NEW YORK – October 17, 2011 – Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP announced today with great sadness the death of Peter P. Mullen, who passed away Saturday. He was 83 years old.
Mr. Mullen was Skadden’s first Executive Partner, a position he held formally from 1981 to 1994, and informally for several years prior. He joined the firm in 1961 as an associate and was named partner in 1962. He became of counsel in 1998 and recently celebrated his 50th anniversary with the firm.
“As the firm’s first Executive Partner, Peter consistently applied his practical wisdom in leading Skadden into the ranks of the world’s leading law firms,” said current Executive Partner Eric J. Friedman. “He was known as our ‘architect,’ handling both long-term strategy and day-to-day decisions while commanding the respect of all the firm’s attorneys and staff.”
As Executive Partner, Mr. Mullen held primary responsibility for the direction and development of the firm. He presided over both geographic expansion and practice diversification, with 14 offices opened during his executive term. These locations included Beijing, Hong Kong, Moscow and Tokyo, offices that today account for a substantial portion of Skadden’s representations.
In addition to his management responsibilities, Mr. Mullen practiced corporate and securities law. For several years, he was head of Skadden’s corporate practice, during which time he was active in public and private financing, mergers and acquisitions, contests for corporate control, board governance and securities regulation.
“Time and again, Peter successfully built consensus around issues and important decisions that would have left others stymied, bringing diverse and strongly held views into line for the good of our clients, the firm and its employees,” said Robert C. Sheehan, who succeeded Mr. Mullen as the firm’s second Executive Partner from 1994 to 2009.
Together with Joe Flom, Mr. Mullen helped establish the Skadden Fellowship Foundation in 1988. The Foundation has provided two-year fellowships to more than 600 young lawyers seeking to pursue public interest law.
Mr. Mullen graduated cum laude from Georgetown University in 1948 and earned his LL.B. in 1951 from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. In 1989, the Georgetown Alumni Association awarded him the John Carroll Award — the highest honor bestowed by the group — named after the university’s founder Archbishop John Carroll.
Mr. Mullen was a member of the board of directors of the Gregorian University Foundation of New York and Rome, having served as chairman until last year. From 1985 to 1992, he was chairman of the Georgetown Board of Directors. He also was a member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Securities Regulation from 1980 to 1983. He was a trustee, director or member of ORBIS International, The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Advisory Committee of The Southwest Legal Foundation, The Legal Aid Society and Volunteers of Legal Services, The United Way and The Cardinal’s Committee of the Laity, among other organizations.
Mr. Mullen is survived by wife Billie, sons Peter and Jeff, and daughters Kirby, Elaine and Lucy, as well as nine grandchildren.
All donations in honor of Peter Mullen should be made to The Gregorian University Foundation, Project ORBIS or The Lake Waramaug Task Force. Funeral services are being coordinated by McGrath Funeral Home in Bronxville, NY: www.mcgrathandson.com.