Linklaters holds M&A top spot while rivals slip down the ranks

Freshfields and Slaughter and May plummet; Clifford Chance and A&O move up

The M&A performances of corporate heavyweights Slaughter and May and Freshfields Bruckhaus Der-inger have gone into freefall according to the Bloomberg legal advisory tables for 2002.
Both firms have plummeted down the tables, with Freshfields working on deals cumulatively worth 62 per cent less than in 2001 and falling from third to ninth place. Slaughters worked on 25 per cent fewer deals than in 2001 and on deals cumulatively worth 41 per cent less. The firm was also outpaced by Ashurst Morris Crisp, which now sits at fourteenth, two places above Slaughters.
It was a different story for fellow corporate heavyweight Linklaters, which has completed a higher value of M&A work than any other globally, adding to a three-year run of dominating the European legal advisory tables. Herbert Smith also performed well, moving from twentieth to eleventh place.
The tables reflect a year in which US merger activity has been down. The figures show that the value of European merger activity surpassed US deals for the first time in more than a decade, with Europe accounting for $558.9bn (£348.77bn) and the US just $531.6bn (£331.73bn).
Consequently, it was a poor year for New York firms, with Sullivan & Cromwell, Shear-man & Sterling, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Wachtell Lip-ton Rosen & Katz all losing market share.

Global deals announced ranked by value (1/1/02-12/31/02)
Rank 2002 Rank 2001 Firm Value $bn Value £bn No of deals Value change vs 2001 (%)
1 8 Linklaters 213.650 133.324 222 21.25
2 7 Skadden Arps 174.539 108.918 168 -8.85
3 1 Sullivan & Cromwell 152.385 95.093 110 -42.95
4 17 Jones Day 116.595 72.789 253 57.26
5 19 Gibson Dunn & Crutcher 116.434 72.658 81 101.90
6 4 Shearman & Sterling 106.214 66.281 121 -52.45
7 15 Clifford Chance 91.999 57.410 184 20.91
8 11 Cleary Gottlieb 89.741 56.001 49 -27.13
9 3 Freshfields 85.379 53.279 151 -62.24
10 16 Allen & Overy 84.977 53.028 175 12.50
Source: Bloomberg