Davis Polk & Wardwell and Herbert Smith Freehills top M&A legal advisers in APAC for 2020, reveals GlobalData

Davis Polk & Wardwell and Herbert Smith Freehills were the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region for 2020 by value and volume, respectively. Davis Polk & Wardwell advised on 44 deals worth US$72.3bn, the highest value among all the advisers. Meanwhile, Herbert Smith Freehills advised on 81 deals worth US$23.6bn. A total 7,621 M&A deals were announced in the region during 2020, marking a 15.6% increase over the 6,594 deals announced in 2019, finds GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s report, ‘Global and Asia-Pacific M&A Report Legal Adviser League Tables 2020’, deal value increased by 37% from US$486bn in 2019 to US$666bn in 2020.

Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Herbert Smith Freehills was the only advisor to advise on more than 80 deals. However, it did not find a place in the list of top 10 advisors by value, predominantly due to the involvement in low-value transactions. Similarly, majority of the firms in the top 10 list by volume also lagged behind in terms of deal value with only two among them able to make it to the list of top 10 advisors by value.

“Meanwhile, Davis Polk & Wardwell’s involvement in high value transactions (that included 18 billion-dollar deals) played a pivotal role and helped it bag the top spot by value.”

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto occupied the second position in GlobalData’s table of top legal advisers for M&As in APAC by value with 22 deals worth a total of US$71.5bn, followed by Nishimura & Asahi with 40 deals worth US$59.8bn and Morrison & Foerster with 11 deals worth US$42.5bn.

AZB & Partners occupied the second position by volume with 70 deals worth US$20.9bn, followed by Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas with 58 deals worth US$19.4bn and Baker McKenzie with 55 deals worth US$15.6bn.

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