Sullivan & Cromwell and Kirkland & Ellis were top M&A legal advisers by value and volume in financial services sector for H1 2021, finds GlobalData

Sullivan & Cromwell and Kirkland & Ellis were the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers in the financial services sector for H1 2021 by value and volume, respectively. Sullivan & Cromwell advised on 19 deals worth US$41.9bn, which was the highest value among all the advisers. Meanwhile, Kirkland & Ellis led in volume terms having advised on 37 deals worth US$8.1bn. A total of 908 M&A deals were announced in the sector during H1 2021, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s report, ‘Global and Financial Services M&A Report Legal Adviser League Tables H1 2021’, deal value for the sector increased by 7.3% from US$233bn in H1 2020 to US$250bn in H1 2021.

Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Kirkland & Ellis was the only firm that managed to advise on more than 30 deals. However, despite leading by deal volume, it lagged behind its peers in terms of deal value due to its involvement in relatively low-value deals. Surprisingly, it also did not feature among the top ten advisors by value.

“In contrast, Sullivan & Cromwell, which advised on fewer but big-ticket deals, was the only adviser to surpass US$40bn. While Sullivan & Cromwell managed to advise on eight billion-dollar deals (valued more than or equal to US$1bn) that also included one deal valued more than US$10bn, Kirkland & Ellis advised on only two deals valued more than US$1bn.”

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom occupied the second position in terms of both value and volume with 27 deals worth US$33.1bn. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton occupied the third position by value with seven deals worth US$29bn, followed by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett with 21 deals worth US$27.6bn and Sidley Austin with 15 deals worth US$22.6bn.

Alston & Bird occupied the third position in terms of volume with 27 deals worth US$3.5bn followed by Clifford Chance with 23 deals worth US$6.5bn, and Latham & Watkins with 22 deals worth US$22.2bn.

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