Paul T. Schnell - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Paul T. Schnell

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2006
Phone: 212-735-2322

Mr. Schnell focuses on U.S. and international mergers and acquisitions. He also advises on private equity, anti-takeover preparedness and shareholder activism, financings and corporate governance.

Mr. Schnell has been named as one of the leading lawyers practicing in the U.S. and has been recognized globally and in the U.S. as a leading lawyer in areas such as M&A, private equity, finance, corporate, corporate governance, health care and Latin America. Surveys that recognize Mr. Schnell include Chambers Global, Chambers USA, Chambers Latin America, U.S. News and World Report, The Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who Legal, Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America and IFLR1000.


Over the past few years, Mr. Schnell has been involved in more than 90 major publicly disclosed M&A and financing transactions, including 25 deals valued at more than $1 billion each. He has been active in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia, and in all of the BRIC countries.

In the first nine months of 2012, Mr. Schnell was involved in:

  • The largest U.S. M&A transaction, representing Pfizer in its sale of its nutritional business to Nestle for $11.9 billion (The Deal).
  • Two of the top three, three of the top five, four of the top 10 and five of the top 15 deals in the U.S. (The Deal).
  • The largest U.S. hostile proposed transaction, representing Coty in its $11 billion bid for Avon Products (The Deal).
  • The second-largest cross-border deal in the world, representing Anheuser-Busch in its $20.1 billion acquisition of control of Grupo Modelo (mergermarket). Mr. Schnell also was the lead lawyer for Anheuser-Busch Companies in 2008 in its defense against the $46.4 billion hostile cash bid by InBev N.V., the largest hostile bid in U.S. history, and its $52 billion acquisition by InBev.
  • Pfizer in the divestiture of its animal health business, Zoetis, one of the largest such transactions in 2012 (The Wall Street Journal).
  • The three largest managed care transactions in 2012: Amerigroup in its $4.9 billion sale to WellPoint; HealthSpring in its $3.8 billion sale to CIGNA Corporation; and the financial advisor to Aetna in its $7.3 billion acquisition of Coventry Health.

Mr. Schnell has worked with a large number of the most prestigious companies in the world, advising on major corporate transactions, corporate governance and other matters. He has advised many of the world’s leading financial firms, including Banc of America, Barclays, BTG Pactual, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and UBS Investment Bank. He also has represented U.S. and international private equity firms on transactions around the world.

Mr. Schnell coordinates the firm’s worldwide health care practice and has an active practice in all sectors of the industry, including pharmaceuticals, services, medical devices and life sciences. Mr. Schnell also chairs the firm’s Latin America practice.


Mr. Schnell has chaired the editorial board of The M&A Lawyer, a leading M&A publication, since its founding 12 years ago. The editorial board is made up of leading M&A lawyers from around the world. Mr. Schnell also writes and lectures frequently on M&A, corporate governance, private equity and international finance. He chairs the annual Latin Lawyer Conference on M&A in Latin America.

Mr. Schnell has been a guest teacher for classes or courses at a number of law schools, including Columbia Law School, Harvard Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School and Vanderbilt University Law School.

Mr. Schnell serves in leadership positions at numerous educational, arts, social justice and other not-for-profit organizations.

Firm Management

Mr. Schnell has been active in firm management, including serving on Skadden’s governing body, the Policy Committee, and co-chairing the Client Engagement Committee.

New York University School of LawJ.D. 1980Amherst CollegeBA

Case History

M&A — 90 deals/25 over $ 1 billion in last several years

Client Comments

"Paul is a lawyer's lawyer and provides great legal and practical advice about corporate matters and deals. He also skillfully coordinates all of Skadden's great resources for clients."

-Michael Lanza
SVP & General Counsel
Selective Insurance Group, Inc.

"Paul Schnell is one of the best U.S. lawyers I have met. He is always available, with a perfect understanding of the relevant issues. He is a fantastic asset in any transaction."

"Paul Schnell is always on the short list of any client considering a major transaction in Brazil or in Latin America."

"Paul Schnell is a very talented lawyer with a deep knowledge of securities deals and sophisticated M&A transactions."

-Francisco Müssnich
Barbosa, Müssnich & Aragão Advogados

Office Location

Four Times Square
New York, NY 10036
United States

Practice Areas

Corporate Compliance Law
Corporate Governance Law
Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law (Leveraged Buyouts, Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Equity)
Mergers and Acquisitions Law (Health Care, Joint Ventures, Private Equity, Strategic Alliances, Transactions)

Other Information

Gender: Male