Slaughters gets bumps from best friends

It seems Slaughter and May is no longer the biggest kid in the playground, if Bloomberg’s latest M&A legal advisory league tables are anything to go by.

The firm famously operates a best friends network around the world, but it always seemed that Slaughters was the axis around which other European firms span.

Things may be changing: Spanish best friend Uría Menéndez outshone Slaughters in both the European and global tables released last week (see page 4).

In general the tables proved the effectiveness of the network, with respective Italian and Dutch best friends Bonelli Erede Pappalardo and Nauta Dutilh both appearing in the European top 10 advisers. In fact, Germany’s Hengeler Mueller and France’s Bredin Prat were conspicuous for their absence as best friends that were not ranked on the tables.

Playground politics teach us that best friends are chosen (and dropped) according to their usefulness and one’s own aspirations. So will 2008 be all about making up, breaking up or catching up?