions in the former Soviet Union and Central Europe. His practice has included the representation of clients based in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea, Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China and the former Soviet Union.

From 1982 to 1991, Mr. Shapiro served in public office as a member of the Services Policy Advisory Committee to the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Mr. Shapiro has served as a director of The Bank of Tokyo – Mitsubishi Trust Company, Carl Zeiss, Inc. and enherent Corp. He also has served in many capacities, including president, for Japan Society, Inc. He has served as a trustee of the Asian Cultural Council, Inc., a trustee and past president of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation (New York), a trustee of the Isamu Noguchi Zaidan in Japan and a trustee of the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Mr. Shapiro is fluent in English, French, Russian and Japanese. In addition to his law practice, Mr. Shapiro has taught Soviet and Russian Law at New York University School of Law and Columbia Law School. He also is a co-author, with the late John Hazard of Columbia Law School, of The Soviet Legal System, a law school textbook. In 2006, Mr. Shapiro was decorated with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon by the Emperor of Japan for his service in promoting U.S.-Japanese cultural relations.

Mr. Shapiro has been repeatedly selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America.



  • LL.B., Columbia Law School, 1956 (Editor, Columbia Law Review)
  • Fulbright Scholar, Institut de Droit Compare, University of Paris, 1956-1957
  • A.B., Columbia College, 1954


  • New York
  • Paris
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • Chairman, Committee on Foreign and Comparative Law, New York City Bar Association (1970-1973)
  • Chairman, Committee on Soviet Law, American Bar Association (1966-1970)

Isaac Shapiro

Of Counsel, International Litigation and Arbitration