Wachtell Lipton leapfrogs rivals to reach top of US M&A tables

New York firm Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz has jumped to the top of the US mergers and acquisitions table in the first half of this year.

It rose from fourteenth place for the same period last year, according to data from Thomson Financial. The top 10 places went to New York firms with old economy rather than high-tech clients, and the total value of deals tumbled compared with last year. The first six months of the year saw a total value of deals at $380bn (£268.6bn); it was $886bn (£626.4bn) the year before.
Wachtell Lipton topped the table for US deals based on value. Partner Craig Wasserman said: “It's possible last year there were some biases from high-tech deals. This year… financial services and oil and gas have been active and we've had strong positions in both.”
The firm advised on 23 transactions, with the American General Corp-American International Group transaction accounting for 26 per cent of its rank value.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was the only European firm in the top 25, ranking twentieth with four deals and a rank value of $14.9bn (£10.5bn). Newly-merged Sidley Austin Brown & Wood were at 17 with 28 deals valued at $22.9bn (£16bn). Based on value, Herbert Smith came eleventh for completed mergers and acquisitions for advising on just one deal – the $181.6bn (£128.4bn) AOL-Time Warner transaction.