Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Kirkland & Ellis were top legal advisers by value and volume in global financial services sector in H1 2020

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Kirkland & Ellis were the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers in the global financial services sector in the first half (H1) of 2020 based on deal value and volume, respectively. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom advised on 14 deals worth US$68.3bn, which was the highest among all the advisers. Meanwhile, Kirkland & Ellis led in volume terms having advised on 22 deals worth US$11.1bn during H1, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Aurojyoti Bose, Financial Deals Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Kirkland & Ellis held the top spot in terms of deal volume but lagged behind others in terms of deal value. Surprisingly, the firm did not feature among the top ten advisors by value. Only two firms that ranked highly by volume – Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Latham & Watkins – achieved a spot by value.

“Meanwhile, some of the advisers such as Arthur Cox and Matheson that advised on only one deal featured in the list of top ten advisers by value. Only three of the top ten advisers by value managed to register double-digit deal volume. Nevertheless, these firms advised on few but big-ticket deals which helped them in making it to the top ten list by value.”

Latham & Watkins occupied the second position by value with 14 deals worth US$57.9bn, followed by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton with eight deals worth US$51.4bn. Willkie Farr & Gallagher occupied the second position by volume with 17 deals worth US$11.3bn, followed by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

The number of deals announced in the global financial services sector decreased by 10.4% from 2,227 in H1 2019 to 1,996 in H1 2020, according to GlobalData’s Financial Deals Database. Deal value also decreased by 10.5% from US$206.1bn in H1 2019 to US$184.5bn in H1 2020.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which topped the financial services sector deals league table by value, stood at second position (by value) in GlobalData’s recently released global league table of top 20 M&A legal advisers. Similarly, Kirkland & Ellis, which topped the financial services sector league table by volume, also occupied the top position (by volume) in the global league table.

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