Sullivan takes the lead in US M&A rankings

It was a tussle for the top spot in the US debt and equity markets and M&A transaction rankings for the first half of 2006.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett was knocked from its pedestal in the US M&A rankings by Sullivan & Cromwell, which racked up a total deal value of $317.95bn (£167.2bn). This was largely due to Sullivan’s lead role on the mammoth $67bn (£35.23bn) merger between US telecom companies AT&T and BellSouth.

In fact Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz also trounced Simpson in the rankings, with deals worth $302.12bn (£158.88bn) and $251.04bn (£132.02bn) respectively.

It was far better news for Ashurst ally McKee Nelson, though, which remained the leading manager adviser thanks to its strength in the US securitisation market.

As reported by The Lawyer (14 August), the firm notched up 493 debt, equity and equity-related deals – a whopping two-thirds more than its nearest rival.

Meanwhile on the issuer side, Sidley Austin used its strength in debt capital markets to scoop the top spot for all US debt, equity and equity-related deals, acting on trades worth $174bn (£91.5bn).