Freshfields, Linklaters ride equity capital markets wave

Linklaters ride equity capital markets wave” />A jittery stock market in May and June was not enough to dampen equity capital markets in the first half of the year, which saw volume shoot up by 29 per cent, with Linklaters and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer emerging as the top advisers.

Year-on-year comparison shows that 492 equity- related deals were completed in the first six months of 2006, compared with 380 in 2005, according to the Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) league tables from Thomson Financial.

Linklaters continued to hold its rivals at bay to top the table for law firms advising arrangers. The magic circle firm acted on 37 deals to capture 7.5 per cent of the market.

Nick Eastwell, global head of capital markets at Linklaters, said: “The tables demonstrate our long-running strength in equity capital markets. We have a very wide network of offices and we’re able to present deals to clients in many different locations.”

Eastwell added that although the equity market has been buoyant, it did slow down in the latter part of the half-year. “Slight turbulence in the equity markets, the World Cup and the summer slowdown has had an impact on the market, but the order book for the autumn is full,” he said.

Tim Marsden, global head of corporate finance at Norton Rose, which placed third in the arrangers table, agreed. He said: “The stock market got a bit lumpy in May and June, but there’s a very strong pipeline for the autumn. The question is whether the market has an appetite for that much paper.”

Freshfields took first place in the issuer table thanks to its IPO practice. Tim Jones, managing partner of the London corporate department, said the rise in foreign companies listing in London had benefited his team. “There’s been an explosion of non-UK companies coming to the UK, which has been good news for us,” he said.

Freshfields was followed by Linklaters and the Herbert Smith-Gleiss Lutz-Stibbe alliance.

Top firms – issuer legal adviser
Rank Legal adviser No of issues Value (£m)
1 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 13 3,552.16
2 Linklaters 11 5,173.04
3 Herbert Smith/Gleiss Lutz/Stibbe 10 1,232.31
4 Clifford Chance 9 742.13
5 White & Case 8 1,078.05
6 Ashurst 7 622.12
7= Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton 6 6,106.36
7= Latham & Watkins 6 1,084.92
9= Carey Olsen 5 447.40
9= Morrison & Foerster 5 143.02
9= Norton Rose 5 414.63
Top firms – manager legal adviser
Rank Legal adviser No of issues Value (£bn)
1 Linklaters 37 10.10
2= Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 14 4.35
2= Norton Rose 14 0.75
4 Ashurst 12 1.72
5 Davis Polk & Wardwell 10 3.93
6 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton 9 5.19
7= Allen & Overy 8 1.55
7= Shearman & Sterling 8 2.03
9= Clifford Chance 5 1.90
9= Jones Day 5 0.10
9= Sullivan & Cromwell 5 4.33