We are extremely saddened to announce the sudden passing of our friend and partner Scott Simpson. Scott, who was only 65, has spent his entire career at Skadden and has been co-head of our global dealing practices for the past few years.
One of the world’s top M&A lawyers, Scott oversaw many of the most contested (and uncontested) deals, such as Arcelor’s $33 billion merger with Mittal Steel NV after helping to blocking Mittal’s unsolicited $22.8 billion bid, and defending Gucci against a hostile corporation. attempted takeover by LVMH. Scott then advised Gucci on several acquisitions, including its purchase of Yves Saint Laurent and its sale to Kering. He also represented Mannesman AG in its $199 billion merger with Vodaphone AirTouch plc in 1999-2000. The transaction, which began as a hostile takeover, remains the largest corporate acquisition ever. While dealing with these and other extremely intense legal and business challenges, Scott demonstrated an unusual calmness, as well as intelligence, creativity and an unwavering dedication to our firm and our clients.
In 1990, as a junior partner, Scott joined Bruce Buck, then Office Manager, for a “two-year tour” in our new London office. He ended up staying 32 years and was instrumental in building and promoting the success of Skadden’s European platform. Scott has been repeatedly recognized as one of Europe’s most influential lawyers, including by the Financial Times, Evening Standard, Wall Street Journal and American lawyer. Last month he was named one of London’s most influential lawyers by the Financial news.
Scott grew up on Long Island, New York and took a year between high school and college to surf Hawaii, an enthusiasm he carried on through the years. Beyond surfing, in his spare time he could also be found skiing, watching Chelsea football or shooting birds. He has also been involved in charity work for the Boy Scouts and has lectured on international mergers and acquisitions at Fordham University School of Law, Harvard Law School, and Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University.
Scott’s unwavering dedication to clients and the firm reflected the highest standards of his mentor, Joe Flom, whose mission he also took on to learn from the past, assess the present and anticipate the future. Scott’s talent, collegiality and sense of fun will be sorely missed by his colleagues around the world.
As we grapple with this incomprehensible loss, our heartfelt thoughts go out to Scott’s wife, Kathleen, and his children Caitlin, Victor and Mairead, and to our colleagues around the world who have been touched by him. .