Linklaters has leapfrogged Clifford Chance and Bredin Prat to top the MergerMarket league table in France for 2003, but the big news is the arrival of Weil Gotshal & Manges and Gide Loyrette Nouel in the top five.
Weil Gotshal can thank its year-old merger with M&A boutique Serra Leavy & Cazals for its rise from 27th to third place.
The firm advised on deals worth €20.9bn (£14.65bn), with local managing partner Claude Serra enjoying a prolific year, advising on deals for General Electric and Vivendi Universal. The recruitment of Linklaters private equity star David Aknin should ensure that Weil Gotshal retains its position next year.
Gide advised on deals worth €18bn (£12.62), placing it at five and confirming its re-emergence.
A surprise is the disappearance of Ashurst and Lovells. The former advised on just 10 deals worth a combined €1.85bn (£1.3bn), while Lovells worked on 15, totalling €2.86bn (£2.01bn).