GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, has revealed its global league tables for legal advisers by value and volume for the first half (H1) of 2020.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer tops by value

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has dominated the latest global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers league table based on deal value in H1 2020. The UK-based law firm advised on 64 deals worth $112.8bn.

GlobalData has published top 20 league table of legal advisers ranked according to the value of announced M&A deals globally.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom took the second place with a total deal value of $110.2bn. In third position was Weil Gotshal & Manges, which worked on 84 transactions worth $99.2bn.

Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins secured fourth and fifth positions, having worked on 190 deals worth $96.7bn and 173 deals worth $96.6bn, respectively.

Aurojyoti Bose, Financial Deals Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom were the only two advisers that managed to surpass the $100bn mark during the COVID-19-hit H1.

“Interestingly, these firms advised on relatively fewer deals compared to their peers, but involvement in some of the big ticket deals (such as $33.4bn Aon – Willis Towers Watson merger) helped them secure the top spots. Meanwhile, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer managed to advise on $14bn deals, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom advised on 16 such deals during H1 2020”.

“However, these three firms, along with 14 others from the top 20 (by total deal value), witnessed decline in advised deal value in H1 2020 compared with H1 2019.”

Kirkland & Ellis leads by volume

Kirkland & Ellis has secured number one position in the latest global M&A legal advisers league table based on deal volume in H1 2020.

According to GlobalData, the American law firm advised on 190 deals worth $96.7bn.

Jones Day occupied the second position with transactions worth $28.7bn, while Latham & Watkins stood at third place, having worked on 173 transactions worth $96.6bn.

Bose said: “In terms of deal volume, Kirkland & Ellis emerged as the top legal adviser in H1 2020. It also secured the fourth position in terms of value. However, 11 out of the top 20 advisers by volume could not even make it to the list of top 20 advisers by value. This could be attributed to these firms’ involvement in low-value transactions.”

“Moreover, 11 of the top 20 advisers (by total deals volume) also witnessed decline in advised deal volume in H1 2020 compared with H1 2019.”

DLA Piper and White &Case secured fourth and fifth positions, having worked on 114 deals worth $14.9bn and 113 deals worth $72.5bn, respectively.

The overall announced deal value stood at $1,024.2bn in H1 2020, a decline of 44.7% from H1 2019.

A total of 24,698 deals were recorded globally in H1 2020, marking a 15.1% decrease from H1 2019.

To ensure further robustness to the data, the company also seeks submissions from leading advisers, through adviser submission forms on GlobalData’s website