Global and European M&A bounces back in 2014

Feel that bounce in your step, a sense that spring is in the air? It’s not just you. As the weather warms up, Thomson Reuters has arrived with some good news for corporate lawyers.


The data provider’s preliminary M&A tables for the first quarter of 2014 show a massive year-on-year rise in activity. The European M&A market increased in value by more than 37 per cent on the same quarter last year, from $171.2bn to more than $234.7bn.

Globally the picture is even better, with a 39 per cent year-on-year rise – from total deal value of $485.5bn to $675.7bn.

But the winning firms are mostly US-based. Skadden topped the global table for the first quarter of the year, scooping roles on 37 deals worth a total of $148bn. Simpson Thacher was second, advising on 32 deals worth $119.4bn.

In the European rankings, the two firms switched positions. The European league table was heavily influenced by the $23.3bn acquisition of New York’s Forest Laboratories by Irish-headquartered Actavis, on which the European top four for the quarter – Simpson Thacher, Skadden, Weil Gotshal and Latham & Watkins – all worked.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was the best-performing UK firm, coming thirteenth in the global tables and fifth in the European rankings.

If activity continues to grow at the same pace, 2014 is looking good for lawyers. Particularly American ones.

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