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Clifford Chance has been the biggest winner after a boom in European M&A activity over the summer saw total deal value rocket by more than £100bn.
According to the latest figures from Thomson Financial, between 1 May and 17 August 2005 there were 2,954 M&A deals completed, compared with 3,298 during the same period in 2004. However, the value of deals increased by 60 per cent to $346bn (£191.29bn).
Clifford Chance retained its top spot in the table, advising on 70 M&A deals worth a total of $100.24bn (£55.42bn). Its roles include representing Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank on its $18.2bn (£10.06bn) takeover by UniCredito Italiano.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's role on the UniCredito-Hypovereinsbank deal looks to have helped the firm jump into second place from tenth in the rankings, notching up 46 deals with a value of $71.1bn (£39.31bn). The list includes advising the target on Spohn Cement's acquisition of Heidelberg-Cement and winning an instruction from Italy's Banca Popolare di Lodi on its bid for domestic rival Banca Antonveneta.
However, fellow magic circle firm Linklaters has slipped down the table, moving from second to eighth place, while Allen & Overy remains static in seventh position.
Other firms to boost their ratings and enjoy a role on the UniCredito-Hypovereinsbank merger include Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Hengeler Mueller, which made no impact on the 2004 chart.
There are noticeable absentees as well as additions, with M&A giant Slaughter and May, for example, failing to gain a place. Slaughters partner Chris Saul said: "There's been a glitch somewhere and we're checking with Thomson - we've done 15 deals which didn't make it to the table."
Legal advisory league table based on date announced