Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Kirkland & Ellis were top legal advisers by value and volume in North America for Q1–Q3 2020

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Kirkland & Ellis were the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers in North America for Q1–Q3 2020 by value and volume, respectively. A total of 8,898 M&A deals were announced in North America during the period, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s M&A report, ‘Global & North America M&A Review & Legal Adviser League tables’, there was a 16.3% decrease over 10,631 deals that were announced during Q1–Q3 2019. Deal value also decreased by 35.1% from $1,182bn in Q1–Q3 2019 to US$767bn in Q1–Q3 2020.

In GlobalData’s ranking, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett gained top spot in terms of deal value by advising on 100 deals worth $137.9bn, 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 318 deals worth $137.5bn.

Aurojyoti Bose, Financial Deals Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Kirkland & Ellis was the only advisor that managed to advise on more than 300 deals during Q1–Q3 2020, thereby outpacing its peers by a great margin in terms of volume. However, due to its involvement in low-value transactions, it lost the top position by value to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

“Additionally, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s average deal size stood at $1.4bn, which is much higher compared to Kirkland & Ellis’ average deal size of $432.2m.”

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom occupied third position by value with 90 deals worth $119bn, followed by Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz with 38 deals worth $115.3bn.

Latham & Watkins occupied the second position by volume with 173 deals worth $99bn, followed by Jones Day with 159 deals worth $53.2bn and Ropes & Gray with 122 deals worth $104.6bn.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Kirkland & Ellis also occupied the top position by value and volume in the US – the key North American market.

In Canada, Kirkland & Ellis occupied the top spot by value, while Blake Cassels & Graydon held the top spot by volume.

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