Brian J. McCarthy, partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Dealmakers Impact Report 2012: Legal Eagles

McCarthy repped Disney in its acquisition of Lucasfilm, which was announced in late October. The $4.05 billion transaction caught the world by surprise, which gave the attorney particular satisfaction. “We used a variety of the usual techniques for keeping it confidential, like the use of code names and limiting people in the know,” says McCarthy. He was impressed that “everyone who heard about the deal internally, as they needed to get involved, reacted, ‘Wow, it makes a lot of sense'” to bring the “Star Wars” franchise into Disney’s trove of pop culture properties. McCarthy — who joined the law firm in 1978 and helped open its L.A. office in 1983 — also worked for Disney in its 2006 acquisition of animation powerhouse Pixar. McCarthy’s other media/entertainment credits include representing Freedom Communications in the sale of its newspapers and TV stations, Summit Entertainment in its sale to Lionsgate, Times Mirror in its sale to Tribune, Activision’s videogame merger with Blizzard Entertainment, and MGM Grand in buying Mirage Resorts.

Outside the office: Someone in his family has been practicing law or been in law school since the 1890s.

Top cause: Serving a term as president of Tufts U.’s alumni association

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