Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Kirkland & Ellis were the top M&A legal advisers by value and volume in North America for 2020, finds GlobalData

Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Kirkland & Ellis were the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers in North America for 2020 by value and volume, respectively. Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz advised on 66 deals worth $302.9bn while, Kirkland & Ellis advised on 611 deals worth $261.4bn. A total 12,950 M&A deals were announced during 2020, marking a 7.1% decrease over the 13,937 deals announced in 2019, 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 2020’, deal value decreased by 14.9% from $1.5 trillion in 2019 to $1.3 trillion in 2020.

Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “While Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz was the sole adviser that managed to surpass the $300bn mark during the COVID-19 hit 2020. Kirkland & Ellis was also the only adviser to have advised on more than 600 deals.

“Despite outpacing its peers by a great margin in volume, Kirkland & Ellis lost the top position in terms of value to Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and settled for the third position. Involvement in a greater number of big-ticket deals remains the key as Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz advised on less than 100 deal but achieved high-value transactions, including ten ‘mega deals’ valued more than or equal to $10bn. On the other hand, Kirkland & Ellis advised only on four mega deals.”

Latham & Watkins occupied the second position both in terms of value and volume with 284 deals worth $290.8bn. Goodwin Procter and Jones Day occupied third and fourth position by volume with 220 deals each worth $136bn and $93.9bn, respectively.

Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Kirkland & Ellis also remained as the top advisers by value and volume in the US – the key North American market.

In Canada, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt and Blake Cassels & Graydon were the top advisers by value and volume, respectively.

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