UK magic circle beats US firms for project finance

Global project finance deals for the third quarter of this year place the UK magic circle firms above their US counterparts according to market share.

According to research by Dealogic, Allen & Overy (A&O) has held on to the top position throughout the year and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Clifford Chance have overtaken Los Angeles-based firm Latham & Watkins to take second and fourth place respectively.
A&O's head of project finance Graham Vinter said that this is in part due to UK firms dispatching people overseas for project finance work, whereas the Wall Street firms tend to be run out of the US. “This means that our partners attract people locally,” he said.
He anticipates that US firms will overtake UK firms again in the future on the back of domestic US power projects.
Since the events of 11 September, there has been substantial concern that political instability would destabilise the market. But Vinter believes this is only a temporary problem. “Although people are being more cautious and the pricings may become more expensive, the banks are now over the jitters and are prepared to lend. I think that when the situation in Afghanistan stabilises, projects will come back into the market,” he said.
The nature of deals are changing. In the first part of the year there was a large amount of activity in the telecoms area, with companies looking to raise money for the third-generation mobile phones. At the moment, telecoms companies are taking a breather and the largest deals are arising out of the energy and infrastructure sectors. However, telecoms is set for a boost, with companies raising money for third-generation phone masts.

Top 20 global project finance legal advisers for Q3 2001
Position Legal adviser Project amount ($m/£m) No of deals Share (%)
1 Allen & Overy 14,829/10,358 22 15.75
2 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 9,056/6,325 19 9.62
3 Linklaters & Alliance 7,709/5,385 14 8.19
4 Clifford Chance 7,215/5,040 36 7.66
5 Latham & Watkins 6,339/4,427 12 6.73
6 Shearman & Sterling 4,067/2,841 15 4.32
7 White & Case 3,644/2,545 12 3.87
8 Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy 3,556/2,483 12 3.78
9 Norton Rose 3,338/2,331 12 3.55
10 Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom 2,009/1,403 8 2.13
11 Dewey Ballantine 1,927.5/1,346 5 2.05
12 Allens Arthur Robinson Group 1,854/1,295 7 1.97
13 Weil Gotshal & Manges 1,755/1,225 2 1.86
14 Sullivan & Cromwell 1,582.5/1,104.5 5 1.68
15 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton 1,447/1,010 4 1.54
16 Vinson & Elkins 1,396.5/975 5 1.48
17 Andrews & Kurth 1,363/952 2 1.45
18 Uría & Menéndez 1,276/891 4 1.36
19 Davis Polk & Wardwell 1,267/885 2 1.35
20 CMS Cameron McKenna 1,189/830 5 1.26
 
Source: Dealogic ProjectWare