Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Kirkland & Ellis were top M&A legal advisers by value and volume in North America for H1 2021, finds GlobalData

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Kirkland & Ellis were the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers in North America for H1 2021 by value and volume, respectively. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett advised on 118 deals worth US$326.7bn, which was the highest value among all the advisers. Meanwhile, Kirkland & Ellis led in volume terms having advised on 388 deals worth US$229.3bn. A total of 7,982 M&A deals were announced in the region during H1 2021, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s report, ‘Global and North America M&A Report Legal Adviser League Tables H1 2021’, deal value for the region increased by 258% from US$298bn in H1 2020 to US$1.1 trillion in H1 2021.

Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Kirkland & Ellis was the only firm to advise on more than 300 deals during H1 2021, thereby outpacing its peers by a great margin in volume terms. However, it lagged behind in terms of deal value and lost the top position by value due to its involvement in fewer big-ticket deals.

“Meanwhile, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, despite advising on even less than one-third of the number of deals advised by Kirkland & Ellis, occupied the top position by value due to its involvement in a higher number of big-ticket deals. While Simpson Thacher & Bartlett managed to advise on eight megadeals (valued greater than or equal to US$10bn), Kirkland & Ellis advised on three such deals.”

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Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz occupied the second position in terms of value with 55 deals worth US$266.6bn, followed by Kirkland & Ellis. Sullivan & Cromwell occupied the fourth position in terms of value with 68 deals worth US$212.5bn, followed by Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison with 100 deals worth US$212.2bn.

Latham & Watkins occupied the second position by volume with 191 deals worth US$196.3bn, followed by Willkie Farr & Gallagher with 144 deals worth US$108.9bn, Jones Day with 136 deals worth US$36.9bn and Goodwin Procter with 134 deals worth US$37.9bn.

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