A&O and Linklaters earn £10.4m from Aviva’s Friends Life deal

There’s no denying it has been a sluggish few years for the public M&A market. Not only has the total volume of deals plummeted, but their value has also slipped on a downward trajectory. Unsurprisingly, the amount of fees shelled out to the legal advisers with a foothold in the market has also dropped. 

However, the £5.6bn merger of Aviva and Friends Life is a ray of light on the horizon. The bumper deal is set to provide law firms with a huge £10.4m pay-out – the highest since Schneider Electric’s £3.4bn takeover of Invensys back in 2013.

This time round, it’s Allen & Overy and Linklaters which will pocket the vast majority of fees – the former taking home roughly £4.4m from Aviva, and the latter £6m for its advice to Friends Life.

A slice of Aviva’s fees will be paid to Carey Olsen, and a chunk of Friends Life’s to Ogier, which advised the insurance giants on navigating the scheme of arrangement which was sanctioned by the Guernsey courts.

But this isn’t the only deal making a serious impact on the market in early 2015. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and Canadian investor Brookfield Properties are set to buy Canary Wharf owner Songbird for £2.6bn – advisers Linklaters and Slaughter and May are set to earn about £8.5m for their combined efforts.

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