Allen & Gledhill beats global Goliaths to lead Asian M&A

Singaporean firm Allen & Gledhill has topped the rankings for Asian M&A, beating off competition from UK, US and Australian firms

Linklaters' joint venture partner Allen & Gledhill worked on 20 deals worth $22.13bn (£15.49bn) in 2001, according to Thomson Financial's figures for announced M&A transactions ranked by value. Managing partner Lucien Wong said: “We're thrilled that legal services and expertise from Singapore have reached the forefront.”
UK firms take up five of the next six places, with Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, Herbert Smith and Allen & Overy all seeing their Asian strategies pay off. The Wong Partnership, with which Clifford Chance is considering reinstating its Singaporean joint venture, ranks at number 12.
However, the Thomson figures also indicate that lawyers handled 62 per cent less M&A work in 2001 than in 2000. In 2000, law firms worked on $44bn (£30.81bn) worth of M&A in Asia, compared with $116bn (£81.22bn) in 2000. The strongest market was South Korea, followed by Singapore and Hong Kong.
Singapore's top local law firms, including Allen & Gledhill, have just slashed associate bonuses by around 60 per cent. The vast majority of the island state's local firms were involved, including Allen & Overy's partner Shook Lin & Bok, Freshfields-tied Drew & Napier, Andersen Legal member Rajah & Tann and most of the other joint ventures.
A senior partner at one joint venture firm said: “The top law firms got together and discussed the matter. Together we reached a consensus on bonuses which reflected the economic reality in Singapore.”

M&A transactions with Asia (excluding Japan) target or acquirer by value 2001
Rank Adviser Rank value
$bn (£bn)
Mkt share No of deals
1 Allen & Gledhill 22.13/15.49 18.1 20
2 Clifford Chance 17.70/11.98 14.4 23
3 Freshfields 14.54/10.18 11.9 36
4 Linklaters 14.23/9.96 11.6 46
5 Shearman & Sterling 12.82/8.98 10.5 21
6 Herbert Smith/Gleiss Lutz 11.88/8.31 9.7 7
7 Allen & Overy 11.86/8.30 9.7 22
8 Clayton Utz 11.34/7.94 9.3 4
9 Allen Arthur Robinson Group 11.31/7.92 9.2 3
10 Skadden Arps Slate Meagher 11.10/7.78 9.1 5
11 Minter Ellison 10.23/7.16 8.4 3
12 Wong Partnership 10.03/7.02 8.2 10
13= Morgan Lewis & Bockius 9.96/6.98 8.1 1
13= Blake Dawson Waldron 9.96/6.98 8.1 1
15 Slaughter & May 7.18/5.03 5.9 10
 
Source: Source: Thomson Financial