The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... 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.
But this year has seen the resurgence of several mid-size firms. Rowe & Maw, Dechert, Hammond Suddards Edge and CMS Cameron McKenna have all witnessed bumper first quarters.
For deals involving a European target, CMS Cameron McKenna is the surprise entrant. Last year the firm failed to make a showing in the top 25, but it is now ranked sixth. Its deals include acting for Nomura International on the acquisition of the £150m Cumberland Hotel from Compass.
Rowe & Maw, Dechert and Hammond Suddards Edge have all entered the top 25 M&A rankings. Again, all were absent from the same table (completed deals involving a UK target) last year.
Rowe & Maw's role in Persimmon's £562m takeover of Beazer is key to its fifteenth-place ranking. This year, the firm has completed five deals with UK targets with a total value of $1.8bn (£1.3bn).
National firm Hammond Suddards Edge acted on 19 UK targeted deals with a total value of $1.4bn (£976.7m), giving it a ranking of 17. It advised Jabil Circuit on its £390m acquisition of manufacturing operations from Marconi.
Dechert, formed last year with the merger of Titmuss Sainer Dechert and US firm Dechert Price & Rhoads, acted on three deals. These included advising Travelex Holdings on its £441m acquisition of a Thomas Cook subsidiary.
But while the smaller City players have witnessed strong first quarters, US firms are not faring as well. Sullivan & Cromwell, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett have all been pushed out of the top-10 firms for completed deals involving a European target, with Simpson Thacher absent from the top 25 altogether.