CC muscles its way into global LBO elite

Clifford Chance

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

According to data from mergermarket, Simpson Thacher & 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 (£22.98bn), in sixth place. Allen & Overy (A&O) ranked thirteenth with deals worth $41.75bn (£20.95bn) and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was nineteenth with $32.5bn (£16.31bn) worth of deals.

Clifford Chance corporate partner David Walker said the firm has acted for some of the largest global players for many years, adding that one of the biggest buyouts Clifford Chance has acted on recently is Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ (KKR) purchase of Alliance Boots.

“We’ve achieved this ranking by acting for a number of the world’s largest and most active private equity houses, such as Permira, the Carlyle Group, CVC and KKR, across many jurisdictions,” he said. “This demonstrates the depth and strength of our team and we remain committed to that.”

Clifford Chance also fared well in terms of M&A activity, advising on 120 deals with a combined value of $435.3bn (£218.45bn) and winning roles on three of the top five M&A deals. This ranked the firm third in value terms for global M&A advice, behind Sullivan & Cromwell and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

A&O, Linklaters and Freshfields ranked fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.