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M&A League Tables 3Q22: Legal Advisors

Sullivan & Cromwell topped Mergermarket’s global M&A legal advisory chart for the first three quarters of 2022, in terms of deal value, having advised on US$442.9 billion worth of transactions over the nine months. Simpson Thacher and Skadden came in second and third place, respectively, in terms of global deal value. Simpson Thacher advised on US$383.7 billion worth of deals over the period, while Skadden worked on US$330.4 billion of deals.

In terms of the number of transactions, Kirkland & Ellis and DLA Piper were in joint first place, each having advised on 633 deals in the year to date. The combined value of Kirkland & Ellis’ deals came to US$317.7 billion, while DLA Piper’s aggregate deal value was US$114.6 billion. Meanwhile, Goodwin Procter advised on 535 deals globally in the three quarters, putting it in third place globally by volume – up one spot from its position in 2021.

Freshfields and DLA Piper were the top advisors in Europe in terms of deal value and volume, respectively. Freshfields advised on US$152.8 billion worth of deals in Q3 in Europe, while DLA Piper worked on 380 transactions. In the Americas, Simpson Thacher was the top legal advisor in value terms, having advised on a US$355.8 billion worth of transactions during this period in the region, while Kirkland & Ellis was the top advisor in terms of volume, working on 597 deals. AZB & Partners was the top advisor by both value and volume in the Asia Pacific (excluding Australasia and Japan), having advised on 109 deals worth US$111.7 billion in total.

Kirkland & Ellis was the top advisor globally for private equity buyouts in terms of both the number of deals and their aggregate value. The firm served as legal advisor on 238 buyouts globally over Q3 – deals worth US$120.8 billion in total. When it comes to exits, Kirkland & Ellis once again dominated the deal count, working on 90 PE exits over this period. Sullivan & Cromwell, however, was the top legal advisor in terms of value, having worked on US$77.1 billion worth of exits in Q1-Q3.