Freshfields leads UK players as global M&A market halves

According to Thomson Financial's 2001 figures for announced deals, the firm has leaped over Linklaters to move from eleventh to seventh position.
Freshfields head of corporate Barry O'Brien said: “Once you're in a leading position, it depends on the luck of the draw. We had problems with conflicts last year which held us back, but this year we've had less trouble.”
Also in the top 20 is Linklaters, which remains static in ninth place, and Clifford Chance, which has moved up from seventeenth to thirteenth place. Allen & Overy has edged into the top 20, moving from 22nd last year to 20th this year.
Slaughter and May and Herbert Smith are both in the mix, but have tumbled down the rankings. Herbert Smith was ranked tenth last year, but has fallen to just sixteenth, while Slaughters has moved down from thirteenth to eighteenth. However, both firms maintain that their own figures demonstrate 2001 was a good year.
The pre-eminence of US firms remains predictably untouched. Of the US firms that are strong in Europe, Shearman & Sterling was the biggest mover.
But regardless of individual performance, the figures make grim reading, as the global value of M&A deals has dropped by nearly 50 per cent from 2000 and far fewer really big deals were announced as the global economy slowed.
However, O'Brien said: “GE-Honeywell and its ilk have had a significant restraining effect. Many European deals we saw pulled last year were more to do with worries over anti-trust than the market.”

US-announced mergers and acquisitions
  Full year 2001 Full year 2000
Adviser Rank Value
$bn (£bn)
Market share
(%)
No of deals Rank Value $bn (£bn) Change in value (%)
Sullivan & Cromwell 1 303.59 (210.46) 17.4 134 1 937.78 (650.11) -67.6
Shearman & Sterling 2 275.25 (190.82) 15.8 134 6 452.98 (314.02) -39.2
Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz 3 261.95 (181.60) 15.0 56 8 442.54 (306.79) -40.8
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett 4 232.10 (160.90) 13.3 97 2 645.78 (447.68) -64.1
Dewey Ballantine 5 230.19 (159.57) 13.2 80 7 445.08 (308.55) -48.3
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom 6 216.34 (149.97) 12.4 170 4 488.67 (338.77) -55.7
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 7 208.02 (144.21) 11.9 175 11 374.72 (259.77) -44.5
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton 8 202.96 (140.70) 11.6 121 3 581.10 (402.84) -65.1
Linklaters 9 169.87 (117.86) 9.7 250 9 442.13 (306.50) -61.6
Davis Polk & Wardwell 10 160.59 (111.33) 9.2 72 15 321.85 (223.12) -50.1
Debevoise & Plimpton 11 150.34 (104.22) 8.6 65 26 113.28 (78.53) 32.7
Cravath Swaine & Moore 12 149.06 (103.06) 8.5 59 5 462.95 (320.93) -67.8
Clifford Chance 13 141.32 (97.97) 8.1 232 17 225.98 (156.66) -37.5
Weil Gotshal & Manges 14 128.32 (88.96) 7.4 147 23 169.94 (117.81) -24.5
Latham & Watkins 15 115.47 (80.47) 6.6 181 29 91.71 (63.58) 25.9
Herbert Smith Gleiss Lutz 16 113.37 (78.60) 6.5 78 10 384.16 (226.32) -70.5
Jones Day Reavis & Pogue 17 101.01 (70.02) 5.8 400 12 353.64 (245.15) -71.4
Slaughter and May 18 85.66 (59.38) 4.9 101 13 345.69 (239.65) -75.2
Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson 19 83.23 (57.70) 4.8 56 14 326.41 (226.28) -74.5
Allen & Overy 20 82.61 (57.27) 4.7 151 22 171.57 (118.94) -51.8

Source: Thomson Financial Securities Data