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Allen & Overy (A&O) and Clifford Chance were the big winners in global project finance this year as activity in the Middle East and Africa more than trebled, despite an overall drop in volume.
A&0 topped the chart for the first half of 2005 with $8.19bn (£4.57bn) worth of deals under its belt, according to the table published by Dealogic. It was closely followed by Clifford Chance, which scooped work worth $6.71bn (£3.74bn). The two magic circle firms have stretched far ahead of the chasing pack, with third-placed White & Case winning just $2.53bn (£1.41bn) of deals.
Latham & Watkins has suffered the biggest drop from the same period last year, moving from second to seventh place, while Denton Wilde Sapte, Mallesons Stephen Jacques, Norton Rose and Slaughter and May all moved into the top 10.
Global volume for project finance fell by 12 per cent from last year's figure to $60.7bn (£33.87bn); the number of deals dropped to 179 from 202.
The Middle East and Africa were the only areas where volume increased, jumping 98 per cent to $10.4bn (£5.8bn). Western Europe remained the strong-est area at $21bn (£11.72bn), despite volume dropping 11 per cent. The UK, Italy and Spain accounted for 85 per cent of the total.
The power sector fuelled the project finance market and recorded the highest volume increase, up 23 per cent to $28.9bn (£16.12bn), while infrastructure and PFI financings both fell.