DESPITE BLAKE Dawson Waldron’s commanding performance in the Thomson Financial tables, Freehills has brought in the most deals and the highest dollar value for the first quarter of 2007 according to the Mergermarket league tables for legal advisors in Australasia.
Following a number one rating for the whole of last year, Freehills topped the first quarter results with $12,891 million in value from 14 deals.
Sharing second position, Hogan & Hartson and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom pulled in $7,520 million from just one deal each, bettering last years’ overall ranking of 64th for the former and 33rd for the latter.
The next Australian firm to make its mark in the rankings was Clayton Utz, with $6,315 million from 5 deals at 4th place, up from 21st position for 2006.
Following Clayton Utz, and with 8 deals apiece, came Allens Arthur Robinson ($5,654 million and 5th place, down from 2nd in 2006) and Blake Dawson Waldron ($5,302 million and 6th place, down from 3rd in 2006).
The remainder of the Australasia top twelve was occupied by major international players. Baker & McKenzie came 7th, up from 2006’s 23rd, with $4,410 million and 6 deals. In 8th place, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer improved on last year’s 15th ranking with $4,212 million from 3 deals.
The next four firms shared 9th position with 1 deal each valued at $4,017 million. Alston & Bird built on its 40th place ranking in 2006, as did Latham & Watkins, up from 18. Both Kutak Rock and Venable were unranked last year, but also managed equal 9th position for the first quarter of 2007.
Yet a spokesperson from a major national firm called into question the usefulness of these particular M&A results.
According to the source, many of the top tier firms do not co-operate with all of the M&A league tables, particularly Mergermarket, as the company demands information on an ‘as it happens’ basis, right at the point when it is likely to be confidential.