Freshfields’ storms the M&A charts for H1 2014

It’s been a gloomy period for the M&A market, what with global deals dwindling by 6 per cent in 2013 making the year the slowest for international deal making since 2009.

But, it looks as if the market might finally be edging in the right direction. And one firm in particular has plenty of cause of celebration.

Natalie Stanton

According to data from Thomson Reuters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer topped the charts for all M&A with UK involvement since 1 January 2014 – advising on 41 transactions with a total value of $71.1bn. That’s double the deal value of its closest rival in the rankings, Slaughter and May. It’s also a 191.4 per cent increase on the highest deal value of the same period in 2013, marked by Linklaters’ total of $24.4bn.

Freshfields’ strong performance is partly thanks to working on big money transactions for the likes of Novartis on its $16bn acquisition of GlaxoSmithKline’s oncology business, and Dutch cable company Ziggo on its $10.9bn takeover by Liberty Global.

The firm reckons it’s also partly due to an uptick in private equity M&A activity, marking an overlap with another of its sweet spots in the market.

But the positive results are good news all round. Here’s to an even better second half of 2014.

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