Skadden and Kirkland & Ellis were top legal advisers by value and volume for Q1-Q3 2020, says GlobalData

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Kirkland & Ellis were the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers for Q1-Q3 2020 by value and volume, respectively, according to GlobalData’s Financial Deals Database. Skadden advised on 130 deals worth US$202.1bn, 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 361 deals worth US$196.1bn.

Aurojyoti Bose, Financial Deals Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Kirkland & Ellis, which was the only adviser to advise on more than 300 deals during Q1-Q3 2020, lost the top position to Skadden in terms of value. Skadden, which advised on relatively fewer but big-ticket deals, was also the only adviser that managed to surpass the US$200bn mark during the COVID-19 hit 2020.

“The firm managed to advise on 31 deals worth greater than or equal to US$1bn – out of which three were megadeals (>US$10bn – at a time when businesses worldwide are reeling under the impact of the virus outbreak. Involvement in these big-ticket deals helped Skadden top the list by value.”

Latham & Watkins occupied third position by value, with 259 deals worth US$192.5bn, followed by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, with 55 deals worth US$149.3bn, and Davis Polk & Wardwell, with 95 deals worth US$144bn.

Jones Day occupied the second position by volume, with 264 deals worth US$58.2bn, followed by Latham & Watkins, with 259 deals worth US$192.5bn, and Baker McKenzie, with 181 deals worth US$29.9bn.

Bose added: “Surprisingly, Jones Day and Baker McKenzie failed to make it to the list of top 20 advisors by value due to involvement in low-value transactions. In fact, only ten of the top 20 advisors by volume managed to find a place in the list of advisors by value. Advisors such as Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, which advised on only 18 deals, featured in the top 20 list by value.

During Q1-Q3 2020, a total 39,160 deals were announced globally – marking a 11.2% decrease over 2019, which saw 44,080 deals made during the same period, according to GlobalData’s Financial Deals Database. Deal value also decreased by 20.7% from US$2,632.4bn in Q1-Q3 2019 to US$2,086.5bn in Q1-Q3 2020.

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