The Talent

November 30, 2010 6:38 PM

Allen Ruby Joins Skadden

Posted by Brian Baxter


UPDATES: 12/3/10, 6:23 p.m. Skadden will close its San Francisco office and move all personnel to its Palo Alto office, according to sibling publication The Recorder. 12/6/10, 6:31 p.m. The Recorder reports that Skadden claims the office closure was in the works for some time and should not be taken as a "loss of confidence" in the Bay Area market.

Legendary Silicon Valley solo practitioner Allen Ruby is taking his high-powered litigation practice to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, according to the San Jose Mercury News, which first had news of the move.

Skadden confirmed the hire in a statement. Ruby, who spoke with The Am Law Daily by phone late Tuesday, says that he will become a Skadden partner on January 1, 2011 and work out of the firm's office in Palo Alto. Ruby also intends to hold on to his small office in San Jose as a "trial office," he says.

Ruby, 65, has spent much of his career on his own or working with smaller shops but chose to hook up with Skadden because he wanted the benefits of a larger firm, the Mercury News reports. According to the latest Am Law 100 financial data, Skadden had gross revenues of $2.1 billion in 2009 and profits per partner of $2.16 million.

"I've known the Skadden folks for a long time and we've worked on a number of things of the years, so the beginnings of this go back a long way," Ruby says. "I decided to do this because it's such a great opportunity."

Born into a wrestling family, Ruby has stepped into the high-profile sports litigation arena by representing clients like former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds and successfully defending the National Football League in a billion-dollar suit brought by Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis.

Hewlett-Packard retained Ruby earlier this year, along with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Seyfarth Shaw, for a since-settled civil suit against former CEO Mark Hurd. Facebook has also hired Ruby to represent it in litigation among founders disputing their respective ownership stakes in the social network.

Ruby says his relationship with Skadden antitrust partners Shepard Goldfein and James Keyte in the NFL case--the firm also represented the league--will help smooth his transition to the firm. Ruby also cites his working relationship with Skadden litigation partners David Hansen and Raoul Kennedy on the West Coast as enticing him to leave solo practice behind.

Skadden has been active on the lateral market in recent months, hiring corporate partner Brian Breheny from the SEC in October, financial services partner Mark Young in August, and litigation partner Stephen Robinson from his federal judgeship and corporate investigation counsel Matthew Cowie from the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office in June. They followed the additions of former federal health care prosecutor Michael Loucks and ex-White House counsel Gregory Craig earlier this year.

Ruby declined to say whether or not he had used a legal recruiter for the move to Skadden, but did add that his assistant of 40 years, Marilyn Garibaldi, will be joining him at the firm. Ruby says that "there were some conflict questions some time ago" that might have held up his hire, but they've since been resolved.

"I'm going to continue working for the clients that I've been working for, as they've been great about this," says Ruby, noting the upcoming Bonds perjury trial in March. "It's going to be a busy stretch."


Photo: Jason Doiy

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