Lawyers trailing bankers even further in fees stakes

It’s not great news for lawyers. Financial adviser and brokers’ fees on public M&A were double the legal fees during the same period, ringing in at £46.1m and £26.1m respectively. In fact, legal fees accounted for only 26.3 per cent of the total M&A fee figure of £99.3m.

In total, 18 takeover offers for publicly listed companies were made between January and the end of June 2013, with fees on individual deals ranging from £21,000 to £6.85m. Those results are particularly bleak when compared to the end of 2012 – between September and the end of December £50.1m was spent on lawyers for 15 deals alone.

In terms of legal fees, the largest deal of 2013 so far was William Hill and GVC Holding’s takeover of Sportingbet for £485m. For their advice to Sportingbet, firms including Nabarro and Stephenson Harwood pocketed roughly £1.35m in total, while those on the buyers’ side such as Addleshaw Goddard and Ashurst earned £5.5m.

On the same deal, Sportingbet paid about £5.964m in financial advisory and brokers fees, while the buyers dished out over £9.15m to financial institutions including Citi and Investec.

As far as fees go, it seems that lawyers are facing an uphill struggle to bridge the gap with their financial counterparts.