US makes moves on UK M&A sector

THE boom in transatlantic mergers is reflected in a league table which shows six of the top 20 legal advisers on UK mergers and acquisitions are US firms.

The table, covering the first six months of 1998 and compiled by Corporate Money, shows the leading US firm is Shearman & Sterling in ninth position, followed by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

Other US firms in the top 20 are Davis Polk & Wardell, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Sullivan & Cromwell and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

However, the top eight places are still held by the big City firms.

Slaughter and May came top of the table, a ranking achieved through its advising on deals worth almost £17bn in the first six months.

Slaughters' position was boosted by acting on a number of the largest deals so far this year, including Akzo-Nobel's £1.83bn bid for Courtaulds.