Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and CMS were top legal advisers by value and volume in Europe in H1 2020, says GlobalData

Legal advisers Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and CMS were noted to be the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers in Europe in the first half (H1) of 2020, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. Involvement in big-ticket deals remains the key to success as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which advised on fewer but larger-value deals, managed to secure the top position by value, achieving US$74.5bn on 32 deals. The firm advised on five deals worth greater than or equal to US$1bn during H1, out of which two were megadeals (>US$10bn).

Allen & Overy occupied the second position by value with 64 deals worth US$64.7bn, followed by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton with 13 deals worth US$55.9bn.

In the meanwhile, CMS, who was the top legal adviser by volume, advised on 84 deals worth US$5.4bn. CMS was followed by Baker McKenzie with 66 deals worth US$9.5bn.

Aurojyoti Bose, Financial Deals Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Although CMS and Baker McKenzie held the top spots, they lagged behind their peers in terms of deal value. Surprisingly, these two firms even failed to make it to the list of top ten advisors by value. Similarly, the majority of firms noted to be top by volume also lagged behind in terms of deal value, with only three able to make it to the top ten by value.”

Bose notes: “Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer also occupied the top position by value in the recently released global league table of top 20 M&A legal advisers by GlobalData. Similarly, CMS occupied the 9th position (by volume) in the global league table.

“The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted deal making in Europe, with the number of deals announced in the region having decreased by 11.9% from 7,436 in H1 2019 to 6,552 in H1 2020, according to GlobalData’s Financial Deals Database. Deal value also decreased by 12.2% from US$387.2bn in H1 2019 to US$340bn in H1 2020.”

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