The Lawyer’s new China Elite report contains the most detailed research available on the PRC legal market and contains unparalleled insight into the country's leading law firms. They vary in size, practice focus and geographic coverage, but they all share one common quality – ambition... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Freshfields came only 13th in the table of company legal advisers with six flotations in the period, but, reflecting its strong merchant banker client-base, topped the list of advisers to the sponsors of flotations, with 42 under its belt.
Allen & Overy, which has strong links with commercial banking clients but not with the merchant banks who do flotations, came only 12th as adviser to companies and 11th as adviser to sponsors.
Showing their strong links with companies, some of the larger regional law firms did well with Eversheds and Pinsent Curtis coming eighth and ninth respectively as advisers to the company, but not as well as advisers to the sponsor.
Most law firms chase flotation work, especially advising companies, since there is a good chance of retaining the client company once it has floated.
Simon Jay, corporate partner at Travers Smith Braithwaite, who helped Pace Micro in its £375 million flotation earlier this year, said his firm now acted for Pace in its more general corporate work as well. Previously, Pace had used a number of different firms.
He said that advising a company and educating directors as to what is required of them after a flotation, was a more arduous role than negotiating and drawing up an underwriting agreement with a sponsor.
But he added that he often acted for a sponsor when the company's law firm had never advised on a flotation before. "In those sort of situations, you end up doing a lot more work to ensure the company is meeting all the requirements."