Allen & Overy (A&O) and Clifford Chance have maintained their lead in announced European M&A deals during the first three-quarters of the year despite an alarming slump in deal volume during the last quarter.
In European deals completed to date, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer comes out on top with almost $240bn (£117.1bn) in front of A&O, Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Sullivan & Cromwell. Deals in the bank may prove to be the most valuable by year-end with the credit crunch upping its pressures on the markets.
Worldwide M&A in 2007 to date has broken $3.6 trillion, already beating even the 2006 all-time record full-year figure. However, this third quarter has seen M&A activity slide 66 per cent against July 2007 figures on the back of the global markets’ jitters. Global deals announced in September 2007 amounted to just $192bn (£94.2bn), the lowest monthly total since August 2005.
According to the latest statistics from Thomson Financial, A&O has continued its impressive growth from last year, registering a near four-fold increase in the value of its European deals to almost $450bn (£218.7bn).
Clifford Chance and Sullivan come in at second and third place respectively, with Clifford Chance doubling its 2006 third-quarter figure at almost $420bn (£205.6bn).
These figures have been buoyed by the ABN Amro (ABN) saga where A&O is acting both for ABN negotiating the dowry with its suitors and for Bank of America in its now successful marriage to ABN’s US daughter company LaSalle for more than £10bn. Sullivan and Clifford Chance are both co-advising Barclays on its £40bn bid for ABN.
In worldwide rankings Sullivan still rules the roost, but it and stalwarts Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Linklaters and Davis Polk & Wardwell are again joined by global M&A newcomers A&O and Clifford Chance in second and fourth positions respectively. Shearman & Sterling have dropped to 15th place from third place on the back of a disappointing year.
Any European Involvement Announced (1 Jan-30 Sept 2007)
|Rank||Legal Advisor||Value (US$m)||Rank (1 Jan-30 Sept 2006)|
|1||Allen & Overy||445,937.5||13|
|3||Sullivan & Cromwell||363,909.4||3|
|8||Slaughter & May||214,785.0||21|
|10||Shearman & Sterling||191,172.6||8|
|(Source: Thomson Financial)|