find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
King & Wood Mallesons takes deals crown

King & Wood Mallesons takes deals crown

Peter Stirling

Global firms enjoyed the most success in the Asia-Pacific M&A market last year, with King & Wood Mallesons the biggest winners.

 

KWM topped both the Mergermarket Australasian league table for deals value and the Bloomberg Australia and New Zealand legal advisory table by deal count for 2014. According to Mergermarket, KWM acted on deals worth a combined value of US$34.3 billion (all figures are US$).

This placed KWM ahead of its nearest rivals Allens ($32.8 billion) and Herbert Smith Freehills ($28.8 billion). Minters (fourth) and Gilbert + Tobin (seventh) were the only Australian firms in the top 10.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly in December, senior KWM partner Peter Stirling (pictured) said that firms needed to demonstrate expertise and flexibility on price to get a seat at the deals table in what is an incredibly competitive domestic market.

“Clients are still very much price-focused and to get deals to happen, you need to discount to some extent or share the pain with clients if deals don’t proceed,” he said, adding the caveat that time-costing is still the preferred billing method for a majority of his clients.

“I think the whole market on the law firm and client side is still finding its way as to what the best models on alternate pricing are,” he said. “We are seeing a stronger desire from clients for us to cap or go further [with discounts] in components of transactions, so there is a degree of certainty as to what costs will be.”

Stirling cited the Medibank Private IPO and accelerated roll-out of Australia’s National Broadband Network as two particularly noteworthy transactions that involved KWM in 2014.

According to Bloomberg, which ranks the number of announced transactions over $5 million, KWM acted on the most number of deals in 2014 in Australia and New Zealand. KWM acted on 80 deals, pipping Herbert Smith Freehills (79) and Ashurst (64).

While Allens was fourth on the list for deal numbers, it was the leading firm by deal value, according to Bloomberg.

Allens, which has an alliance with Linklaters, advised on transactions worth a total of just under $34 billion in 2014. The only other firms to act on deals with a cumulative total over $20 billion were KWM ($28.7 billion), HSF ($24.6 billion) and Linklaters ($22 billion).

Jones Day, Latham & Watkins and Kirkland & Ellis were the leading firms globally by deal count, according to Bloomberg. Skadden, Cleary Gottlieb and Sullivan & Cromwell were the top three firms globally by deal value in Mergermarket’s analysis. They were the only three firms to break the $500 billion mark by deal value.

Return to good times?

The Bloomberg and Mergermarket analyses pointed to a much stronger M&A market in 2014 when compared with 2013.

“2014 was the tipping point for M&A, the year in which the lingering effects of the financial crisis were finally shaken off,” said Bloomberg.

Mergermarket’s analysis pointed to a 47 per cent increase in global deal value in 2014 as compared to 2013. This was just under 12 per cent shy of the value of M&A deals in 2007 – prior to the GFC. The Mergermarket survey said that in 2014, the total value of deals in the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan), was just under $600 billion, a 43 per cent increase on 2013.

“There is a really good pipeline,” said Stirling, when discussing the domestic M&A market in 2015.  “The catchword around here as we move into 2015 is infrastructure. “There is a lot of potential M&A activity in that space,” he said.

See Lawyers Weekly magazine in early February for a longer interview with Peter Stirling and other legal leaders, including Baker & McKenzie head Chris Freeland and Webb Henderson founder Angus Henderson as they talk about what we can expect in 2015 in the legal market and also on tackling legal ill-health and gender equality

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

King & Wood Mallesons takes deals crown
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Crowd
Nov 23 2017
Anti-radicalisation programs playing ‘second fiddle’ to terrorism laws
Several academics have questioned the balance between Australia’s counterterrorism legislation and...
 William Ah Ket
Nov 23 2017
‘Bamboo ceiling’ thought piece wins inaugural law prize
A paper that explores the idea of affirmative action to achieve greater diversity among members of A...
Nov 22 2017
Reduced investment protections will make robust commercial arbitration mechanisms all the more critical for investors
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the current trend away from investor protect...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...