AAR tops Australian league tables

Top three Australian deals this year put AAR in pole position; Linklaters, Slaughter and May and Clifford Chance all in top ten

Allens Arthur Robinson (AAR) is topping the tables for deals so far this year, after being pipped at the post last year by Freehills.
Tables from Thomson Financial for the year to mid-October show AAR with a market share of more than 60 per cent. The firm has handled 26 deals for Australian targets or acquirors, with a combined value of A$70.51bn (£24.47bn).
Freehills takes second place, with a market share of 43.7 per cent and 36 deals worth A$50.82bn (£17.64bn).
AAR credits its success to advising on the three largest deals in the Australian market last year – the mergers of BHP/Billiton and Brambles/GKN, and SingTel's takeover of Cable & Wireless Optus. AAR was the only firm to secure a role on all three deals, acting for BHP, Brambles and Cable & Wireless Optus.
AAR's head of M&A Peter Cameron said: “These were the three largest deals in this market ever. If you look back over the last three or four years, we've had more than our fair share of leading the tables – Freehills has been up there with us, Mallesons Stephen Jaques less so.”
Mallesons is currently running at thirteenth in the table, with 27 deals with a combined value of A$20.29bn (£7.04bn).
The bulk of the top 10 are non-Australian firms which have capitalised on the rush of companies picking up Australian businesses. Two US firms have top spots – Sullivan & Cromwell and Shearman & Sterling. Of the UK magic circle firms, Linklaters & Alliance, Clifford Chance and Slaughter and May are high up the league. Slaughters advised on just one deal, acting with AAR for BHP on the Billiton merger.
Both the BHP/Billiton and Brambles/GKN deals were secured using the pioneering dual-listed company structure. This allows Australian companies to raise capital offshore, while maintaining their head office and core administration functions locally.
AAR worked opposite Freehills and Linklaters & Alliance for Billiton, while Clifford Chance and Mallesons advised GKN.
Last year, AAR was pipped at the post in the Thomson Financial league tables by Freehills, despite leading the way at the same point in the year.
AAR is dedicating resources to its Asia Pacific M&A practice. It has set up a best friends relationship with Slaughters (The Lawyer, 17 September), which is principally focused on Asian work.

Australian target or acquiror based on the announced deals (year to date)
Target name Target nation Target legal adviser Acquiror Acquiror nation Acquiror legal adviser Value (A$m/£m)
Billiton UK Linklaters & Alliance,
Shearman & Sterling,
BHP Australia Slaughter and May,
Sullivan & Cromwell,
Allens Arthur Robinson Group,
Cable & Wireless Optus Australia Minter Ellison,
Allen & Overy,
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom,
Allens Arthur Robinson Group,
Clayton Utz
SingTel Singapore Blake Dawson Waldron,
Clifford Chance,
Morgan Lewis & Bockius
GKN UK Clifford Chance,
Mallesons Stephen Jaques
Brambles Industries Australia Freshfields,
Allen Allen & Hemsley,
Sullivan & Cromwell,
Atanaskovic Hartnell
Normandy Mining Australia Anglogold South Africa Freehills,
Shearman & Sterling,
Jones Day Reavis & Pogue
Franked Income Fund Australia Mallesons Stephen Jaques Wesfarmers Australia Freehills 2,729.44/947.22
Howard Smith Australia Allens Arthur Robinson Group Wesfarmers Australia Freehills 2,668.02/925.91
FH Faulding & Co Australia Freehills Mayne Nickless Australia Sullivan & Cromwell,
Clayton Utz
Westfield America US Gibson Dunn & Crutcher Westfield America Trust Australia Wolf Block Schorr and Solis-Cohen,
Debevoise & Plimpton,
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom,
Minter Ellison
Rosemount Estates Australia Freehills Southcorp Australia Allens Arthur Robinson Group 1,548.54/537.41
Cintra Concesiones de Infra Spain Macquarie Infrastructure Australia Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer,
Baker & McKenzie (UK)
Source: Thomson Financial

Legal adviser, Australian target or acquiror based on the announced deal (year to date)
Rank (2001) Rank (2001) League table: legal adviser full to each adviser Ranking value Market share Number of deals
1 1 Allens Arthur Robinson Group 70,588.87/24,497.13 60.7 26
2 2 Freehills 50,751.05/17,612.62 43.7 36
3 3 Sullivan & Cromwell 44,749.69/15,529.91 38.5 4
4 9 Shearman & Sterling 34,989.63/12,142.79 30.1 3
5 8 Linklaters & Alliance 32,490.72/11,275.57 28.0 6
6 10 Clifford Chance 31,047.16/10,774.59 26.7 3
7 12 Lovells 31,001.86/10,758.87 26.7 2
8 5 Slaughter and May 30,666.82/10,642.60 26.4 1
9 7 Clayton Utz 24,223.27/8,406.43 20.8 13
10 11 Minter Ellison 23,548.66/8,172.32 20.3 11
11 13 Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom 23,065.31/8,004.58 19.8 4
12 6 Blake Dawson Waldron 22,967.81/7,970.74 19.8 14
13 4 Mallesons Stephen Jaques 20,320.98/7,052.19 17.5 27
14 14 Morgan Lewis & Bockius 19,958.56/6,926.41 17.2 2
15 15 Allen & Overy 19,623.72/6,810.21 16.9 1
16 16 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 13,122.86/4,554.15 11.3 4
17 19 Atanaskovic Hartnell 11,397.04/3,955.23 9.8 1
18 20 Jones Day Reavis & Pogue 4,266.28/1,480.57 3.7 3
19 Gibson Dunn & Crutcher 2,392.35/830.24 2.1 2
20= Debevoise & Plimpton 2,069.72/718.27 1.8 1
20= Wolf Block Schorr and Solis-Cohen 2,069.72/718.27 1.8 1
Source: Thomson Financial