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July 21, 2021

Top 10 global M&A legal advisers in financial services sector for H1 2021 revealed

GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, has revealed its global league tables for top 10 legal advisers in financial services sector by value and volume for H1 2021 in its report, ‘Global and Financial Services M&A Report Legal Adviser League Tables H1 2021’.

According to GlobalData’s M&A report, a total of 908 M&A deals were announced in the sector during H1 2021, while deal value for the sector increased by 7.3% from $233bn in H1 2020 to $250bn in H1 2021.

Top advisers by value and volume

Sullivan & Cromwell and Kirkland & Ellis emerged as 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 valued at $41.9bn. This was the highest value among all the advisers.

Kirkland & Ellis led in terms of volume. It advised on 37 deals worth $8.1bn.

GlobalData lead analyst Aurojyoti Bose said: “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 $40bn. While Sullivan & Cromwell managed to advise on eight billion-dollar deals (valued more than or equal to $1bn) that also included one deal valued more than $10bn, Kirkland & Ellis advised on only two deals valued more than $1bn.”

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom took the second position in terms of both value and volume with 27 deals worth $33.1bn.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton occupied the third position by value with seven deals worth $29bn. It was followed by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett with 21 deals worth $27.6bn and Sidley Austin with 15 deals worth $22.6bn.

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

GlobalData’s league tables are based on the real-time tracking of thousands of company websites, advisory firm websites and other reliable sources available on the secondary domain. A dedicated team of analysts monitors all these sources to gather in-depth details for each deal, including adviser names.

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


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