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AZB top of first half 2010 M&A league as foreign firms pick up big value deals


According to data provider mergermarket's latest league table, AZB & Partners was the busiest M&A law firm with 38 deals to its credit in the first half of 2010, followed by Amarchand Mangaldas and Desai & Diwanji in second and third places respectively, with a total of 14 deals each.

Trilegal and Khaitan & Co were the other two domestic law firms placed amongst the top five M&A dealmakers of 2010 H1. Trilegal acted on seven while Khaitan notched up six deals in this period.

By volumes of deals, Linklaters and Allen & Overy (A&O) were the only two international firms which found their way into the top ten, according to mergermarket.

A&O made its mark by scaling up its ranking to sixth by volume in H1 2010 after advising on five deals of a combined deal size of $12.6bn.

Ranked seventh by volume, Linklaters was the other international law firm that made it to the top ten rankings with three deals worth $12.2bn.

However, international firms' deal values were higher than most other domestic rivals, with 10 international law firms in the top 15 ranks by value according to mergermarket data, despite seven of them having acted on only one transaction.

By volume, Luthra & Luthra, J Sagar Associates (JSA) and Nishith Desai Associates have been ranked eighth, ninth and tenth for their three deals each with total values of $3.8bn, $201m and $161m respectively.

Luthra had a role in one of the single biggest deal ($3.7bn) in this period, advising Abbot Laboratories in the acquisition of Piramal Healthcare Solutions whose domestic legal counsel was Crawford Bayley.

Also, four other firms - Crawford Bayley, Baker & McKenzie, Vinson & Elkins and Dua Associates breakaway firm Tatva Legal figured on mergermarket’s list of top legal advisors to Indian M&A this year for acting on two transactions each.

Assessments based on deal value of the Indian M&A deals by mergermarket also rank AZB (total $16.7bn) as the top Indian firm, followed by other domestic firms such as Talwar Thakore Associates ($10.7bn), Crawford Bayley ($ 4.8bn), Amarchand Mangaldas ($ 4.7bn) and Luthra & Luthra ($3.8bn).

M&A legal advisers by volume, 1 January - 30 June 2010

H1 2010
Firm Value ($m) Deal Count
1 AZB & Partners 16,608 38
2 Amarchand Mangaldas 4,712 14
3 Desai & Diwanji 797 14
4 Trilegal 403 7
5 Khaitan & Co 69 6
6 Allen & Overy 12,578 5
7 Linklaters 12,170 3
8 Luthra & Luthra 3,751 3
9 J Sagar Associates (JSA) 201 3
10 Nishith Desai Associates 161 3
11 Crawford Bayley 4,779 2
12 Baker & McKenzie 3,720 2
13 Vinson & Elkins 1,694 2
14 Shearman & Sterling 664 2
15 Tatva Legal 403 2

Source mergermarket

Methodology: mergermarket included announced transactions over $5m in value from 1 January to 30 June 2010. Deals with undisclosed values were included if the target's turnover exceeded $10m. Deals where a stake of less than 30 per cent is acquired were only included if the value exceeded $100m.

Read about the 2010 first quarter, and 2009 half-year and full 2009 calendar year M&A league tables.

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