For the past year-plus, transactional lawyers have been drowning in work, responding to a well-documented surge in demand. At Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, all that activity resulted in the firm placing in the top 10 for global M&A value handled in 2021, according to Refinitiv. For executive partner Eric Friedman, that success in the present is central to the firm’s plans for success in the future.

In this interview, Friedman discusses how the firm is using its strengths to compete for talent, how the firm has adjusted to meet demand and what Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means for the firm’s efforts in Europe. This conversation, which took place prior to the Big Law exodus from Russia, has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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