Three magic circle firms are dominating the European market for Medium Term Note (EMTN) programmes, leaving clear blue water between themselves and their closest rival for the last six months, Hengeler Mueller Weitzel Wirtz.
Only three US firms made it into the top 10 of advisers to lead managers on EMTN programmes signed from 1 January to 30 June this year, according to a league table compiled by Dealogic Capital Net. Sullivan & Cromwell, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Arnold & Porter advised lead managers on a mere five programmes between them. Allen & Overy (A&O) maintained its poll position after acting for lead managers on 18 new programmes between 1 January and 30 June 2001. Linklaters & Alliance followed closely behind with 15 programmes and Clifford Chance acted on 13. Hengeler Mueller trailed behind with four programmes, while Lovells advised on two. Slaughter and May and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer do not appear in the top 10 advisers to lead managers. Clifford Chance capital markets partner David Dunnigan said: "It's been over a period of time on Eurobond transactions that A&O, Linklaters and ourselves have just pulled way ahead of anybody else. "Ten or fifteen years ago, Freshfields, Slaughter and May and Simmons & Simmons were there. They weren't biting at our tails, but they were there. That applies to capital markets generally." Dunnigan believes that international expansion was crucial to the firms' leading positions. "This kind of work plays beautifully to that strategy," he said. "To the extent that a firm extends its boundaries, there are other capital markets that you can start to look at."