Slaughters and Linklaters lag in first-half M&A tables

Slaughter and May and Linklaters have seen sizeable drops in their share of the UK M&A market, according to figures for the first half of 2011.

Preliminary data provided by Thomson Reuters shows that Slaughters’ market share in deals with UK involvement announced between January and June is 40 per cent down on the same period last year.

Of 1,774 deals totalling just over $169bn (£105bn) in transaction value including the target’s net debt, the firm advised on $11.6bn (£7.2bn), representing a 6.9 per cent market share.

This compares with a total of $14,632.2 (£9.1bn) for the first half of 2010. The market overall has seen an 11.1 per cent drop in deal numbers on the first six months of last year, but an increase of just over 30 per cent by transaction value.

Linklaters also saw its market share fall, from 23.3 per cent to 12.6 per cent, moving the firm below rival Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer on 14.4 per cent.

Allen & Overy has risen to the top position with 28.8 per cent off the back of massive deals including SABMiller’s $12.5bn (£7.8bn) takeover of Foster’s last month, where it acted for the buyer.

Hogan Lovells jumps from 14th to fourth position, increasing its market share on deals involving a UK-based party from 6.2 per cent to 11 per cent. It also acted for SABMiller in the deal with Foster’s.

Corporate lawyers say the figures relate to a small period and can be significantly affected by one-off deals, especially at a time when transactions are few and far between.

Frances Murphy, head of corporate at Slaughters, said: “It’s a little swings and roundabouts. These are challenging markets for everyone – but we’re pleased that our deal count remains strong.”

Linklaters global corporate head Jeremy Parr said: “My overall sense is that clearly it’s not exactly a buoyant market, but in terms of market share we’re doing well. The real measure is to take a long-term view rather than take notice of snapshots.”