A&O and Linklaters earn bumper payday as public M&A fees rebound

It’s fair to say that the UK’s public M&A market has been going through somewhat of a dry patch, at least compared to the heady days of the mid-2000s.

The number of deals has shrunk, having a knock-on effect on the number of law firms instructed. And the legal fees paid by the companies involved have also plummeted.

But finally things are looking up. It turns out that magic circle pair Allen & Overy and Linklaters have taken the lion’s share of £10.4m in legal fees shelled out by insurers Aviva and Friends Life on their proposed £5.6m merger.

That’s the largest pay-out on a UK public M&A deal since Schneider Electric’s £3.4bn takeover of Invensys in 2013, which gifted the likes of Freshfields, Linklaters and Shearman & Sterling a share of £13.9m in legal advisory fees.

Qatar Investment Authority and Brookfield Property Partners’ takeover bid for Canary Wharf owner Songbird Estates is also expected to pay its advisers well. Slaughters and Linklaters will pocket as much as £8.5m for their advice on the deal.

They’re not the only deals to pay healthy sums to their advisers over the past few months either. The consolidation of Tui Travel and Tui AG earned its lawyers a combined £9.8m, while US chipmaker Qualcomm’s acquisition of CSR for £1.6bn resulted in a £6m pay-out to its legal advisers.

Also on TheLawyer.com:

  • Slater & Gordon is set to merge with Welsh firms Leo Abse & Cohen and Walker Smith Way as its UK half-year revenue soars to £60m
  • Taylor Wessing appoints new financial director in the form of Deloitte’s director of finance for its clients and markets division, Deborah Findlay
  • Slaughters retains 88 per cent of its spring 2015 qualifiers, keeping on 37 out of 42 trainees
Featured Briefings
Litigation – Addleshaw Goddard: Pay now, argue later: case law update
Company – Walker Morris: Time to get ready for the new UK accounting standards
Employmnent – Herzog Fox & Neeman: Social media policy in the workplace – the sequel
Corporate – 11 Stone Buildings: Corporate failure and its implications for professionals advising before insolvency
Real estate – Eversheds: Recovery of landlord’s legal fees through service charge