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The D.C. office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom slipped a notch from last year’s ranking, with revenue growing a modest 1 percent and profits per partner holding steady. Despite the static returns, Skadden’s per-partner profit of more than $1.6 million was still the second highest of all D.C. offices in 2003. “Even at the reduced levels of activity in some of our practice areas, we still feel we had a great year,” says D.C. managing partner Michael Rogan. White collar crime litigation and Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement matters highlighted the year for the firm, which is perhaps best known for its mergers and acquisitions practice. Skadden represented the HealthSouth Corp., a health care company that came under suspicion for $2.5 billion in accounting fraud last year. Skadden also continued its representation of the embattled energy company Enron Corp. In another corporate scandal, D.C. partner Colleen Mahoney took the lead in representing Putnam Investments Inc. in the mutual fund investigation. Skadden’s D.C. lawyers also participated in several high-profile transactions last year. The firm represented Aventis in the $925 million sale of its Aventis Behring LLC business to CSL Ltd. Skadden lawyers also worked on the merger of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines with Air France, and assisted the News Corp. when it acquired a controlling interest in Hughes Electronics. The office participated in the representation of a bank group led by the Bank of Nova Scotia in a $500 million construction and financing deal of two power plants for Florida Power and Light. Last year, the firm negotiated a deal involving former 2000 presidential candidate Al Gore and the purchase of Newsworld International from Vivendi Universal Entertainment. Despite those highlights, in mergers and acquisitions the firm is “clearly not as busy as we’d like it to be, but it’s better,” Rogan says. Rogan also points to other areas that were not as strong as in the past. For example, the communications practice, which suffered from the economic downturn in 2001 and 2002 continued to struggle, Rogan says. But he is hopeful for a turnaround. Antoinette Cook Bush, a leader in the communications practice, rejoined the firm after a stint at the Federal Communications Commission. There has been some pick-up, but so far there has been no huge increase in communications deals, Rogan admits. “The tale remains to be told for 2004″ for the communications sector, Rogan says. But other practice areas hold promise in 2004. The firm is hiring lawyers for its litigation and bank regulatory practices, Rogan says. And the firm recently started a patent litigation practice in the District with the addition of new partner Allan Soobert, from Cooley Godward’s Reston, Va., office. Soobert’s clients have included eBay, Qualcomm, and Sun Microsystems.

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