Finance ranks Arthur Cox top for Irish mergers work

Dublin-based Finance magazine, has placed Irish firm Arthur Cox at the top of a table of Irish mergers and acquisitions deals in 1996. The firm came top in number and value of deals.

Finance undertakes an annual review of Irish M&A activity, but this was the first time the magazine looked at law firms' shares of these lucrative deals. In 1996, Arthur Cox acted as legal advisor for 37 deals worth a total £IR1.5bn (£1.45bn).

Arthur Cox is the second largest firm in Ireland behind A&L Goodbody, which came fourth in Finance's rankings. Second in line was McCann Fitzgerald with 17 deals worth £IR1.07bn. Slaughter and May was the leading UK firm, in third place.

Several other UK firms were also placed within the top 20 rankings. They were Clifford Chance, Ashurst Morris Crisp and Eversheds.

Arthur Cox acted in the largest deal of the year, which was the acquisition of Santa Fe Minerals by UK company Sega Petroleum, for £IR732m.

Overall, the survey revealed a record-breaking year for M&A activity in Ireland.

While the number of deals fell slightly from 74 in 1995 to 72 in 1996, the total value of deals almost doubled, moving up from £IR2.1bn to £IR4.1bn.