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Freehills, Baker to lead M&A deal advisor rankings

Freehills, Baker to lead M&A deal advisor rankings

FREEHILLS is likely to dominate the Thomson Financial legal advisory rankings tables once again, with preliminary results for 2006 showing the firm in top spot in both the announced and…

FREEHILLS is likely to dominate the Thomson Financial legal advisory rankings tables once again, with preliminary results for 2006 showing the firm in top spot in both the announced and completed Australian results.

Overall the news was bad for some Australian top tiers, with ranking values decreasing across the board in the completed league tables when compared to the same period, January 1 to September 15, in 2005.

This year, only US$42,915.4 ($57,107.9) million was taken in total in the market from 894 deals, overshadowed by US$58,210.3 ($77,442.0) million from 1,033 deals in 2005.

Ahead of Blake Dawson Waldron and Allens Arthur Robinson, Freehills came in first in this calendar year for Australian transactions excluding equity carve-outs, withdrawn deals and open repurchases, equalling their ranking for the same period in 2005.

With a market share of 41 per cent and a ranking value of US$17,592.4 ($23,413.7) million, Freehills’ 55 completed deals for 2006 was down on the US$25,539.3 ($33,990.2) million and 43.9 per cent of the same period in 2005, in which 124 deals were done.

In second place was Blake Dawson Waldron, with US$11,982 ($15,946.8) million, 27.9 per cent of the market share and 42 deals. This was better than the firm’s fifth place ranking with 22.9 per cent in 2005, although that period netted US$13,314.1 ($17,721.1) million from 49 deals.

Takings fell largely because of the better performance recorded by international firms for this year. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (third) went from 0.8 per cent market share or US$488 ($649.5) million, to 22.5 per cent and US$9,642.6 ($12,833.1) million. Linklaters (fourth) climbed from 1.1 per cent or US$609.5 ($811.2) million, to 20.9 per cent and US$8,979.9 ($11,951.0) million. Ashurst (fifth) bettered 1.9 per cent or US$1,088.1 ($1,448.1) million with 18.5 per cent or US$7,928.1 ($10,550.0) million, and Lovells (sixth), which recorded no deals for the 2005 period, grabbed 18 per cent of the market with US$7,738.6 ($10,297.0) million.

Importantly, the internationals were able to secure these competitive positions through a small number of deals. Freshfields completed five, Linklaters six, Ashurst three and Lovells just two to make up the top six.

Next best Australian-based firm in the completed Thomson league tables was Allens Arthur Robinson in seventh position. Allens brought in US$7,197.8 ($9,579.0) million, giving the firm 16.8 per cent of the market from 36 deals. This was a significant drop from their second place 2005 result for the period, which secured the firm US$22,733.2 ($30,253.8) million from 65 deals and 39.1 per cent of the market.

Close behind Allens was Mallesons Stephen Jaques, which has also had a poorer year when compared to 2005. Mallesons snagged 12.4 per cent of the market from 35 deals and US$5,320.2 ($7,078.2) million to give them eighth position. In 2005, the firm was sitting in third spot with 26.2 per cent of the market, 78 deals and US$15,253.1 ($20,294.0) million.

Clayton Utz fell from fourth to 1fifth place with 6.1 per cent of the market, 26 deals and US$2,636.1 ($3,507.2) million in 2006, down from US$14,161.4 ($18,841.6) million, 24.3 per cent and 76 deals.

Minter Ellison also slid eleven places from sixth to 1seventh. The firm pulled in US$2,164 ($2,879.2) million from 27 deals and 5 per cent of the market, against US$11,814.4 ($15,718.98) million from 48 deals and 20.3 per cent.

The preliminary Australian announced legal ranking table for the period kept the same order of top tier firms as the concluded deals table, although some positions improved. Freehills had announced 90 deals for first place, with 52.9 per cent of the market share and US$52,747.1 ($70,124.9) million. Blake Dawson Waldron in second had 66 deals for 19.5 per cent of the market and US$19,442.4 ($25,847.5) million. In third came Allens Arthur Robinson, with 48 deals, 16 per cent and US$15,922.3 ($21,167.7) million, while fifth position went to Mallesons Stephen Jaques with 49 deals, 9.7 per cent and US$9,659.1 ($12,841.1) million. Clayton Utz sat in 10th place with 40 deals, 7.8 per cent and US$7,812.9 ($10,386.7) million, and Minter Ellison held 21st with 38 deals, 3 per cent of the market and US$2,947 ($3,917.8) million.

Final tables for the third quarter results will be released on October 2.

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Freehills, Baker to lead M&A deal advisor rankings
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