Best Investment Banks 2011: Best Legal Advisers

Best Legal Advisers

Global

Skadden

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, which operates under the brand name Skadden, was the number-one legal adviser on global mergers and acquisitions announced in 2010, according to Thomson Reuters. Skadden advised on 227 deals valued at $69 billion last year. The firm represented Morgan Stanley in its $700 million sale of a 34.3% stake in China International Capital Corporation. Skadden represented Renault in its $4 billion sale of a stake in truck manufacturer Volvo.

North America

Skadden

Skadden was the legal adviser on 174 deals involving US-based companies last year totaling $209 billion, giving it a leading market share of 20.4%. Skadden is advising both Duke Energy and Progress Energy on the antitrust and regulatory aspects of their $25.7 billion definitive merger agreement. The firm also is representing Dupont on its $6.3 billion definitive agreement to acquire Denmark’s Danisco.

Western Europe

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised on 192 deals involving companies based in Europe last year. These deals were valued at $169 billion, giving Freshfields a leading market share in the region of 17.3%. The firm advised HSBC Rail UK last year on the sale of its railcar leasing business for $1.6 billion. Freshfields is advising Russian oil company Rosneft on its agreement with BP to form a strategic global alliance.

Asia

Linklaters

Linklaters was the top legal adviser on mergers and acquisitions announced in Asia, excluding Japan, last year. The firm advised on 40 deals in the region valued at $41.9 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. In Japan, Linklaters advised Meiji Yasuda Life on its strategic alliance with Germany-based Talanx. Linklaters is one of the leading legal firms in China. The firm also is advising Germany-based Postbank on the sale of its India-based mortgage-lending subsidiary.

Central & Eastern Europe

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton was the number-one legal adviser on emerging markets M&A deals announced in 2010, with 33 deals valued at $76.3 billion. Thomson Reuters ranked Cleary Gottlieb number one for deals involving companies based in Eastern Europe, where the firm advised on 11 deals valued at $25.4 billion last year.

Latin America

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton was the top legal adviser on both announced and completed mergers and acquisitions in Latin America in 2010. The firm advised on 13 announced deals valued at $50.3 billion, giving it a 22.8% market share. Cleary Gottlieb was special US adviser to Brazil-based Petrobras in a $6 billion offering of notes in January 2011 by the oil company’s finance subsidiary. This was the largest-ever bond offering by a Brazilian company in the international capital markets.

Middle East & Africa

Linklaters

Linklaters was the leading legal adviser on mergers and acquisitions announced in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in 2010, where it advised on 10 deals totaling $16.5 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. The firm led in completed deals in the region as well. Linklaters advised Zain, the largest mobile-telecom services provider in Kuwait, on the sale of its African mobile-telecom business to Bharti Airtel, based in India.

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