Here are the world’s top M&A legal advisers for Q1 to Q3 2020

First three quarters of the year sees a marked decrease in deals announced globally

Here are the world’s top M&A legal advisers for Q1 to Q3 2020

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Kirkland & Ellis were the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers for the first three quarters of the year, according to data and analytics firm GlobalData.

According to figures from GlobalData’s financial deals database, Skadden and Kirkland were the top M&A legal advisers by value and volume for the Q1 to Q3, 2020 period, respectively. Skadden advised on 130 deals worth US$202.1 billion, which was the highest among all the advisers. Meanwhile, Kirkland & Ellis led in volume terms and also occupied the second position by value having advised on 361 deals worth US$196.1 billion.

Between the first and third quarters of 2020, a total 39,160 deals were announced globally – marking a 11.2% decrease over 2019, which saw 44,080 deals made during the same period. Deal value also decreased by 20.7% from US$2,632.4 billion in the Q1 to Q3 period 2019 to US$2,086.5 billion in Q1 to Q3 2020.

“Kirkland & Ellis, which was the only adviser to advise on more than 300 deals during Q1-Q3 2020, lost the top position to Skadden in terms of value,” said Aurojyoti Bose, financial deals analyst at Global Data. “Skadden, which advised on relatively fewer but big-ticket deals, was also the only adviser that managed to surpass the US$200 billion mark during the COVID-19 hit [of] 2020.

“The firm managed to advise on 31 deals worth greater than or equal to US$1 billion - out of which three were megadeals (less than US$10 billion) at a time when businesses worldwide are reeling under the impact of the virus outbreak. Involvement in these big-ticket deals helped Skadden top the list by value.”

Further down the list, Latham & Watkins occupied third position by value, with 259 deals worth US$192.5 billion; followed by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, with 55 deals worth US$149.3 billion; and Davis Polk & Wardwell, with 95 deals worth US$144 billion.

Jones Day occupied the second position by volume, with 264 deals worth US$58.2 billion; followed by Latham & Watkins, with 259 deals worth US$192.5 billion; and Baker McKenzie, with 181 deals worth US$29.9 billion.

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