Europe’s premier independent firms have made a spectacular showing in the M&A league tables, according to two pieces of research released this month.
Slaughter and May came top of Thomson Financial’s UK M&A table, while best friends Bredin Prat and Hengeler Mueller also enjoyed an outstanding year. Bredin Prat topped the Mergermarket and Thomson tables in France, while Hengeler came top of Mergermarket’s rankings and second in the Thomson table.
Hengeler, which jumped three places, past Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Clifford Chance, to take the top spot in Mergermarket, advised on 50 deals totalling €31.1bn (£21.91bn), according to the 2004 M&A league tables for Germany.
Inevitably, the global practices fared better in
the volume tables. In Mergermarket’s German league table for announced deals by volume, Freshfields and Clifford Chance took
the number one and two positions, after acting on 88 and 58 deals respectively.
SJ Berwin was a significant gainer in Germany, according to Mergermarket. It shot up from 87th place to tenth on the announced deals by value ranking, having advised on deals totalling €7.4bn (£5.21bn).
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton was both Thomson’s and Merger-
market’s best performing US firm in Germany, taking fourth spot in both tables. The other notable performer in Germany was Haarmann Hemmelrath, which jumped nearly 20 places in both tables. The firm came sixth in Thomson and eighth in Merger-market’s announced deals by value ranking.
Meanwhile in France, Bredin Prat overtook Clifford Chance and Linklaters to come top of both league tables for announced deals
in 2004, although the French table was heavily skewed by Sanofi’s takeover of Aventis, which was valued at €57.7bn (£40.64bn).
Bredin Prat advised on 22 deals worth a total of €79bn (£55.64bn) during 2004, according to Mergermarket’s French league tables. Key transactions included advising Aventis on its acquisition by Sanofi, and Wanadoo on its acquisition by France Telecom.
Bredin Prat is also involved in the recently announced merger of telecoms company Sagem with aerospace corporation Snecma, advising the latter, as well as working for Lagardère on its sale of Editis to Wendel Investissement.
Clifford Chance came second in both league tables by value, having worked on 38 deals valued at €72.3bn (£50.93bn).
Linklaters, Mergermarket’s top-placed firm last year, slid three places to fourth. However, it advised on 42 deals, which was more than any other of the top 20 firms.
US firms saw the greatest rises in work in 2004. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom leapt dozens of places in both tables to fifth.
But it was not a good year for Gide Loyrette Nouel, which plummeted to 20th position in both tables, advising on deals worth just €9bn (£6.34bn) in 2004. This is in sharp contrast to Gide’s performance in 2003, when Mergermarket valued its deal work at €18bn (£12.68bn).
On a pan-European level, the global firms continued to fight it out for top position.
Mergermarket’s research showed that Linklaters regained the top spot in the European M&A league tables for 2004, knocking off 2003’s top dog Clifford Chance.
According to Merger-market’s European league tables for 1 January 2004-22 December 2004, Linklaters, which ranked second in the previous year, advised on 236 deals worth €197.5bn (£139.11bn).
According to Merger-market, Clifford Chance dropped to second place after advising on deals totalling €167.7bn (£118.12bn).
However, the Thomson table was the mirror image of Mergermarket’s. In Thomson, Clifford Chance overtook Linklaters to top the European M&A table, working on 156 deals valued at $204.2bn (£108.43bn)
Herbert Smith, which had a relatively poor showing in the 2003 tables, jumped from eleventh place to fifth in Mergermarket’s values ranking after advising on deals totalling €121.1bn (£85.3bn).
The US firms made a respectable showing in both Mergermarket and Thomson. In both tables, the leading US firms on the European M&A scene were Sullivan and Skadden.
Main M&A surveys agree on the firms – but not the order
|European target or acquirer – announced deals 2004|
|Rank 2003||Rank 2004||Law Firm||Rank Value $bn (£bn)||No. of deals|
|1||Clifford Chance||205.76 (109.26)||256|
|11||3||Sullivan & Cromwell||170.00 (90.14)||38|
|5||4||Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer||163.29 (86.71)||177|
|7||5||Slaughter and May||131.22 (69.68)||73|
|21||6||Cravath Swaine & Moore||103.07 (54.73)||22|
|3||7||Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom||102.34 (54.34)||35|
|4||8||Shearman & Sterling||101.93 (54.13)||620|
|23||9||Bredin Prat||95.22 (50.56)||30|
|12||10||Herbert Smith, Gleiss Lutz, Stibbe||93.53 (49.66)||81|
|33||11||A&L Goodbody||91.45 (48.56)||46|
|19||12||Watchell Lipton Rosen & Katz||88.18 (46.82)||12|
|27||14||Dewey Ballantine||80.50 (42.75)||28|
|8||15||Allen & Overy||76.38 (40.56)||168|
|59||16||Baker & McKenzie||76.24 (40.48)||79|
|6||17||Davis Polk & Wardwell||73.80 (39.19)||30|
|43||18||Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier||72.02 (38.24)||12|
|37||19||Arnold & Porter||68.89 (36.58)||9|
|60||20||Rambaud Martel||66.51 (35.32)||5|
|European transactions over €5m 1 Jan 2004-22 Dec 2004|
|Rank 2003||Rank 2004||Law Firm||Rank Value €bn (£bn)||No. of deals|
|1||2||Clifford Chance||167.68 (118.11)||242|
|3||3||Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer||144.95 (102.10)||196|
|6||4||Sullivan & Cromwell||139.42 (98.20)||33|
|11||5||Herbert Smith, Gleiss Lutz, Stibbe||121.15 (85.34)||104|
|5||6||Allen & Overy||99.11 (69.81)||171|
|4||7||Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom||96.04 (67.65)||40|
|31||8||Dewey Ballantine||89.09 (62.75)||32|
|22||9||Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz||79.45 (55.96)||17|
|28||10||Bredin Prat||79.03 (55.66)||22|
|59||11||Baker & McKenzie||75.03 (52.85)||113|
|111||12||Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier||65.92 (46.43)||10|
|18||13||Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton||65.53 (46.16)||76|
|135||14||Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker||64.49 (45.42)||14|
|46||15||Rambaud Martel||59.13 (41.65)||3|
|58||16||Arnold & Porter||58.29 (41.05)||4|
|19||17||Davis Polk & Wardwell||54.44 (38.35)||27|
|10||18||Shearman & Sterling||51.87 (36.54||69|
|7||19||Slaughter and May||48.91 (34.45)||75|
|8||20||Weil Gotshal & Manges||46.00 (32.40)||61|