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Slaughter and May has extended its lead at the top of the latest ranking of advisers to FTSE100 companies, with the firm becoming the first to have more than 30 clients among the top tier of listed companies.
The latest quarterly figures from Hemscott have revealed that the City firm now boasts 31 of the FTSE100 as its clients, up from 28 in the previous quarter.
Paul Olney, practice partner at Slaughters, says the rankings provide evidence that his firm has a consistent strong stable of corporate clients.
“We look at these rankings over a longer period,” says Olney. “Short term, the index composition fluctuates, some clients leave an index because they’ve been taken over or for other reasons. If a firm can maintain or grow its aggregate position over the longer term despite this attrition, then I’d say it was doing some things right.”
New FTSE100 entrants for the firm include Scottish-based power generator hire company Aggreko, which it advises jointly with Dickson Minto, and BAE Systems, which also looks to Allen & Overy (A&O), Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters for legal advice.
Linklaters has retained its second-place spot in the rankings with 24 clients, a gain of one. A&O was the only firm in the top five to move up the table, climbing from fifth to joint fourth, alongside Herbert Smith, after gaining two clients, including clothing retail group Next.
Eversheds was the only firm to slip out of the top 20, losing two of its three clients since the rankings were last published in November 2009. All other firms held their positions, with the exception of Addleshaw Goddard, which moved up to joint seventh after adding one client.
There has been more movement this quarter in the FTSE250 rankings.
Slaughters and Linklaters also occupy the top places, although both saw their totals fall during the last quarter. Linklaters dropped six clients to be challenged for second place by Ashurst, whose 26 companies puts it just one place behind the magic circle firm.
Herbert Smith moved from fifth to fourth on the FTSE250 rankings, gaining two clients, one ahead of A&O and Freshfields.
On the list of overall stock market clients, only Hammonds dropped out of the top 20 in the last quarter.
Slaughters again led the way with a total of 114 clients across the full market. Pinsent Masons was second with 99, ahead of Eversheds and Norton Rose. As in the FTSE lists, Herbert Smith was the only major mover, replacing Ashurst in fifth place.
“We’ve always adopted the approach of acting for a wide range of clients and will continue to do so,” says Olney. “M&A levels are still down among the FTSE100 and 250 companies, but there’s still interesting work coming from them.”