CC returns to take Euro M&A crown

Clifford Chance has retained its position as top legal adviser in European M&A according to preliminary figures published by Mergermarket for the third quarter of 2005.

The magic circle firm advised on 189 deals worth Eu 196.8bn, Eu 47bn more than magic circle rival Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which ranked number 2 after advising on 147 worth Eu 149bn.

Both firms advised on Gas Natural’s recent Eu 42.5bn bid for Endesa, the largest deal of the year so far. The mega deal also catapulted other law firms not typically seen at the top of the value tables into the top ten – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett jumped from 23rd place to fifth by value.

Meanwhile, Linklaters, which topped the European half year table by volume, has slipped into second place by volume after advising on 158 deals worth Eu 125.1bn. The firm advised on the Eu 11.2bn Suez-Electrabel deal announced last month. In the UK, however, Linklaters ranked first place by value while Eversheds maintained its top spot from the second quarter in the volume table.