Skadden and Jones Day Again Top M&A Rankings

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By Ellen Rosen

July 6 — It's been a very good year so far for those law firms with transactional practices, according to Bloomberg's League Tables, released July 2.

In the first half of 2015, deals with a combined value of $1.8 trillion were announced. The volume—12.5 percent greater than that in the first half of 2014—is the second highest volume for the first half of the year on record after 2007.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP topped the legal rankings of the Global M&A Market Review in volume for the first six months, taking that spot for the second year in a row. Skadden represented the independent members of the board of directors of Time Warner Cable in Charter Communications' announced acquisition for approximately $79.3 billion including debt and exercisable options; that deal alone contributed to almost 20 percent of the firm's volume.

That deal also helped other advisers on the deal. Latham & Watkins LLP, which ranked fourth in deal volume, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, which ranked 14th, also advised Time Warner Cable. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, the sixth highest in volume, represented Charter.

The other huge deal—Royal Dutch Shell Plc's announced purchase of BG Group Plc for $79.3 billion including debt and exercisable options—also helped propel several firms. Shell's advisers were Slaughter and May, 17th; Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, fifth; and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, 18th on the list. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, ranked seventh, represented BG Group.

But it's not just about size. There were more deals in the first half of 2014 than in the same period last year.

Jones Day took the top perch in terms of deal count, with 173 transactions. It was followed by Skadden Arps; Kirkland & Ellis; Latham & Watkins; White & Case; Allen & Overy LLP; Linklaters LLP; Clifford Chance LLP; Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP; and Stikeman Elliott.

With assistance from Rachel Campanelli in New York

To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen Rosen in New York at erosen14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

The Bloomberg League Tables are available at https://www.bloomberglaw.com/secondary_page/league_tables.

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