Linklaters and Freshfields top first half Thomson M&A tables

Linklaters has topped the European M&A tables for the first half of 2006, advising on $259.3bn (£140.4bn) worth of deals in 136 transactions, according to data from Thomson Financial.

Linklaters finished ahead of Clifford Chance, which was second with 153 deals worth $230.9bn (£125bn). The result is a reversal of the first six months of 2005, when Clifford Chance headed Linklaters.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was ranked third with 140 deals worth $230.5bn (£124.8bn), but the real movers and shakers on the table were Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom with just 41 deals worth $204.3bn (£110.6bn) and Bredin Prat & Associes with 23 deals worth $129.7bn (£70.2bn).

Skadden has had a stellar year, bagging roles on three of the four biggest deals of the year so far, including E.ON’s €47bn (£32.5bn) takeover of Endesa, Arcelor’s €26bn (£18bn) acquisition by Mittal Steel and Abertis Infraestructuras’ €23bn (£15.9bn) bid for Autostrade.

Skadden was ranked 10th in 2005, while Bredin Prat had been ranked 43rd.

In the UK-only league tables, Freshfields has jumped to the lead with 49 deals woth $78.6bn (£42.5bn), ahead of Linklaters with 46 deals worth $72.5bn (£39.2bn).

Clifford Chance ranked third after advising on 63 deals worth $68.5bn (£37.1bn), ahead of Slaughter and May which advised on 31 deals worth $61.3bn (£33.2bn).