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Linklaters lawyer jobs offer most M&A advice

Posted by: Laurence Simons 18/12/12

Magic circle law firm Linklaters has topped the list of global legal organisations offering mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advice to UK firms, maintaining the position it earned last year and suggesting that it remains the go-to company for large corporations looking for advice on how to do a deal.

However, the Thomson Reuters data suggested that a number of large US law firms are looking to encroach on a market that, understandably, has been dominated by British companies in the past.

Laurence Levy, co-head of Shearman’s London corporate team, told the Lawyer that there has been a major upturn in corporate transactions over the last three months.

Here is a list of the top five firms, along with the number of deals they carried out and the market share of the total transactions.

- Linklaters - 97 deals, with a market share of 31.4 per cent.
- Skadden - 25 deals, with a market share of 24.3 per cent.
- Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton - 11 deals, with a market share of 20.4 per cent.
- Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr - five deals, with a market share of 17.4 per cent.
- Cravath, Swaine & Moore - seven deals, with a market share of 17 per cent.

The total deal value recorded was roughly flat at $327.7 billion (£202 billion), a slight increase from the figure recorded last year.

It seems clear that the attempts from US firms to bulk up their presence in London, often considered the business capital of the world, are having an effect.

While UK firms shouldn't worry too much about lawyers in two-gallon hats and spurs lassoing their business away, it has been suggested that this trend is related to the increasing globalisation of the law business, with large international firms such as the Brazilian one in fourth becoming more prominent.

Mr Levy suggested that businesses are no longer especially concerned about how the legal firm taking on their M&A transaction pronounces tomato or aluminium.

"I think it's part of a trend of acceptance that there are a select defined group of international firms, whether New York-headquartered or London-headquartered, that are increasing the ones people turn to on a big transaction," he argued.

This has been reflected in the movement towards multinational status for many law companies, with a survey from legal researcher Acritas recently suggesting that people with in-house legal positions are more likely to work for an employer with a global reputation and the desire to expand into emerging markets.