Clifford Chance gatecrashes global LBO rankings

Clifford Chance has broken the US’s stranglehold on advising global private equity buyouts, making it onto the global leveraged buyout (LBO) leaderboard in terms of value in the second quarter of 2007.

According to data from mergermarket, Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett is the leading legal adviser to private equity buyouts globally, advising on $140.9bn (£70.71bn) worth of LBOs in the past three months.

The next four places are filled by New York firms such as Weil Gotshal & Manges and Davis Polk & Wardwell, with Clifford Chance, which advised on 23 deals worth a combined $45.8bn, in sixth place. Allen & Overy ranked thirteenth, with deals worth $41.75bn and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer ranked nineteenth with deals valued at $32.5bn.

In terms of volume, Kirkland & Ellis, which advised on 41 buyouts, led the table, followed by Latham & Watkins at 28, Weil at 27 and Simpson Thatcher at 25.

Looking at global M&A, Sullivan & Cromwell leads the way in terms of value, advising on 84 deals with a combined worth of $489.1bn. Second place went to Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, with the next four places being taken up by magic circle firms.

Clifford Chance, which had roles on three of the top five M&A deals, is in third place, advising on 120 deals with a combined value of $435.3bn. Among these, Clifford Chance advised Volkswagen on its $100bn takeover by Porsche and Barclays on its $89.6bn bid for ABN Amro.

Fourth place goes to Allen & Overy, which acted for Porsche on the Volkswagen deal and also represented ABN Amro on the Barclays approach, as well as an approach from a Royal Bank of Scotland-led consortium.

Linklaters, which also gave advice to Volkswagen, is in fifth place, followed by Freshfields, which advised on a total value of $325.1bn, including a role for Porsche.