Champagne flows as A&O tops M&A charts

There’s every sign that the party’s coming to an end. The world’s markets got one hell of a wake-up call this morning when billions of dollars were wiped off share values.

There’s every sign that the party’s coming to an end. The world’s markets got one hell of a wake-up call this morning when billions of dollars were wiped off share values.

But while the music is still playing, firms are enjoying the good times while they can.

And why not? So far this year the top firms have advised on £785bn worth of European M&A deals, according to Thomson. That buys a fair old amount of bubbly.

Popping a few corks today is Allen & Overy (A&O), which topped the latest M&A rankings and broke a few stereotypes at the same time (see story).

The corporate teams at A&O, and its nearest rival in the table Clifford Chance, have suffered from a reputational disadvantage, with most in the City viewing them as not as strong as the firms’ banking and finance teams. But no more.

So A&O and Clifford Chance are now more rounded big-hitters. It seems the magic circle will need to be equally strong in corporate and finance. Who’s going to break the news to freshly slimmed Freshfields?