Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Kirkland & Ellis were the top M&A legal advisers

global financial services

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Kirkland & Ellis were the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers in the global financial services sector for 2020 by value and volume, respectively. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advised on 18 deals worth $98.7bn, which was the highest value among all advisers. Meanwhile, Kirkland & Ellis led in volume terms having advised on 66 deals worth $19.6bn. A total 3,314 M&A deals were announced in the sector during 2020, marking an 8.9% decrease over the 3,636 deals announced in 2019, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s report, ‘Global and Financial Services M&A Report Legal Adviser League Tables 2020’, deal value decreased by 13.7% from $523bn in 2019 to $451bn in 2020.

Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Kirkland & Ellis was the only company tracked that managed to advise on more than 50 deals. However, due to involvement in low-value transactions, the company failed to surpass the $20bn mark. Surprisingly, it also did not find a place among the top ten advisors by value.”

“Meanwhile, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advised on less than 20 deals but was involved in four mega deals valued more than or equal to $10bn, which helped it occupy the top spot by value. Interestingly, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton did not feature in the list of top ten advisers by volume.”


Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom occupied the second position, both in terms of value and volume, by advising on 40 deals worth $89bn.

Weil Gotshal & Manges occupied the third position in GlobalData’s ranking of legal advisers for M&As in the global financial services sector by value with 32 deals worth $82.6bn, followed by Latham & Watkins with 27 deals worth $62.3bn.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher occupied the third position by volume with 38 deals worth $28.2bn followed by Weil Gotshal & Manges.

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Neel Achary is the editor of Business News This Week. He has been covering all the business stories, economy, and corporate stories.