An M&A fee-st for the eyes

Everyone loves to have a peek through the proverbial net curtains from time to time. What’s going on at that law firm down the road? How much are they getting paid, and what exactly are they getting paid for? Sadly, for lawyers, that sort of intelligence is pretty hard to come by.

Step forward, the Takeover Panel’s disclosure rules. Since 2011, the Takeover Code has made it obligatory for any business making a firm bid for a UK-listed company to publicly estimate the costs of any related legal fees and expenses in its offer document.

Having delved into the digits, The Lawyer can reveal some interesting nuggets. For starters, the second half of 2013 was far more lucrative in terms of UK public M&A fees than the first half. Firms raked in a total of £38.9m in legal fees during the period, as opposed to £29m between January and July – largely thanks to a sizeable increase in deal volume.

And secondly, the second six months of 2013 featured two stand-out deals: Schneider Electric’s offer for Invensys and Eurasian Resources’ mind-bogglingly complex buyout of miner Kazakhmys’ stake in mining giant ENRC. Legal fees for the pair combined came to £23.6m – more than the sum of all the other fees shelled out between July and December put together.

For more juicy details on who picked up which fees for what work, see our feature: All clear on M&A deals front.

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