Cleary Gottlieb, Morgan Stanley Top Q1 M&A Deal Rankings

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By Antoinette Gartrell

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Morgan Stanley handled the largest volume of merger and acquisition deals in the first quarter of 2017 among law firms and financial firms, Bloomberg data show.

Cleary took on 22 deals worth more than $98 billion, making up 13.5 percent of the market share of global, announced deals. The firm ranked 11th in the first quarter of 2016 and 10th overall last year.

The past quarter’s success was largely due to three substantial deals, which include Reckitt Benckiser’s $17.9 billion merger with Mead Johnson Nutrition, Mars’ $9.1 billion acquisition of veterinary services provider VCA and Essilor’s €50 billion merger with Luxottica.

Morgan Stanley was involved with 74 deals worth more than $141 billion, approximately 19 percent of market share.

Legal Rankings

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Slaughter and May rounded out the list of top five law firms by volume. Each surpassed $54 billion in deal volume.

Jones Day led the overall deal count, as it did in all of 2016, with 107, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP came in second place with 77.

White & Case’s market share dropped nearly 13 percent from its 2016 level, while Cleary’s rose by 4.5 percent.

Financial Rankings

On the financial side, Goldman Sachs & Co. was second in deal volume with more than $132 billion over 75 deals. Citigroup Inc. was third, topping $118 billion.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs & Co. were also the top two by deal count.

Most of the largest banks saw a decrease in market share over their yearlong 2016 levels.

To contact the reporter on this story: Antoinette Gartrell in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Phyllis Diamond at; Seth Stern at

For More Information

The global M&A legal and financial advisory league tables, among many others, are available to Bloomberg Law subscribers at:

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