Latham & Watkins and Kirkland & Ellis were top legal advisers by value and volume for 2020

Latham & Watkins and Kirkland & Ellis were the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers for 2020 by value and volume, respectively, according to GlobalData’s Financial Deals Database. Latham & Watkins advised on 434 deals worth US$430.9bn, which was the highest among all the advisers. Meanwhile, Kirkland & Ellis led in volume terms having advised on 680 deals worth US$344.9bn.

Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Latham & Watkins was the only adviser that managed to surpass the US$400bn mark in deal value during the COVID-19 hit 2020, while Kirkland & Ellis was also the only adviser to advise on more than 600 deals.

“However, the firms involvement in a higher number of big-ticket deals remain key as Kirkland & Ellis, despite advising on relatively higher number of deals, lost the top position by value to Latham & Watkins. While Latham & Watkins managed to advise on seven megadeals worth greater than or equal to US$10bn, Kirkland & Ellis advised on five such deals.”

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom occupied the second position by value, with 212 deals worth US$376.1bn, followed by Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, with 74 deals worth US$357.8bn. Kirkland & Ellis occupied the fourth position by value.

Latham & Watkins occupied the second position by volume, followed by Jones Day with 360 deals worth US$102bn, and Baker McKenzie, with 351 deals worth US$69.2bn.

Bose adds: “Surprisingly, Jones Day and Baker McKenzie failed to make it to the list of top 20 advisors by value. In fact, half of the top 20 advisors by volume did not find a place in the list of top 20 advisors by value due to involvement in low-value transactions.”

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