Ashursts partner is European champ

An Ashurst Morris Crisp partner has scored the highest number of European corporate deals during 2000, beating his counterparts at Slaughter and May and Linklaters & Alliance.

Corporate partner Adrian Clark notched up 17 deals during the period 1 January to 31 December 2000, with a total value of £6.4bn.

Slaughters head of corporate Nigel Boardman advised on 15 transactions worth £41.9bn and Linklaters head of corporate David Cheyne racked up an impressive total value of £53.6bn on 13 deals.

According to figures published by, Simon Tinkler, private equity partner at Clifford Chance, worked on 16 deals, placing him second, although the value was the second lowest in terms of volume at £3.1bn.

Among the standout deals for Clark last year was acting for Peter Black Holdings on one of the largest public-to-private deals of 2000.

Ironically, after acting for Peter Black, Ashursts lost work for the company to Eversheds, which represented Beltpacker, the newco set up to complete the management buyout. Beltpacker intends to use Eversheds in the future (The Lawyer, 27 November). Clark also advised North Row Estates on its attempt to buy Frogmore Estates.

While US firms were not placed in terms of the volume of deals over the last 12 months, they fared better in the total value of deals. Out of the top 10, US individuals occupied six of those places.

The $74bn (£50.2bn) merger between SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo Wellcome, which closed on 27 December following a raft of anti-trust issues, proved critical in thrusting lawyers up the league table.

Richard Morrissey, corporate partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, acted on £66.7bn worth of deals, including acting for Glaxo Wellcome. He also worked on General Mills' $10.5bn (£7bn) deal in July to buy Pilsbury from Diageo.

Michael Pescod, senior corporate partner at Slaughters, acted on just two deals, but acting for Glaxo Wellcome and representing Unilever on its $20.3bn (£13.8bn) October takeover of Bestfoods meant that his deal value for 2000 totalled £63.3bn.

Pescod's colleague Robert Stern, who also acted on the Glaxo Wellcome deal, came fourth, with deals valuing £55.6bn.

Linklaters competition partner Johan Ysewyn netted a total of £50.5bn for his role for SmithKline Beecham.

Surprisingly, Slaughters corporate heavyweight Boardman did not make the top 10 in terms of deal value for the last 12 months despite acting for Orange on its sale to France Telecom, a deal in which Linklaters' David Cheyne, who came in fifth, represented seller Vodafone.

But Cheyne also acted on acquisitive client Liberty International's transactions, which bought a 25 per cent stake in Capital Shopping Centres last year.