Law Firms

Skadden Is Up, S&C Is Down in Deal Rankings


Global mergers and acquisitions were down last year, the worst market in six years, and some law firms felt the pinch more than others.

Sullivan & Cromwell had advised on the highest amount of mergers and acquisitions for four years in a row through 2007, and was second on the law firm list in 2008. But last year, S&C dropped out of the top 20, Bloomberg reports.

U.K. law firm Linklaters topped the list in 2008, but it dropped to fifth place in 2009, the story says.

Coming out on top in 2009 was Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Clifford Chance was second; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was third; and Cravath, Swaine & Moore was fourth.

Total deal value fell 32 percent last year, although the fourth quarter rebounded with a 54 percent increase in deal amount over the third quarter. Scott Barshay, managing partner of the corporate department at Cravath, told Bloomberg he thinks the fourth quarter recovery has a good chance of sustaining itself in 2010.

“Nobody’s viewing it as strong recovery, but it’s a recovery nonetheless,” he said.

Additional coverage:

AmLaw Daily: “Table-Tossing on the Law Firm M&A Front”

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