Skadden and Linklaters top European rainmakers list

Corporate partners from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Linklaters have emerged as the top European rainmakers.

Skadden partner Scott Simpson topped Mergermarket’s 2005 pan-European league table by value of individual lawyers, advising on nine deals worth EUR76.6bn.

Meanwhile, fellow Skadden partner Michael Hatchard took the number two spot after advising on 11 transactions totalling EUR70.6bn. The duo advised Skype Technologies on eBay’s EUR2.1bn bid for the company.

Linklaters Spanish partner Alejandro Ortiz, who joined the magic circle firm last summer scooped the number three position having advised on 13 deals valued at EUR57.6bn.

All the top three lawyers by value advised on the EUR42.5bn Gas Natural/Endesa transaction, the largest announced M&A deal on 2005.

Sullivan & Cromwell corporate partner Garth Bray, who topped the individual partner value table for the period 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005 failed to make the top 10 in the 2005 table (by value). Nonetheless, Bray took the number eight position in the volume table, which was topped by Linklaters Paris-based partner Michel Frieh, who advised on 17 deals valued at EUR3.1bn.

Frieh joined Linklaters from Willkie Farr & Gallagher in May 2004. Frieh’s success is mirrored by France’s other most most eye-catching lateral hires of recent years.

Private equity star Thomas Forschbach took a team of six lawyers from Ashurst to Latham & Watkins in Septamber 2004 and takes sixth place on mergermarket’s volume chart with 12 deals worth EUR4.5bn.

Weil Gotshal & Manges‘ David Aknin left Linklaters at the tail-end of 2003 and sneaked in ahead of Forschbach with 12 deals worth EUR5.3bn.